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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 06/13/2013

Fried Squash Blossoms

These are the flowers that grow off  the zucchini. Ever since I can remember this was a favorite Summer dish growing up. I clearly remember going to the vegetable store and seeing all  the flowers displayed in brown boxes or bags ready for the picking. If we weren’t going into town, my mother just as easily sent me over to my grandmother’s to pick them fresh from the farm.

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Posted 10/21/2012

Figs Wrapped in Prosciutto with Gorgonzola and Brie

Italian cuisine thrives on appetizers. Whenever you have family events, dine out or on any special occasion the appetizer is essential in gathering the family to the table and starting the meal off properly, so it better be good.  Well nothing gets better or more traditional than this classic finger food. Sweet, salty, chewy and creamy, it has a perfect balance of flavors and textures. This apertivo can be found on any Italian table in September during the Fall harvest when figs are the ripest. Nothings wraps up a long day spent picking grapes in the fields like a sweet bite of figs wrapped in Prosciutto with Gorgonzola and Brie.

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Posted 10/12/2012

Fresh Ricotta Crostini

A shepherd used to live on my family’s farm in Tuscany and herd his sheep in our Pasteur. My father, a man ahead of the times, never charged the shepherd a fee. He practiced bio dynamic farming 30 years before hipsters made it cool and believed having the sheep doing their natural things on the land would be good for the fields and everyone involved. It was especially good for us when the shepherd would reward us for our generosity with a mound of fresh ricotta cheese.  Unless you have tasted ricotta fresh, you have no idea how heavenly and creamy this cheese can be. Continue Reading…

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Posted 10/08/2012

Speck and Mustard Green Pizza

Pizza is the perfect template for being creative with food. You can pretty much put anything you want on the dough, sweet or savory, bake it and at the very least it won’t be bad and it’s always a lot of fun. To make it really good, however, can be a little trickier.

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Posted 06/15/2012

Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad

This is easily the first item you find in any Italian restaurant around the world. A classic Summer appetizer because of it simplicity, delicate flavors and seasonal ingredients, I prepare our version of caprese salad with a rainbow of heirloom tomatoes and Burrata cheese as opposed to mozzarella.  The Burrata is a little creamier and adds a nice contrast to the tang of the balsalmic infused olive oil I like to dress it with. Continue Reading…

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Posted 06/02/2012

Grande Spuntino

This is the ultimate Sunday appetizer. And why wouldn’t it be? It is made up of a spread of some of the best finger foods you would expect to find on any proper Italian table and could be seen enjoyed by families out and about or at home on any given Sunday in Italy. A cutting board or platter filled with local cheeses and cold cuts of your choice along with plenty of olives and unsalted Tuscan bread, one taste of this dish and I am right there back in Tuscany sitting down to dinner with the family. Continue Reading…

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Posted 05/15/2012

Roasted Beet Salad

I love beets. Can’t say the same for when I was younger though. When I was kid, I had no interest in beets and the same goes for my kids on most days, but over the years, after developing recipes around this unique vegetable and my taste buds, I have come to respect the beet as an adult flavor and acquired taste that is definitely worth the wait. Cooked or uncooked, this root vegetable has a long shelf life, are versatile and rich in folic acid, calcium and iron. Continue Reading…

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Posted 05/14/2012

Fried Olives

I really like finger foods; so much flavor packed and delivered in just one bite or two! Filled with spicy pork sausage, good parmesan cheese, breaded and deep fried, these Fried Olives certainly pack a punch and are the perfect way to tickle your guests taste buds and get them ready for the main course.

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Posted 03/05/2012

White Beans and Rosemary Crostini

Tuscans have been called “Bean Eaters” throughout their history. For the most part everybody agrees that the name calling was originated as a derogatory description of the very common frugality at the Tuscan dining table. Beans are cheap, rich in starch and proteins, and they have been a staple in our farmers’ and peasant cuisine since forever. Continue Reading…

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