What makes EVOO EVOO?

We get this question all the time so we decided to ask the experts at Colavita, the makers of Rachael’s EVOO: A basic definition of EVOO: First cold produced from select olives, Rachael Ray’s EVOO is the natural juice squeezed from olives one day after the harvest. No heat or chemicals are used in extracting […]


My Cassata Cake saga

I decided to make a classic Sicilian dessert called the Cassata cake. It’s really like the filling of a cannoli stuffed in the middle of a sponge cake. My family has been making this cake for generations and it’s time I learn how to do it myself. Halfway through, I realized I made a major […]

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Roasted Garlic Madness

One of my favorite tastes is roasted garlic. I love the way the whole house smells just when the garlic gets going in the oven, but this is so easy, you can do it on the grill if you are already out there grilling other things and you don’t want to heat up the house […]


Buba Cul’Uova

Here is an email to me from my aunt, Rachel Cala: In Italy, food has always played a symbolic and important role in Easter Festivities. The egg is the Christian emblem of the Resurrection, and Sicilians love to make charming miniature pastry baskets, breads and “dolls” of homemade bread called Buba Cul’Uova. I can remember […]


Not quite Easter party

Last weekend, we had some friends over for a post St Joseph’s Day and not quite Easter party. We knew we wouldn’t see these friends for the actual holidays, so we made a hybrid meal. The St Joseph’s Day tradition is a Sicilian one, really. It isn’t nearly as popular as it used to be […]


Caponata- eggplant dish of the Gods

Caponata, or as my Sicilian family calls it, Capunatina, is a Southern Italian classic. Really it comes from Sicily and you can tell that this one has Arab roots. It’s easy to mess up Caponata so it’s important to take every ingredient seriously and take it slow. Here’s my recipe for this dish from heaven: […]

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My red sauce “aha moment”

I decided to make Brasciole for our New Year’s Eve fancy dinner and I realized I had some leftover ham in the fridge from the day before.  I didn’t want to throw it out, but I had never used ham in brasciole.  So what do you think I did?  I called Ms Rachael Ray and […]


Inside the pasta drawer

I was looking this morning at this pasta I brought home from Italy, made from farro. I found what sounds like a delicious recipe for this particular kind of pasta, or for a whole wheat pasta, from Pino Luongo and Mark Strausman’s book, Two Meatballs in the Italian Kitchen. A great book, by the way! […]


Bevagna, Umbria, Italy

We visited this tiny, walled village this year and it proved to be one of my favorite places in Italy. Known for its handicrafts, such as the ironworks, the ceramics and the weavings, this place was full of hand made goods that carry a taste of the village and the people who made them. This […]


Fall Italian Guide

As your amico italiano and a lover of Italian foods, I wanted to show you our handy dandy Italian cooking guide that we launched.  Take me to the guide. This little mini site has appetizers, pizzas, pastas, main courses and desserts all with Italian flavors and flair.  We thought you might like to find this […]