Marcella responds to Modernist Cuisine and Marcus Aurelius

April 7, 2011

Why does Cooking need to be defended? Isn’t it only about food? It isn’t only about food the way love isn’t only about sex.

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Chocolate Cookies and a Thank You to Fire Fighters

April 4, 2011
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These are fun and easy cookies to make. Even the smallest child can assist. The greatest challenge is to get them to actually make the cookies rather than just eating the yummy dough.

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Barley and Tomato Salad Recipe for a Potluck

March 29, 2011

Cooking barley is just like rice, yet the grain has a nutty flavor that gives depth to the dish. Add the tomato, parsley and onion to the dish and you are set with an easily transportable dish that all will enjoy.

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Carrot Almond Cake Recipe

March 22, 2011
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here are equal amounts carrots and almonds in this cake recipe, and both flavors are present and not covered up. It doesn’t have that heavy, oily, overly sweet flavor that is sometimes present in store bought carrot cakes. We’ve found that it doesn’t need to have a cream cheese toping; instead we serve each with a dollop of simple homemade whipped cream

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Italian Custard Pie Recipe: Torta Della Nonna and a review of two new google rich snippets recipe plugins

March 16, 2011
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After all the discussion of the new google mandates and just trying to figure out what a rich snippet is and figure out which google recipe plugins we should use, we will all need something sweet to pick us up. Since our girls are very much into baking, I thought it would be good for them to make one of the Sorelle Simili, the Simili sisters, fabulous treats, their Torta Della Nonna, or Grandmother’s cake. Long ago the sister’s had given their recipe of this homey and comforting pie to Giuliano. I thought it was a perfect chance for the girls to learn how to make custard and to roll out pie dough.

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Cooking with Olive Oil

March 10, 2011
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The smoke point for good quality EVOO is around 200o C, which is more than hot enough for frying. The interesting thing is that the cheap oil you are recommending has a lower smoke point than EVOO. …Do you know what really matters in the end? It’s how the food you cook tastes. There is no more powerful agent for good flavor than genuine EVOO.

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Short Ribs Braised with Tomatoes and Potatoes Recipe

March 8, 2011
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These fork-tender, succulent short ribs are the perfect antidote to a cold winter’s day. By the end the potatoes become partly mashed, and together with the tomatoes form a wonderful thick sauce.

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Marcella Answers a Question about Risotto

March 4, 2011
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A recent letter to Marcella and her answer: Here is the recipe for squash risotto. Dear Marcella I thought of you watching Top Chef these last couple of weeks. One chef used cream in his risotto, to make it creamy, and clearly that would make any student of yours upset. Then Tom Colicchio said that […]

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Grilled Endive Recipe

March 1, 2011
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A wonderful way of preparing endive is to grill it, which gives it a deep, nutty flavor and sweetens it. Last week Giuliano grilled some and the children liked it so much it was gone in an instant.

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Extra Virgin Olive Oil Giveaway

March 1, 2011
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When Italians use olive oil in cooking it is for the flavor it gives a dish. It is not just a base lubricant; therefore, the highest grade or extra virgin is always used. True extra virgin olive oil is made with olives that were picked just at the ideal degree of ripeness and then immediately taken to the mill for processing. It is a labor-intensive product that is expensive to produce. Please don’t compromise; good olive oil is critical to good cooking.

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In Praise of Tenderness

February 24, 2011
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Why are we bringing home rock-hard fruit, stuffing it sometimes in a brown bag where we are told it will ripen? It’s the sun not a paper bag that ripens fruit, that makes it produce succulent, sugary flesh. Have we all forgotten the difference?

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Bolognese Lasagne

February 21, 2011
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Lasagne makers are often judged on how many layers than can create. Five or six layers are considered the minimum for acceptability. Ooh’s and ahh’s occur the higher they go. For my birthday celebration, Giuliano created a spectacular 9-layer lasagne!

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Valentine’s Day Strawberry Gelato Recipe

February 13, 2011
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In Italy, il giorno della festa degli innamorati or Valentine’s day is considered to be an imported American holiday. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t celebrated, particularly with chocolates, roses, or in this case, Strawberry Gelato!

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Classic Bolognese Meat Sauce

February 7, 2011
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In classic Bolognese, the sauce and the pasta are in symbiosis and enhance each other. This is one of those sauces that is best with homemade egg pasta, and is a delicacy that, in my family, we could eat weekly.

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Nutella Semifreddo in honor of World Nutella Day

February 5, 2011
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This is a sweet and creamy dessert that the kids love, yet is sophisticated enough for adults too. Lorella made it as a semifreddo in a glass for the adults, she then surrounded it with chocolate and created popsicles for the kids. Semifreddo in Italian means half frozen, and this recipe had the airy chewiness of meringue mixed with the sweet flavor of Nutella. A fun dessert for the entire family.

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Italian Béchamel Sauce

January 31, 2011
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The creamy, rich white sauce is easy to make but requires a bit of patience. Don’t worry if it doesn’t thicken right away, it will eventually so don’t panic and add more flour.

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The Medici Archive

January 27, 2011

The name Medici is intertwined with Florence.  It is a name that connotes intrigue, romance and drama.  The family members, ruling as the Grand Dukes of Tuscany, were inspired patrons for some of the greatest artwork of the Renaissance.  However, their might extended far beyond their borders, they produced four Popes and the Medici Bank […]

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Salmon in a Pouch Recipe and a hands on Cooking Class

January 25, 2011
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Although salmon is not a native Italian fish, and is rarely seen on restaurant menus in Italy, it lends itself well to Italian preparations. In this recipe, it is baked in a pouch, which is an easy and forgiving way to cook fish, ensuring it will turn out moist and flavorful. The presentation is impressive and your guests will ooh and ahh both when the y see it as well as when they taste it.

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Classic Tuscan Ribollita Soup

January 17, 2011
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Now when your local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm delivers a mountain of kale, you’ll know what to do with it. Both of our girls enjoyed this soup. In fact, our oldest, 11 year old Gabriella, brought it to school in her thermos for lunch and said that all of her friends were jealous. It is very easy to make and freezes well if you’ve made more than you need.

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CRUISING THE BACARI, VENICE’S WINE BARS

January 13, 2011
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The wines bacari dispense by the glass are of the kind Italy excels in making: very young, light-bodied, exuberantly grapey, inexpensive and deliciously gulpable. Many are produced in the Veneto itself, including the most popular white, the fresh, soft, and gently sparkling Prosecco, and the most popular red, Merlot, produced in a simple, tenderly fruity style.

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Italian Ceramics

January 13, 2011
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Italian pottery is prized for its beauty and individuality. Many people have heard of Deruta wear but there are so many other designs that are both historic and beautiful. In our house we use a classic ceramic design from the region of Giuliano’s family in Emilia Romangia.

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Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Potatoes

January 10, 2011
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Roasted potatoes are perhaps the ultimate comfort cold weather food.. What makes this dish Italian are the seasonings. The combination of garlic and rosemary is the distinctive aroma of Italian roasts. Breathing it is as one enters the house makes one’s mouth water in anticipation. For me, it is the smell of tranquility.

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The Easy Way to Finely Chop an Onion

January 7, 2011
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You can quickly and easily very finely dice an onion with only two cuts. A horizontal cut is not necessary as long as your lengthwise cuts follow the shape of the onion and resemble the spokes of a cartwheel. The important thing is to make all your cuts close together.

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Honoring Venetian Traditions and Looking Towards the Future

January 6, 2011
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The art of voga alla veneta the Venetian rowing style – standing up, facing forward – is unique and rowing the gondola is a respected craft passed proudly from father to son throughout the generations. Recently, a group of women have joined the ranks of the Venetian Regattieri, and while honoring tradition, they have taken their place among the Venetian rowing champions.

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Peeling a Raw Pepper

January 5, 2011
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There are two reasons why Italians peel peppers.  The first is that the skin is tough no matter how long the pepper is cooked.  The second, and more important, is that the skin has a bitter flavor that can permeate a dish when peppers are cooked with their skins on. 1.  Cut the pepper open […]

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Italian New Year’s Tortellini Recipe

January 3, 2011
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In the Italian region where our family is from, Emilia Romagnia, a traditional New Year’s dish is Tortellini or Cappelletti: small filled pasta that is shaped, according to some, like a Bishops hat. Cappelletti means little hats, and New Year’s, Capo di Anno, is the hat or head of the year so it is an obvious pairing. They are at their best in a homemade meat broth but they are also delicious served with a cream sauce. However you choose to enjoy them, they are a delicacy to look forward to all year long.

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Giuliano Shows You How to Make Homemade Pasta

January 3, 2011
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Pasta making authority Giuliano Hazan shows you how easy it is to make homemade pasta dough

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Marcella and Victor Hazan on NPR

January 2, 2011
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Recently Linda Wertheimer interviewed Victor and Marcella Hazan at their home on Longboat Key for NPR’s Morning Edition series the Long View.

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Happy New Year!

December 31, 2010
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“Con tantissimi auguri di felicita nella vita e . . . in cucina.” (With many good wishes of happiness in life … and in the kitchen.)

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How to Make Homemade Pasta

December 28, 2010
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Making pasta dough by hand is simple. Do not be discouraged by the length of my instructions. I have tried to describe as clearly as possible the method. With a little practice it will easily become second nature and you will have finished dough in less than 15 minutes.

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