Ciao amici! With Easter coming early this year I wanted to post this in time for you to consider making it for your Easter brunch or dinner. It is well worth the effort involved.
This is not really a pizza in the traditional sense. It is often referred to as a torta, which I think is more accurate. In Naples and southern Italy it is traditionally served on Ash Wednesday and again on Easter so it is also known as Easter Pie.
This dish is very unique in that it combines a sweet, tender, egg pastry dough (what the Italians call pasta frolla) with savory fillings such as prosciutto, salami, eggs, and a blend of cheeses. The sweet-savory combination comes alive in your mouth. It is one of my personal favorites.
If you are having a party or an Easter brunch, and don’t mind going to a little trouble—this delightful, unusual dish will impress your guests like few others. It looks gorgeous. It’s delicious. And it tastes unlike anything they’ve ever had before. We made it for one of our Frankie’s wine dinners and it was one of the most popular dishes we’ve ever served. It may be served hot or at room temperature.
If you are like me you sometimes think of summer as seafood season. But clams are best in the winter. This recipe was published in my cookbook, Frankie at Home in the Kitchen, still available online as an eBook.
I really love traditional clam sauce, but this Tuscan variation with the addition of some crushed tomatoes is really amazing. This recipe is best with fresh clams, but for a simple, and still delicious weeknight dinner, you can make it with canned clams. You could make this with spaghetti or another long pasta if you prefer but I really like the linguine. It holds the sauce better and has more body to it.
Nobody likes eating sand with their clams so be sure to read my Frankie’s Tips on how to purge the sand from fresh clams.
One other Frankie’s Tip… this one for Food Safety. Be sure to discard any clams which do not open up when you cook them! This means those clams were not alive to begin with and may be contaminated with bacteria or toxins.
This recipe is is my cook book, but for those who do not have a copy I wanted to post it here. This would be a great recipe for Christmas Eve or New Year’s or any time you want to impress your friends or family. And it really is fairly easy to prepare. No special skills needed!
I tried many different recipes before developing this one. I took the best from each and developed my own recipe which I think tops them all.
Marsala is a fortified wine from the Island of Sicily. It comes in a “sweet” or “dry” version. The recipe calls for Sweet Marsala but I’ve used Dry and liked it just as well. It is just slightly less sweet.
I grew up eating fruitcake. And I actually like the stuff. Not sure what that says about me… but yes, I’ve been accused of being one. My Mom would make fruitcakes and place them in the refrigerator, and cover them with a Brandy soaked cloth. When I was young that was a bit strong for me but as I grew up I came to like it more and more.
Well the people of the ancient city of Siena in Tuscany have a dessert called Panforte. Though sometimes called an Italian fruitcake, it shares little resemblance to the version of fruit cake so many of you despise. I first made it when doing my cookbook and it was sooo good that of course it made the cut.
Panforte is a traditional dessert–really more of a gooey confectionary–originating from the ancient city of Siena many centuries ago, but now popular all over Italy. Panforte’s main ingredients are honey, sugar, almonds, hazelnuts, candied citrus peel. Some versions have dried (not candied) fruits. It also has many of the spices you would find in a traditional spice cake. I’ve made this for the holidays. Its so rich that its hard to eat a lot at once, but I couldn’t keep from snacking on it several times per day.
A fun option is to make a number of mini Panforte to give away as gifts. To do so, double the recipe and cook in a 9×13 baking pan. Then using an oiled circular cutter, cut into mini Panforte. Wrap each in wax paper and tie with colored string. You then have all the yummy leftover scraps to eat yourself.
Braciole is a beef roll up which hails from southern Italy. I saw a recipe which claimed to be a hundred year old family recipe, so it’s been around a long time. For some crazy reason though, which I cannot for the life of me understand, I waited years before trying it. Then I wondered what the heck took me so long! It is not only delicious, but it’s really not that complicated or time consuming. If you’d like you could serve it with pasta or over some polenta.
I’m not sure I’d classify this as a fancy dinner or rustic peasant food? Either way I think it will impress your family or friends.
The steps are easy. You (or your butcher) cut the steak thin, pound it out thinner, and then layer it with cheese, breadcrumbs, herbs and prosciutto… roll it up, tie it and cook it in some good tomato sauce and you’re ready to eat with a grateful heart.
This is a pasta we served on out Spring menu every year at Frankie’s. You can see photos of my line cook preparing it below.
This recipe is in my cook book, but since the book is sold out (you can still get it as an eBook on Amazon), I thought I’d share it here. I call this pasta “Mediterranean” because the addition of feta cheese and kalamata olives takes it out of the typical sphere of Italian cooking, making it more Greek in nature. The flavor combination is exceptional.
This pasta is easy to make and is also a very healthy recipe. I hope you’ll give it a try!
You need two recipes to make this… our Pomodoro Sauce recipe and the recipe for the pasta. Both can be found below.