This recipe for fried broccoli or 'frittura di broccoli' comes from Lazio. They make a simple and tasty side dish or antipasti, traditionally on the Christmas eve menu. The broccolo romanesco differs from other broccoli by its distinctive pointed green top, easily recognizable in the markets of Rome.
I cannot find a recipe for the Easter Pigna, can you help me? My grandmother was from Frosinone area, near Rome. This Pigna was a rich pannetone style cake with different liquers added. One thing I do remember was she would let it rise for 24 hours, kneading in between. Thank you kindly. Eva, Canada
Pigna is an oven baked Easter cake or traditional panettone containing dried fruits and is typical of the town of Arpino in the province of Frosinone, south Lazio.
Just over the border in Molise, the town of Guardialfiera boasts a similar Easter equivalent.
It is a very rich cake made from 12 eggs for every kilo of flour, potatoes, lemon rind gratings, sugar and aniseed liqueur or 'anice', among other things.
It requires two processes to allow the cake to rise correctly. One is to cut a cross into the mixture. This also acts as an appropriate symbol.
The cooked cake is covered in colored confetti, we think sugar almonds, and 'naspro' delle suore' or beaten egg white.
The photo is of a Pigna made by the Pasticceria "Le Delizie di Maria" in the small locality of Scaffa near Arpino.
Be warned a true pigna can take up to 4 days to make as the secret is in the kneading of the dough.
Once you've learned how to spell cappuccino the next step is learning how to make the perfect cup of Italian morning coffee.
You might think that every Italian coffee bar makes a decent cappuccino drink, but far from it, which proves that making one is more of an art of a science.
With this in mind, and especially the scalding, colored froth massacres you might order from your favorite international coffee chain, the President of the Green Party in Italy has proposed making cappuccino a DOC, like wine and olive oil.
This would certify your Italian style morning drink as the real thing, and not an imposter in plastic clothing.
At its most authentic amatricana pasta is a simple dish of pork and pecorino cheese topping a fresh pasta. It kept the central Apennines' shepherds fed as they moved their sheep and animals to and from the high mountain pastures twice a year. The Romans documented something similar in the zone over 2000 years ago.
It seems the word 'matriciana' is a reference to the branding of the pigs back or 'guanciale' as identification. Many shepherds also sold their animals and by-products in the markets in ancient Rome.
The wines of the area of Cerveteri, in the northern part of the province of Rome, are the product of not only centuries of wine making in the zone, but also the application of modern know-how.
With more than 10 editiosn, 'Ein Prosit in Tarvis' is the foremost wine fair and exhibition for native Italian wines from Italy's north eastern corner.
Cividale del Friuli is a great place for finding a quaint local restaurant.
If you are ask, you may also find yourself also tucking into a 'gubana', a dessert speciality of the town.
It is typical for both the Christmas and Easter periods, but is now enjoyed all year round and all around Friuli and beyond.
We also also know it was served in the 15th century at a banquet for Pope Gregory XII when he visited Cividale.
Its name probably derives from the Slovenian word 'guba' meaning 'folded' or 'bent' and is so similar to the Italian word 'gobbo' (hunchback), that it surely cannot be a coincidence.
It you have been to Venice you may have also seen the Gobbo of Rialto.
Do not confuse gubana with the presnitz from Trieste whose shape is that of a horseshow but is made of a lighter pasta sfoglia.
So, here's how to make it your dolce gubana.
70g sultanas, 350g butter, 125g broken nuts, 60g pine nuts, 75g candied fruit, 30g almonds, spoonful of bread crumbs, 3 eggs, caster sugar, lemon, orange, 'Malaga' wine, 350g white flour, 2 spoonfuls of Aquavite.
Delicious Italy was invited to Gorizia and, as well as sampling the food and wines of the town and province, we were taken on a tour of the city.
'Sua Maestà il Maiale' is a Parma ham festival with a difference. Both a cultural and gastronomic event it is a journey into the ancient traditions and flavours of the province of Parma.
Anyone who enjoys cooking Italian food knows about that indeterminate measurement of 'q.b.' or quanto bisogno or 'as much as is necessary'.
It is part of the soul of Italian regional cuisine, but it can no longer be applied to the perfect Italian pizza. Why? Because in 2008 the European Commission in Brussels presented precise rules for making pizza.
For most of us the perfect pizza is made by a genuine Neapolitan in a classic Naples pizzeria.
The recipe cannot be written on a piece of paper. It is innate, spiritual, comes from the heart.
But for the record here is how an official pizza base should now be made.
To help you Cecilia of Italian Dinner Family, whose origins are the Amalfi Coast, takes you through the stages.
2 kilos of flour, 1 liter of water, 50-55 grammes of salt, 3 grammes of beer yeast.
Contact B&B Bellavista
B&B Bellavista Suite
Via S .Vito 11, 70043 Monopoli, Bari
Tel. +39 349 6171501
Fax +39 080 777623
Monopoli is halfway between Bari and Brindisi airports (50 km) and boasts characteristic rocky bays ideal for swimmimg, fishing and boat trips. It is centrally located for important towns such as Castellana Grotte (Karst Caves), Polignano a Mare, Alberobello (UNESCO World Heritage site) and the Itria Valley for Locorotondo, Cisternino, Ostuni and Martina Franca. The San Domenico Golf Courses is just 11km from Monopoli.
My girlfriend and I loved this place ... the endless views of a turquoise sea, the beachy white decor and sophisticated fixtures, and the tasteful renovation of a centuries old building right on the water made us each want to return