Marc Vetri’s Charred Green Onion Pasta with Corn Crema

What is your favorite food?

This used to be an exceedingly hard question for me.  I like pretty much everything, and there are too many choices, so I used to respond, “It depends”, but recently I have come to realize that the answer to that question is pasta. Any way you prepare it (barring the horror that is pasta salad), it is always satisfying and delicious.  I love how perfectly cooked pasta is tender but still present beneath the teeth, how I can just taste the sweetness of the wheat in the undressed noodle, and how warm I feel after eating a bowl of it.  It is so simple, just flour and water, yet so complex.  It is the embodiment of the Italian approach to food, turning the most basic of ingredients into something sublime.

I also go crazy for any new and creative way to prepare it.  I ripped this recipe out of a magazine because it looked so interesting I just had to make it. Continue reading “Marc Vetri’s Charred Green Onion Pasta with Corn Crema”

Blueberry Brioche

Guys, this thing is delicious.

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Like, if you’re not really doing anything right now, you should probably go get the ingredients and make this right now.  Even better if you have guests to impress. Continue reading “Blueberry Brioche”

Torta Pere e Cioccolato

The first time I had the pear-chocolate combo in cake form was this summer in Pisa, when I had a supermarket version of it at a birthday party.  Being a supermarket cake, it wasn’t anything mind-blowing.  Actually, the cake was dry, the chocolate flavor was muted, and all I wanted to do was eat all the pears out of it and leave the sad cake scaffolding for the others.  Since that’s not socially acceptable behavior, I resisted the urge. Continue reading “Torta Pere e Cioccolato”

Gnocchi con Ragù di Tempeh

Ragù is definitely one of the most delicious pasta sauces.  It’s irresistibly meaty, savory, and warm, coating each piece of pasta in richness.  It is one of the hardest things for me to resist as a vegetarian.  So when I discovered the magic of tempeh ragù, I was really excited, even though it won’t fool anyone into thinking it is the real thing. Continue reading “Gnocchi con Ragù di Tempeh”

Braised Leeks and Carrots with Parsleyed Beluga Lentils

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I have a habit of spending my mornings thinking about what I am going to make myself for my next meal.  Who am I kidding, it’s not just mornings and not just meals; I am a compulsive planner.  Everyday, I have a game plan of how what I am going to do, arranging errands and classes to flow as seamlessly as possible with as much efficiency as possible.  I feel unreasonably proud of myself when I manage to arrange a day in which not a minute is wasted and all tasks fluidly fall into place as planned. Continue reading “Braised Leeks and Carrots with Parsleyed Beluga Lentils”

Torta delle Rose (“Rose” Cake)

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So I made this cake a few years ago and have decided to share it now because 1. it’s delicious 2. the photos of it came out awesome 3. it’s Valentine’s Day and roses and pink fit the theme nicely.

Also, it happens to use oranges, a wintry fruit, so it is even seasonally appropriate! Continue reading “Torta delle Rose (“Rose” Cake)”

Torta di Mele

Ah, torta di mele, one of the staple cakes in the Italian baking arsenal with its soft, sweet, apple-studded crumb and lemony perfume.  My mother would prepare it when we had impromptu guests, for birthday parties, or anytime we didn’t want to arrive at a lunch invitation empty-handed.  It is a cake that is perfect in its simplicity, a one-bowl ordeal that takes no time at all to throw together and is always loved by everyone.  The crumb is extremely moist and studded with juicy pieces of apple, the edges acquire a gentle chew and the middle almost can’t handle the weight of the apple slices layered on top. Continue reading “Torta di Mele”

Eli Kulp Dinner at James Beard House

Oh my gosh people, this dinner was awesome.  And not just because I got it for free either (tickets were normally $170 per person!).

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I had the opportunity to go to the James Beard House in New York City for a dinner prepared by chef Eli Kulp of Fork restaurant in Philadelphia.  He was recently named one of the best chefs by Food and Wine, and was also named the best chef in Philadelphia, quite a feat in this city of truly great restaurants. Continue reading “Eli Kulp Dinner at James Beard House”

Blueberry Oatmeal Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Ok so these are in no way Italian, but sometimes you need pancakes and you just don’t care.  This morning was one of those mornings.  I have fallen into an breakfast rut, where all I ever have for breakfast is oatmeal with bananas, blueberries, and peanut butter (which is actually the best oatmeal ever, so I’m not complaining), but I wanted to experiment with other ways to consume oatmeal, bananas, and blueberries.

IMG_7990 Continue reading “Blueberry Oatmeal Cottage Cheese Pancakes”