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Posted 06/20/2014

Coffee Gelato

Gelato in Italy is an ubiquitous food item; every city has a “best Gelateria in town”, every region has its very own specialty flavors, and every home has always leftover gelato in their kitchen freezer. Gelato is a very democratic food item; it pleases kids and adults at the same time, it can be anything from an afternoon snack on a cone (I like mine topped with whipped cream), to a high cuisine dessert, or like in this case it can be a simple family project to be enjoyed on a hot summer evening.

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Posted 05/23/2014

Wood Fired Breakfast Pizza

Unlike most of the recipes that have been passed down through my family for generations, this one came to me one day like a spark of genius here in Los Angeles. Whenever we cook out and have a party with friends we light up the pizza oven. Getting it up to temperature, however, takes quite a few hours and usually involves hearing complaints from my girls because they are hungry and don’t want to wait until later for pizza when the guests arrive. The result is this breakfast pizza. Continue Reading…

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Posted 05/13/2014

Octopus Salad

Octopus is one of those ingredients that’s present in the Mediterranean diet wherever you go. In Italy, during the summer, it’s really easy to find octopus salads or pasta with red octopus sauce. They’re really hard to catch because of the camouflage, but I remember catching them with a spear when I was a kid. I like the animal. It’s very smart and it tastes good. All you need here is a glass of dry white wine and a slice of toasted bread!

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Posted 04/30/2014

Saltimbocca alla Romana

It is true indeed, Tuscans for the most part are obnoxiously fixated with their own regional cuisine! We come from a small region, with small villages and many grandmothers: each one of us has a family recipe for anything that you can find on a traditional Tuscan menu. We are good eaters and hungry people by default, we enjoy our traditions on a plate and we always need a full glass of red wine to accompany our meals…. but what happens when we encounter foods that do not belong to our region? We just incorporate what we like in our menus, we stop talking about our traditions and we simply add the name of the region to whatever recipe we are preparing. Continue Reading…

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Posted 04/17/2014

Lamb Skewers with coffee and rum

Every and each family has a calendar that goes along with food traditions and all time favorites. Take birthdays for example.

My wife likes her Ricotta Pancakes the morning of her birthday to be delivered in bed along with a glass of her favorite Sicilian Blood Orange Juice, Giulia likes to adapt our family recipe for Schiacciata alla Fiorentina in order to produce 32 cupcakes I have to deliver to her classroom on the morning of her birthday… Evelina is 12 going 16, I know this year she will throw me off and just ask me for cash so she can go have brunch with her girlfriends. But her favorite I know it’s still my Nutella Cake.

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Posted 03/29/2014

Extra Virgin: Season 4 Premiere and Cook Book

It all started almost a decade ago, with a short manuscript: The Tuscan Cookbook for the Pregnant Male. It was an attempt on my part to start collecting family recipes and stories for my unborn first child. When Deborah got pregnant with Evelina I did realize very soon how different it was going for us as a family to raise children; we did not have any family in LA, no farmland for my kid to explore freely, no Tuscanity to absorb or “take for granted”, the way it was for me growing up. I felt the necessity of preserving and passing along to my kid everything I knew, all I could remember from growing up, all the smells, flavors and colors of the land I left behind; it was all of a sudden just a matter of finding the right medium to do so. Continue Reading…

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Posted 03/02/2014

Ossobuco alla Fiorentina

Ossobuco is a classic of Milanese cuisine that made its way to Florence simply because of its deliciousness. Nobody really knows how and when that happened (people travel, duh!), and the recipe by the way does not even appear to be that old. This great dish, that was probably created in a random Osteria in or around Milan, does not appear in the Anonymous “La Vera Cucina Lombarda” cookbook published in 1890 and Pellegrino Artusi waited until his 14th edition of “Scienza in Cucina e l’Arte di Mangiar Bene” in 1920 to mention it. Continue Reading…

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Posted 02/21/2014

Mozzarella in Carrozza

My father taught to cook three things: meat on the fire, beer fritters and Mozzarella in Carrozza. You could say this is the Italian version of the grilled cheese, and it truly is a great recipe to put to work for a kids party or used as an adult appetizer. This past week debi and I were invited on ABC’s The Chew to promote our new season of Extra Virgin, which premiered two weeks ago. Continue Reading…

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Posted 02/05/2014

Mocha Lollipops

Which are the days of the year that inspire you to cook the most? Do you long for weekend tailgates or are you a Thanks Giving enthusiast? Is it your birthday that gets the kitchen going or a New Years’ Party?

Well, in our house one the days of the year that inspires us to cook the most is Valentine’s day. It does not matter which meal of the day we pick; it can be a simple breakfast in bed with flowers and the New York Times, Continue Reading…

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