1. Food

Breads, Pizza Rolls, Focaccia, Grissini...

Though pizza is perhaps the most popular food on the planet it's just the beginning. There are focaccia, pane ferrarese, grissini and much more!

Pizza, Anyone?
Pizza is arguably the National Dish, and while Neapolitans claim to have invented it, everybody makes and enjoys it. Making pizza from scratch is easy and much more satisfying than heating something frozen.

How to use a wood-fired pizza oven
There's a reason Neapolitans use wood-fired ovens: The results are greatly superior to anything made in a gas or electric oven. They're also easy to use, and can be used for all sorts of other things (including excellent bread), and are not difficult to assemble. In short, if you have the space they're well worth considering!

Pizza Shots From Italian Pizzerie
Pizza Shots From Italian Pizzerie: Margherita, Capricciosa, Quattro Formaggi, Contadina... Tremendous Variety!

How to Make Focaccia - An Illustrated Recipe
Focaccia, or schiacciata, is a simple savory flatbread that's a fine change of pace from regular bread. It's also a wonderful base for a sandwich, and, when made with a topping, is one of the finest nibble-foods there is.

La Focaccia di Recco, Illustrated - Recco's Cheesy Focaccia
Focaccia di Recco is a delightfully -- nay, libidinously -- cheesy variation on the focacce you'll find in many parts of Liguria: It's made by extending a thin sheet of dough, dotting it with a creamy cheese, covering everything up and baking it. The result is wonderful, and in the days of carriages the people of Genova used to take day-trips to...

How to Make A Piadina Romagnola
La Piadina, Romagna's flatbread, is extremely popular. Little wonder; it's tasty to bite into, wonderful when spread with cheese, an excellent foil for cold cuts, and (when folded) perfect for containing all sorts of things, for example grilled sausages and onions. And it's easy to make!

How To Make Panigacci and Focaccette
Panigacci are a simple, quickly cooked flatbread typical of the Lunigiana region along the Tosco-Ligurian border. If you return them to the fire they puff up, and become focaccette. Hearth cooking at its finest!

Pani Pasquali: Easter Breads
Recipe requests vary with the time of year. Before Christmas it's the Seven Fishes, and come spring people ask for Easter breads of one sort or another. These are not the standard breads one buys day-to-day in Italian bakeries, but rather something more: Breads that contain cheese, breads that contain sausage or salami, breads that contain hard-boiled eggs...

La Focaccia Ligure
Focaccia Ligurian flatbread, is the perfect bread for a simple meal or a quick snack, and an excellent antipasto too. There are many variations on the theme.

Primavera Bread Recipe - Pane Alla Primavera - Spring Bread Recipe
This is more -- considerably more -- than a bread, but does bring together the goodness of spring in a very tasty package.

Anthony Iannacone's Pizza Rustica Napoletana Recipe
Anthony Iannacone is an old fried with whom I have corresponded for years. His family is from Campania, and he has recently published a cookbook entitled Campania Region, An Italian Food Legacy. Among the many classic dishes from Campania is Pizza Rustica, and he has been kind enough to share it with us.

How to Make a Piadina alla Romagnola
Romagna's flatbread, is extremely popular. Little wonder; it's tasty to bite into, wonderful when spread with cheese, an excellent foil for cold cuts, and (when folded) perfect for containing all sorts of things, for example grilled sausages and onions. In other words, it's an excellent cookout bread. And it's easy to make!

Mildred's Pizza Rustica: A Rich Easter Treat
Aiana kindly writes: Are you ready? It's a tradition. It goes by many names but it's definitely an Easter Tradition. It's called Pizza Rustica,Pizza gain, Meat pie. It's contents differs from Family to Family . While it has spilled over into other Regions, It originated in Naples. This is my mother Mildred's Recipe.

Cheesy Easter Pie
This is actually a rich, cheesy bread, rather than a pie, and a delight with salami and a good zesty red wine.

Pan Di Ramerino
Pan di Ramerino is a Florentine Easter tradition, large chewy rolls (to give an idea of their size) delightfully flavored with rosemary and raisins. Though you'll now find them in almost every bakery throughout the winter, in the past they were made on Maundy Thursday (the day before Good Friday), marked with the Cross, and sold by street vendors outside the churches.

Puff Pastry, or Pasta Sfoglia
Making pastry dough from scratch takes some doing, and good instructions are quite important. Pellegrino Artusi's recipe is one of the finest: The beauty of this pastry dough lies in the way it rises, becoming light and multi-layered. These characteristics make it difficult for those who don’t have much experience; though you really should watch a master chef prepare it, I will do my best to tell you how.

Classic Italian Breads
Bread is one of the most variable of Italian foods: In different areas you'll find different flours or combinations of flours, some poeple use salt and others do not, some shape their breads into loaves, whereas others prefer rounds, wheels, or even crosses, some brush their bread with oil, some dry it... And that's just a beginning.

Sciovate Cunzate
The Sicilian word cunzate means stuffed, and is appropriate; these tomato-filled focacce are a specialty of the town of Marsala, and are made with bread dough to which one has added more water than one would normally use when making bread. They are an excellent snack.

A Maxi Calzone
A calzone is a pizza folded over to close the topping on the inside, and since it resembles a large sock in shape that's what it's called -- the word calzone means sock in Italian. Sometimes they contain tomato, though it's not a requirement, and the combination of bitter greens and pancetta here is quite nice.

A Pesto Pizza
Once again, there is nothing that says one must put tomato sauce on a pizza. This is quite good.

Pizza with Brie and Artichokes, or Pizza Con Brie e Carciofi
Pizza really can be topped with just about anything, and though the vast majority of toppings do contain tomato, there's nothing that requires it. The flavors meld very well, and this will be quite nice in the winter months.

Caribe Pizza
This is another inventive pizza that you won't find in the neighborhood pizzeria, at least not mine in Florence. You will, on the other hand, find it in trendier places in the heart of town. If you are not a fan of swordfish, you could use tuna steak, or even chicken breast.

Singapore Pizza
This combination of fruit and chicken is decidedly unusual by Italian standards -- they don't have it in the pizzeria around the corner from my house in Florence -- but it is good, and it also invites improvisation. For example, you could use swordfish or salmon steaks instead of chicken breast. The recipe will make 4 pizzas; you'll need:

Fiery Pizza, or Pizza Focosa
Fiery Pizza, or Pizza Focosa: This is a wintery pizza that will be quite nice when it's cold out. If you use canned beans it will be much quicker to do, though perhaps not as tasty as it would be with freshly cooked beans. Another option, which would be especially good at New Year's, would be to use lentils instead of beans. The topping quantities will be sufficient for 3-4 pizzas.

Pizza with Clams, or: Pizza alle Vongole Veraci
Rich, tasty, and elegant. Who could ask for more?

Pizza alla Provenzale
Pizza need not be made with tomato, and here's a tasty, oniony variation for those who do not like the golden orb (pomo d'oro, or pomodoro in Italian) You'll need:

Pizza with Olives -- Pizza alle Olive
(And quite a bit more.) If you want to be technical, this is almost a focaccia, because the dough is baked and then topped. But it is quite zesty, and will be refreshing on a hot day.

Bruschetta
Bruschetta is classic simplicity: good bread lightly rubbed with garlic, toasted, and seasoned with good olive oil. Salt, and who could ask for more?

Bruschetta with Garlic Cream: Bruschetta con Crema di Aglio
Something for the garlic lovers among us to enjoy!

Cornetti & Brioches! (Breakfast in Italy)
What could be better?

Frozen-Dough Foccaccia
Quick & tasty -- excellent as an antipasto, and easy enough for children to make too.

Easter Breads
Savory Easter breads filled with salami, cheese, and other delights to bring joy to the home.

Focacce and Calzoni
More wonders from the pizza oven.

La Focaccia Ligure: Liguria's Focaccia
About the perfect bread for a rustic meal or a quick snack, and an excellent antipasto too.

Focaccia Ligure: The basic recipe
A thin loaf of bread that's tamped down with a spoon to make dimples, salted, and drizzled with olive oil before it goes into the oven.

Focaccia col Formaggio: Cheese-Filled Focaccia
This is a stunning treat.

Focaccia con la Salvia: Focaccia with Sage
A close cousin of the basic focaccia, delicately flavored with sage.

Focaccia con le Cipolle: Focaccia Topped with Onions
This was the traditional sendoff of the Ligurian sailor.

Gnocchi Fritti Recipe - Italian Fried Bread Recipe
These fried gnocchi are a tasty antipasto, and, served with a selection of cold cuts (prosciutto and salami, for example), spreadable cheeses such as stracchino, or even a soft cheese along the lines of brie or Toma, and a crisp bottle of dry Lambrusco, also make a dandy mid-afternoon snack.

Friselle
Puglia's dried bread rings are heavenly after you've dipped them in water and topped them with fresh tomatoes, olive oil, and hot peppers.

Home-Baked Bread: Pane Casalingo
Home-baked bread: this isn't a holiday treat, but it is good!

Neapolitan Easter Bread
A Neapolitan Easter bread with bell peppers, prosciutto, ham, and other goodies.

Ron Roefaro's Easter Bread Recipe
This Easter bread recipe is kindly shared by Ron Roefaro, who writes, It is hard to find good recipes for Easter Bread like my family made. I have experimented and have come up with this, which is very close in look, taste and texture.

Pizza Rollup with Sausage and Pancetta
A sheet of dough, covered with sausage and pancetta, rolled up, coiled, and baked: Who could ask for more?

Potato Bread with herbs
A rich, herby potato bread with hard-boiled eggs.

Scacciata: A Sicilian Treat
A tasty savory pie with tomatoes and Caciocavallo or Provolone cheese.

Savory Neapolitan Easter Bread
A simpler, but equally tasty Neapolitan Easter bread with salami and cheese.

Sfingiuni, Sfincione, and Fried Pizza Sicilian Style
Several recipes for a classic Sicilain treat.

Taralli: South Italian Bread Rings
These can be savory or sweet, and are dangerously addictive.

Cheesy Easter Pie: Torta di Pasqua al Formaggio
This is actually a rich, cheesy bread, rather than a pie, and a delight with salami and a good zesty red wine.

Stuart Borken's Focaccia
An excellent basic recipe for bakery-type focaccia, with a number of topping suggestions.

Yogurt Raita with Hot Pepper Bread Sticks
If you follow the recipe you'll obtain a zesty antipasto, crunchy bread sticks with a creamy, cheesy dip. Omit the peppers (and the dip) and you'll have Piemonte's classic grissini.

Panzanella
A simple, delicious Tuscan bread salad.

The Ciabatta Suite
An exhaustive look into a great north Italian bread, with many recipes, from the folks at The Artisan. Excellent!

Garlic Bread
A quintessential favorite beyond the National Borders (it's not nearly as common in Italy).

Grissini
Tasty bread sticks are the stuff of life in Northern Italy. From the folks at The Artisan.

Pane di Castagne
Chestnut flour bread. From Claudio, a baker who writes for The Artisan (both home and professional versions).

Pane di Farina di Patate
Potato bread. The home version, from Claudio, a baker who writes for The Artisan.

Panzanella
Corby Kummer speaks with some of Florence's best cooks and a host of others in his quest for the perfect Panzanella, one of the finest uses one could think of for stale bread. From The Atlantic.

Piadine
All about the Emilian equivalent of pita bread, from the folks at the Artisan

Sourdough Bread (and Starter)
The sort of bread you once enjoyed if you're old enough to predate Wonderbread. Or more recently if you have a good bakery nearby. Nicely done, from La Lama Family Secrets.

Three Sicilian Breads
Deatialed instructions from the folks at the Artisan.

Tramezzini With Herb Salad and Ricotta
"Tramezzini are the little caffè sandwiches of Italy," writes Erica de Mane. "They are skinny and usually filled with purées, patés, or thin slices of meat, vegetables, or soft cheese."

Pettole, Apulian Fried Dough Balls
Pettole, Apulian Fried Dough Balls, Treats of the Christmas Season

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