This recipe from my Italian Diabetes Cookbook is said to be the ancestor of San Francisco’s famous Cioppino stew. My version comes from the western Tuscan town of Livorno, located on the sparkling Tuscan Sea. During the Gold Rush Era and later in the 19th century, many Italians immigrated to California. Some of them replicated Italian fishing boats...

Roasted meats and wintertime go hand in hand, and in Italy, roasted chestnuts, vegetables, seafood, poultry, and meat take center stage in the colder season. In the United States, roasting is something we usually associate with Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannukah, and Easter, but in Italy they’re also enjoyed on other special occasions and as a secon...

Fish has been enjoyed during the Cenone, or Christmas Eve meal in Italy since antiquity. The Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes is a traditional Italian American banquet-style meal usually comprised of several different seafood courses.  The number of courses or types of fish served at the meal is open to interpretation. Some people maintain t...

The third week of November is the Settimana Mondiale della Cucina Italiana in the USA. During this week I join the Embassy of Italy and the Italian Trade Agency in celebrating the value that true Italian cuisine brings to our health, our homes, our communities, and our daily lives. November is also Diabetes Awareness Month – a worldwide campaign to...

October is National Italian American Heritage Month and National Pasta Month. One of the most iconic dishes of the Italian-American table is baked pasta. As the weather turns cooler, this Southern Italian recipe is the crowning glory of any Sunday Supper table. The recipe is from my Mediterranean Lifestyle for Dummies book, and is a perfect example...

September is harvest season in Italy, and this month is a great time to take advantage of the late summer bounty. In a typical Italian meal, a main course consisting of fish, meat, or poultry would be accompanied by a green vegetable or two and perhaps a root vegetable or carrots. The contorni are always served alongside the main course and are the...

Summertime calls for easy recipes that evoke happy memories and delicious flavors while providing the nutrients we need to keep us living our best lives. Scallops, called capesante in Italian, are made up of 80% protein and are low in fat. Eating them in this recipe will transport your mind to the Italian seaside while helping you to feel fuller lo...

When temperatures soar, a few nibbles and a glass of vino are all we need to celebrate the season. Italy’s 20 regions offer such diversity in terms of appetizer recipes that you can sample many of the world’s best flavors simply by taking a bite of a crunchy bruschetta or breaking apart a mozzarella-filled supplì (risotto croquette) to discover a s...

There’s a quote by Fabrizio Carmagna which says “Il poeta ama giocare con l’invisibile: prende l’aria intorno a una farfalla e costruisce il sorriso di un bambino.” This translates in English as “The poet loves to play with the invisible; he takes the air around a butterfly and constructs the smile of a baby.” As a cook, when I think of butterflies...

In the United States, May is National Strawberry Month, and I love to celebrate with Strawberry Tiramisu. Usually made with prepared ladyfingers biscuits, it’s hard to believe that the lady fingers themselves were once considered extravagant. For European royalty centuries ago, having the best cooks and recipes was a symbol of prestige. The House o...