ITALIAN - Fall 2019 (Oct-Dec) Cuisine of the Quarter
I hope my family’s Italian recipes are welcomed in this fun thread. I am appreciative of the traditions and heritage shared here while embracing more relaxed family enjoyed traditions.
Having been raised by a multitude of Italians I know full well that recipes vary greatly. I am an American-Italian red sauce is king in my clan.
Absolutely! The evolution of Italian food in America is a fascinating topic and will be fun to discuss!
Well, my father in law is North Italian, born there and lived there until working age. He didn’t even like fresh tomato. Tomato sauce is fine. Pizza is not particular popular in his region.
Italy is vast and regional, when I lived there many years ago, the locals told me that even close villages in the same region, they disagreed with the ways the other were cooking, each thinking they were authentic. Not to say the difference between the North and the South, they regarded and treated the others as “strangers”.
My MIL cooks Italian, but I guess it is Franco-Italian.
Makes so much sense. Most countries have significant regional differences in cuisine.
But when the cuisine travels outside, certain things become representative, for better or for worse.
Diaspora creates even more evolution and adaptation, with the additional filter of specifically where the immigrants came from.
True of Indian, Chinese, Italian, and so on. What is most easily identifiable as each of those cuisines abroad is either far from representative or a tiny fraction of the original.
But it’s all delicious
(@Rooster I’m excited about your family recipes!)
That’s true of prepared foods everywhere. So now that I understand that a cuisine thread will likely have both traditional roots and modern day approaches based on cooking experienceS and access to ingredients, I’m sure eager to participate in this fun thread.
Pizza is an easy example of how varied the prep can be. In my family, tomato based sauces, herbed sauces and cheese sauces have several variations each. My Aunt, Uncles and Dad grew up in Tuscany. My Aunt has kept the traditions going. Tg.
I don’t know in US, but in France, even in authentic Italian restaurants, you rarely find the meal serves in the traditional Italian way: soup, pasta, rice or even pizza as primo, and meat, fish dishes as secondo, then comes the vegetables or salad, followed by cheese, fruits and lastly dessert. I believe the main reason is the difficulty to propose other food when you are nearly full with your primo.
I think it’s also what customers want to / are used to eating, and again true for all cuisines outside their home countries.
I still remember the first “fancy” meal I had in Italy, while traveling there during college (friends of my parents took my travel companion and I out to a memorable dinner).
The “tiny” portion of pasta as primi, the couple-of-bites portions of everything else served as it was meant to be eaten…
I mean, I still love a giant bowl of pasta every so often, but that meal was an education.
That’s so wonderful.
Every region of Italia has its signature classics and special places that offer them.
Abruzzo: Is known for its roasted Lamb ( Agnello Arrosto )
This region is where the shepherds still tend their flocks of sheep.
Umbria: Known for their chick peas and Zuppa dei Cecci. A thick hearty bean soup.
Basilicata and Calabria: Are known for their aubergine dishes.
Sardinia: Carta di Musica, a thin crisp cracker bread and of course their shellfish and seafood stews.
Apulia: Famous for its home made Orecchiette ( tiny pasta which resemble “ears”) and prepared with Cavolo, an Italian black cabbage. Puglia on the Adriatic is also well known for its Buratta di Bufala and its shellfish.
Milano: My favorite Italian dishes are the Risotto of Milano.
Veneto: In Venezia, like Spain, have a Barcetti and Cichetti Culture ( Tapas ) … Always a true pleasure and alot of fun. Well known for its magenta red violet radicchio, shellfish and fish.
Tuscany: Some of the best Evoo and Chocolate as well as 100% Sangiovese Red wines are some of the most important products of this enormous central region. A couple of the best known dishes of the region are Pollo Vin Santo, a chicken stew and Pasta Fagioli (beans).
Liguria, is renowned for its Pasta con Pesto, Fave and Patata ). Up in San Remo, one shall encounter some very fine dining and freshly caught fish and shellfish. They are also renowned for the Flat Bread, Focaccia (no yeast, no sponge in the interior). And, one must try the Focaccine, small dough pillows stuffed with sheep milk Ricotta.
Piedmont and Valle d´ Aosta: It is no secret that Piedmont has some of the best restaurants, however, what is emblematic are the White truffles of Alba. Bagna Cauda, a fonduta which serves as a dip for raw fresh vegetables is still very common. Valle d´Aosta on the other hand is well known for its meat stews and gnocchi and polenta.
Friuli Venezia Giulia: A stone´s throw from Slovenia, is a miraculous wine region and pure rural country style cuisine. Meats are renowned in their country rustic cooking. Quite distinct from the rest of Italia.
Sicilia: Some of the best fish (Amberjack) that we had was in Palermo. Simply exquisite. Pasta Norma, is the Official pasta dish of Sicilia. Definitely a wonderful island to eat on.
Trentinto Alto Adige: Alt Badia, renowned for its amazing Michelin Starred Chef Norbert Niederkofler, at the Ristorante St. Hubertus in the Santa Rosa Alpina Hotel, has been making waves in this rural treasure and small ski resort … The cuisine is a seamless merger of Northern Italian lightness and elegance and Austrian frontier products. The apple streudel is to die and go to heaven for …
My paternal side of my family ( great great grandmother was born and raised in Italy ). My grandmother who is still alive, and grandfather immigrated to Girona for business many many years ago.
So Italian cuisine in addition to Catalan cuisine and Spanish regional are the cuisines I grew up eating and still continue to prepare all three. My husband is Italian as well !!
So, our love for authentic Italian never ceases.
Thanks for this nice introduction, inspirational!
When I suggested Italian Cuisine, actually I have homemade pasta in mind, I’ll try to read more about Orecchiette from Apulia.
I believe this is going to be great . American Italian. It’s all around us .
I was delighted to find this truc for making ridged pasta. I’d used butter paddles and gnocchi makers before, to mediocre results. But thisexcruciatingly simple method, using a sushi mat, works a charm.
Indeed! Thanks for sharing.
Very clever use of a sushi mat. I’ll have to look for mine (it is in a drawer somewhere). I’m not sure why it is better than a gnocchi board though. What were the advantages for you? Just curious.
First, we ALL have to look in a drawer somewhere for our sushi mats. That’s where we keep “I can’t remember why I bought this” things!
The reason the mat works well is the row of knotted string. It works as a stop so that the pasta is thrust off the mat and a natural crevasse is formed.
my kitchen is generally buzzing with regional Italian, whether from my family’s regions and our traditional home cooking, or from other regions, or italian american (of which i’m a huge supporter).
Thanks for this, Sausage, pepper and tomatoes is a frequent dish at our house, but DH has asked for a moratorium on tomato sauce. Serving this with potatoes instead of pasta opens an entirely new window.
I love cubanelles in sausage and peppers as well, although they are oddly sometimes difficult to find around here. I tend to use a mix of red and green if I can’t get cubanelles. I usually make it on the stovetop but I will have to try your oven method - no stirring required!
Great as a sandwich sans pasta too. We also make it parm’d with thick sliced fresh mozz cheese.