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Category Archives: Primi/First Courses

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!

Penne with Peppers, Fresh Tomato and Basil

I often make a risotto with red and yellow peppers, tomatoes, and basil whose enticing colors and aroma make it one of my family’s favorites. The fresh and fragrant combination of flavors makes this dish a great light summer meal.

Penne with Spinach and Ricotta

It occurred to me that it would make a very nice pasta sauce, so I added a little cream to the mixture and it was delicious — so much so that I’ve been making it just to use as a pasta sauce.

Tagliatelle with Peas

One of our favorite recipes comes from a restaurant in the Veneto named Il Pompiere. The chef/owner Marco makes an egg pasta dish that is infused with the luscious pea flavor, but only when the peas from Peseggia are in season.

Experience Rome with a Plate of Spaghetti alla Carbonara

If you close your eyes while you are eating this, you can imagine yourself in Rome, perhaps sitting across the table from Julia Roberts.

Home from Camp and a Recipe for Pappardelle with Peppers and Sausage

This sauce is quick to make and is great comfort food. Gabriella perked right up and decided her father should teach cooking lessons at the camp because she wants to go again next year!

Uncooked Sauce: A recipe for Spaghetti alla Checca

This is a sauce for which you either harvest your own well loved tomatoes or purchase them from a local farmers market. No watery, flavorless tomatoes will do here.

Recipe for Penne with Spinach and Ricotta and a Tip for Chopping Onions

Photo by Joseph De Leo One of my favorite pasta dishes is tortelloni (the square ones, Romagna style) filled with Swiss chard and ricotta.  My fondness for the dish was […]

Mushroom Medley Risotto Recipe

I sliced the king oyster mushrooms but just cut off the root of the others and used them whole. I sautéed them with olive oil, onions, garlic, and parsley, then cooked the risotto. It was a hit and thoroughly enjoyed by the entire family along with a Morellino di Scansano (for Lael and me, of course).

Continuing the celebration: A recipe for white truffle risotto

Usually truffles are eaten very simply. Either shaved over sunny side up eggs or egg pasta. They are often eaten only at special occasions like Christmas and New Year. Some people believe that truffles were the manna sent to the Israelites through Moses as they traveled through the desert for forty years.

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