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Category Archives: Primi/First Courses

Classic Bolognese Meat Sauce

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.

Classic Tuscan Ribollita Soup

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.

Italian New Year’s Tortellini Recipe

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.

How to Make Homemade Pasta

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.

Leek and Chickpea Pasta Soup

The leeks give a soft, sweet taste to this hearty soup and the chickpeas add an earthy balance. The prosciutto lends a savory flavor and Gabriella, our oldest, picked out the pieces to eat them by themselves. It is a perfect comfort soup, it takes less than an hour to make from start to finish, and most of the dish can be made ahead of time.

Radicchio Pasta: A Quick Fall Food

One of our favorite methods is to make a pasta sauce with radicchio. When it is cooked, radicchio provides a rich deep flavor to a pasta sauce, and loses some of its bitter flavor.

Fall Butternut Squash Risotto and the TODAY SHOW

“How about making a risotto when I come in fall?” I suggested to my Today show producer.  “How about making two?” she replied.  Why not?  After all, if I’m lucky, […]

Pasta e Fagioli: Comfort Soup

In the Veneto, where the texture of the thick and creamy soup is achieved by mixing in some mashed potato, it is traditionally made with borlotti beans (also known as cranberry beans) and bits of egg pasta.

Fusilli with Broccoflower

  When asked about her favorite food, our six-year-old daughter, Michela, invariably names broccoli. The broccoli she’s so fond of is the Romanesco variety. Although it’s fairly new to suburban […]

Fusilli with Butternut Squash

In Italy pumpkin would be used for this sauce, but I’ve found that butternut squash more closely resembles the flavor of Italian pumpkin than American pumpkin does. This sauce has been a hit with kids. I made this one day when my daughters had playmates over, and the five-to-nine year old crowd unanimously approved it!

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