Artusi’s February: Agnolotti

I noticed that this month’s list of Artusi’s suggestions for the perfect lunch included Agnolotti (Artusi spells it “Agnellotti”), a traditional meat-filled pasta from Le Langhe in Piemonte, a gorgeous region in the north western corner of Italy for which I have a soft spot. Home to famous red wines such as Barolo and Barbaresco, the hearty, country dishes speak of the land, the hills and the traditions of the area. The restaurant of the historic... Read More

Artusi’s January: Biancomangiare

Artusi’s cookbook is probably the first book I pick up to check a recipe, which is not always convenient seeing as it was written in 1891 and some of the methods, ingredients and techniques described just can’t be produced the same way over a century later. But it is somehow still current. I mean, his recipes are still the best traditional recipes. And with his witty anecdotes and practical recipes, it is actually a very good read. It’s an... Read More

La Scarpetta: when you want to lick the plate clean

You know when you have that irresistible saucy goodness on your plate at the end of a meal that makes you seriously consider licking your plate like a starving maniac in public? Well the Italians have come up with a great solution for that. It’s called la scarpetta. Fare la scarpetta, roughly translated as “to do the little shoe,” is the very charming act of using a small piece of bread to mop up the wonderful sauce on your plate that you cannot... Read More

The art of cicchetti-ing in Venice

Venice in the quiet of the winter is when I love this city the most. There is something about the mystery of the dark, damp city that is brought out even more by the misty weather. Thomas Mann described Venice as “half fairy-tale, half tourist trap,” an observation that is still valid even a century later, and is actually, I think, one of the things that contributes to the city’s mystery and charm. For me Venice is almost always a fairytale,... Read More

Blessed are the Cheese Makers

In one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever come across, near Pienza in the Val d’Orcia in Southern Tuscany, there is a farm that makes one of the most heavenly things on earth: cheese. Real cheese. Cheese that speaks to you of a place and the people who made it. Pecorino cheese has long been famous in these parts. It gets its name from the word pecora, Italian for “sheep” as it is, unsurprisingly, made from sheep’s milk. There are... Read More