- Tuscan-Style White Beans with Sausage (Fagioli all'uccelletto)
- Classic Stewed Lentils (Lenticchie in umido)
It just might be panna cotta, which, despite its name (it translates literally as "cooked cream"), actually doesn't require much cooking, and certainly doesn't involve turning on an oven. This delicate cream-based spoon dessert, thickened with gelatin and served chilled, is also quite easy to make but makes an elegant impression when served at the end of a meal. You can serve it with fresh berries or a simple chocolate sauce, fruit compote or coulis. Recipe for Panna Cotta A traditional and popular Italian dessert originating in the Piemonte region. Get the recipe.
- Bacio Brownies (Brownies al Bacio)
I had the pleasure of speaking recently with Viola Buitoni, descendant of the Buitoni family that founded a food empire spanning pastas and sauces to the Perugina chocolate brand, makers of the famous Baci chocolates. She shared family legends and a recipe for luscious brownies made with Baci chocolate candies.
- Recipe for Roman-Style Roast Lamb or Kid
- Recipe for Easter Bread (Pane di Pasqua)
- Neapolitan Easter Soup (Minestra di Pasqua)
- Black Easter Rice (Riso Nero di Pasqua)
- Neapolitan Easter Tart (Pastiera Napoletana)
- Tuscan-Style Beef Tenderloin Fillets with Green Peppercorn Sauce (Filetto di manzo al pepe verde) - Start to finish: 15 minutes
- Sicilian-Style Stuffed Eggplants (Melanzane a barchetta) (Make-Ahead) - This one is easy to prepare ahead of time and reheat for 5-10 minutes before serving. Makes great leftovers, too!
- Pugliese Potato-Tomato Casserole (Pitta di patate) (Make-Ahead) - This one is easy to prepare ahead of time and reheat for 5-10 minutes before serving. Makes great leftovers, too!
- Sauteed Spinach with Toasted Pine Nuts (Spinaci saltati con pinoli) - Super quick and easy side dish that would go well with any of the above -- ready in 15 minutes or less!
- Springtime Greens Pasta Salad (Insalata di pasta al verde) - A quick and nutritious pasta salad made with in-season springtime greens; it can be ready in half an hour or less.
The holidays in Italy seem endless, and each one has its special associated foods, which might differ from region to region. Part of the reason for so many holidays is the fact that every single day of the calendar year is the Feast Day of one or more Catholic saints. This doesn't mean that every day is a holiday in Italy, of course. March 17, for instance, the feast day of San Patrizio (better known in the English-speaking world as Saint Patrick), is not celebrated in Italy. (He is the patron saint of Ireland, after all.)
Food and the Feast Day of San Giuseppe
Today, though, March 19, the Feast Day of San Giuseppe (St. Joseph), is celebrated throughout Italy and in many Italian American communities. It's also Father's Day in Italy and it's traditionally celebrated with fried or baked pastries originating in Naples called zeppole (also known as bigne' or sfinge/sfingi/sfinci), They're usually filled with pastry cream or ricotta and dusted with sugar. Read more...
Fava Bean and Fennel Soup
One of the dishes traditionally served on the Feast Day of San Giuseppe, in Sicily, this velvety, flavorful puree incorporates the fava bean, considered a lucky charm as well as a token of St. Joseph. See the recipe for Fava Bean and Fennel Soup (Macco di fave e finocchietto).