Friscatula con Cavolo Verzo (Calabrian polenta with Savoy Cabbage)

With the rain finally arriving in the Bay Area, it is starting to feel like winter, and thanks to the rain and cold we are able to make and cure our annual production of Calabrian sausage , that we typically produce in January when the weather conditions are ideal for curing sausage, cold and humid. In addition to the curing of sausage I love to prepare Friscatula, Calabrian polenta with savoy cabbage, during this time of the year. 

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Buccellato Siciliano (Christmas Fig and Nut Pastry Ring)

This year I would like to share with you a traditional dessert that is prepared in Palermo, Sicily for Christmas – Buccellato. Think of the Buccellato as a super-sized fig cookie. The smaller size of this pastry is called Cucciddati or Buccellatini. I think it is more impressive (and easier) for the Christmas table to prepare one Buccellato than a dozen small cookies. 

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Fasuoli cu l'accia (Bean and celery soup)

One of the simplest and most satisfying soups I have ever made is Fasuoli cu l’accia, a bean and celery soup.  This soup was unknown to me in Calabria, but my husband enjoyed it regularly as a child growing up in Palermo. You would find this soup in many of Palermo’s homes at this time of year, and it is considered a dish of the cucina povera (cooking of the poor).  The thought of combining beans and celery seemed a strange and unusual combination to my Calabrian palate, but last week when we were discussing comforting fall dishes, my husband recalled how much he loved when his mother would make Fasuoli cu l’accia.

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Name that dessert contest --- The winner is .....

Back in April I shared five photographs from my new cookbook "Southern Italian Desserts"  in a post and asked you to guess the name of the following desserts and the region they come from.   Everyone that named at least one dessert correctly (name of dessert and region) was entered into a drawing for a free autographed copy of "Southern Italian Desserts". 

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