Emilia Romagna senza Parmiggiano!

Emilia Romagna senza Parmiggiano!

During that hike when I was in Castelnuovo dei Monti, I picked up some pepperoncino pecorino. Yes, that would be the influence for the quintessential American pepperjack cheese! Paired with Italian staples - cured pork (truffle sausage here), bread (Sardinian Pane Carasau, the flat bread typical of the region) it was a match made in heaven! Lunch then was a simple affair of quick cooked sauce tomatoes with a little hint of chilli, sliced sausage and then topped with steamed broccoli and shavings of pecorino with a side of the pane! 

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Tart or Crostata?

Tart or Crostata?

On the face of it, it is simply fruit ensconced in pastry. The French call it Tart and the Italians call it Crostata and well... while we are at it, the Americans/Brits Pie. Beyond that higher similarity, though, there are deep differences - in technique, meaning and reflection of each culture. The Tart for example is the most technical and the crostata the most forgiving and the pie in between, a blend of technique and comfort. 

Today's subject is a simple fruit pie made with a pastry is slightly French, slightly Italian, inspired by the amazing prune (jam) crostatas I devour here and the lattice design they typically have on top!

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Hello April! And, a Farro Primavera

Hello April! And, a Farro Primavera

Bursting with the colors and flavors of the season, I have been making this farro version so many times lately. So, I felt it was only appropriate to share the bounty with you! Meanwhile, artichokes are back in season and this time, the little baby ones are totally calling me. And, unlike the globes, they are much easier to prep and have a soft, delicate taste. It works as a great balance to the rich, deepness of the farro itself!

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Dear Florence

Dear Florence

Indeed, it isn't about the food or the place. Truly, Florence is the one place I have felt so close to beauty and never felt overwhelmed by it. Rather, it has always sent my spirit soaring, filling me with hope and bringing smiles on my face. Rome may have the power of mind and the history of greatness but Florence has the grace that captures hearts and holds them true for lifetimes. I'll take the gutters of the Florentine streets to the ravishing Trevi fountain because even these smell of metaphorical roses.

Oh Firenze ti amo!! Grazie per il tuo spirito bello. 

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Torta di Farro

Torta di Farro

Spring has burst through here - in colors and warmth! The leaves are no longer shyly peeking out but bursting through with full vigor and a spirit to make a statement. And, then the flowers, gently lifting their faces and emboldening in vibrance and aroma. Running past a wall of violets in full bloom and inhaling deeply their fragrance gives me momentum and deeper spring to my step. I want to go out; I want to commune with nature; I want to find excuses to stay in the positivity of this season.

Yesterday, I was suddenly come upon an urge to bake. Perhaps, something within me wanted bursting out too. Since I am on the elimination diet, I cannot eat wheat and I do not have the access (and budget) for the other gluten free flours i typically use, like almond and oats.

I made a simple cake with farro, dates and nutmeg and topped with some seeds.

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