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The Essential Steps to Mastering Italian Cuisine

Learning a new cuisine is a lot like learning a new language. With a language, there's a grammar and vocabulary that together allow you to form sentences and express yourself. With a cuisine, there's a body of techniques that function much like a grammar. When they're combined with the cuisine's …

Cooking

Fry Up Leftover Risotto Into These Crispy Pancakes

More<p>Pancakes<p>Serious Eats digs into pancakes around the world.<p>In just about every country where rice is consumed, some gloriously crispy form of it exists. There are Rice Krispies, duh; and then there's <i>tahdig</i>, the Persian mound of rice encased in crackly golden shell, which is very trendy now;</i> …

Risotto

How to make Tuscan thyme baked beans

<b>Tuscan thyme baked beans</b><p>Once you’ve got this simmering away it’s a low maintenance wonder that blips quietly making amazing smells and then provides …

Rachel Roddy’s Neapolitan beef and onions recipe

In the middle of Benedetta Gargano’s flat in Naples is a white, oval table. The table once lived three streets away in the dining room of Benedetta’s maternal grandmother, Elisa, where the extended family would sit at least three times a week when they all gathered to eat. And eat they did: Elisa …

Italian Food

Rachel Roddy’s recipe for pasta cacio e pepe

Of all the classic Roman pasta dishes, cacio e pepe was the one I tasted first – and still the one I like best. It has just three ingredients: pasta, cacio (aka pecorino romano) and freshly cracked black pepper. In cooking, though, the pasta creates another ingredient: the cloudy cooking water …

Italy

Rachel Roddy’s recipe for a potato and porcini bake

Having spent three days ill in bed, putting three potatoes into the oven felt like quite an achievement. As did the scent that filled the flat with a kind of “husky wellbeing”, even though I felt far from it. You have to marvel at the transformation of baked potatoes, and with so little effort: …

Onions

Shortcut Baked Rigatoni with Meatballs

How to Make It<p>Step 1<p>Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large bowl, combine the pork, beef, breadcrumbs, basil, cheese, eggs, and 1 teaspoon each of salt …

Rachel Roddy's recipe for Italian porcini and potato soup

Saved by a woman in a grey coat with a tartan shopping trolley. Not that I hadn’t noticed the porcini I was about to buy were a bad lot. Even my amateur eyes could see that the worm holes were more craters than pin pricks, that the half-dozen specimens looked like they had been in a scrap. Yet …

Italian Food

Pasta recipes from the north and south of Italy

That Italians love their pasta is no news. Few things unite the country like a daily bowlful of spaghetti, and few dishes are so socially and geographically pervasive, and as representative of the Italian food culture, as pasta. And yet, as often happens with Italian food, regional differences are …

Italian Food

Stopgap pasta recipes using storecupboard basics

<b>Pasta with tomatoes and chilli</b><p>The key to success here is cooking the arrabiata sauce low and slow – a little patience will transform a dish you thought you knew into something far superior. Be sure to use whole rather than chopped tomatoes.<i><br>Trullo by Tim Siadatan (Square Peg)</i><p><b>Serves 4</b><br>400g dried …

Tomatoes

Piadina (Italian flatbread)

(2)<p>30 min<p>Piadina is an Italian flatbread from the region of Emilia-Romagna. The traditional recipe calls for lard in the dough which you can replace …

Bread

Taste Beyond The Tongue

Second helping: Rachel Roddy’s quicker pasta e ceci recipe

We called it “tatie hash.” The smell would meet us as we walked up the long garden path, and then my glasses would fug up as we walked in the sliding door and my grandma would remind us to be careful with the sliding door because it was “dicky.” The pan would bubble away on a back burner while we …

Food Preservation

Rachel Roddy’s Tuscan beef stew recipe

Somewhere there is a photograph of my mum clinging to a large terracotta pot. When the picture was taken she was in on the joke. A few hours earlier, however, as she tore open the letter from Customs and Excise, noting that she had illegally brought a Tuscan pot into the UK and that it would be …

Italian Food

Rachel Roddy’s three summer antipasti recipes

I am still trying to recreate the grilled aubergine we ate in Puglia almost a decade ago. We were in Supersano where my partner’s band were part of the line-up at a reggae and ska festival. It was August and the air was hot and thick with enough music and other substances to sway even the most …

Grilling

Rachel Roddy’s recipe for braised green beans with tomatoes and onions

My parents have a clever kettle. It has a sliding switch at the base that allows you to choose the best temperature for your drink or task. According to experts, white teas are best made with water at 70C, black tea 85C, herbal infusions 100C (except chamomile which prefers 90C ) and the optimum …

Italian Food

Rachel Roddy’s recipe for real minestrone soup

You probably don’t need a whole tin of plum tomatoes for today’s recipe: half will do. You might be tempted to put them all in, reasoning that you are making a big panful, and you don’t want another half tin of something hanging around the fridge, being pushed further and further in until it …

Italian Food

Rachel Roddy’s recipe for Roman-style oxtail stew

Now the trees are leafless, from our narrow balcony you can just about make out a statue of a winged god punching out a bull. The sculpture sits above the main entrance of the Ex-Mattatoio, Rome’s old slaughterhouse. The place was the bloody, beating heart of Testaccio until it closed in 1975. …

Italy

Rachel Roddy’s recipe for pasta all’amatriciana

With his bike in its usual place against the wall and a pile of broccoli trimmings on the next table, Augusto spreads three architect’s plans over one of the as-yet unset tables outside his trattoria in Testaccio. The first of the plans he shows me is of his family’s land just outside the town of …

Italian Food

Rachel Roddy’s recipe for Italian pasta and beans

Another week, another courtyard. But then Testaccio, with its plainly handsome 19th-century buildings mostly built in a figure of eight, has many courtyards. The courtyard of the flat I visited last week is smaller than most, more like a corridor, which is why the smell of beans met me long before …

Food Preservation

Rachel Roddy’s Tuscan vegetable broth recipe

Today’s recipe is very much inspired by <i>acquacotta</i>. It had been ages since I’d made this soup. For a while it was a regular, so I know the recipe well, but having been out of sorts in the kitchen lately, I sat down with a cup of tea and looked at the recipe before I got started. Not so much for the …

Italian Food

Rachel Roddy recipes: Classic Roman pasta and chickpea broth

I first ate <i>pasta e ceci</i> at Bucatino, the sprawling trattoria that occupies the ground-floor, left-hand corner of my old building. It was probably Friday – a traditional day for pasta e ceci – and I was with my partner, Vincenzo. It wasn’t my lunch, but his. It arrived in a deep bowl, steaming so …

Italian Food

Rachel Roddy’s pasta and potatoes recipe

Pasta e patate has saved our lunch and dinner more times that I care to remember. Yet far from being a weary last resort, which it can be, it is still one of my favourite things to make, to serve, to eat. I was taught to make it by my friend Ezio, a gently opinionated Calabrian who cooks for his …

Italian Food

Soffritto so good: Rachel Roddy's winter minestrone soup recipe

As a little girl I remember the jug of white celery that was always at the centre of the table when my grandma made high tea. It would have come from Lancashire, where the vegetables were cultivated in low-lying, deep peaty bog just outside Ashton-under-Lyne. Buried in trenches, the celery was …

Italian Food

Rachel Roddy’s Roman white beans and wilted greens recipe

When I moved to Rome 10 years ago, the front door of my third-floor flat opened into a narrow walkway suspended over an internal courtyard. If I stood on the walkway, I could just about see through the mesh windows into the kitchen of the trattoria that occupied the corner on the ground floor of …

Food Preservation

Rachel Roddy's roasted pumpkin risotto

My Grandma Roddy used to suck her breath in sharply, then breathe out “oooooh dear...” when something concerned her. As she got older <i>everything</i> concerned her – even thick-skinned fruit and vegetables; you would surely have a finger off when you tried to peel them with a sharp knife. On the way back …

Italian Food

Double take: a twice-cooked broccoli recipe direct from Rome

For some time, the word <i>ripassare</i> made me think only of Italian verbs. Or, rather, my struggle with them. <i>Ripassare</i> means re-pass, go over again – as in: <i>dovete ripassare questo verbo</i> (you must go over this verb again) – something we were told repeatedly by our kindly, if weary, teacher at the …

Food & Dining

Cook once, make four meals with bread

Good bread ages well. Of course it gets firmer and tougher, but these are exactly the qualities that make it so good for cooking with. A big loaf, prepped on a Sunday, provides a headstart on four excellent meals for four people.<p><b>To prepare the bread</b><p>You need an 800g–1kg loaf of day-old, good-quality …

Spices

My New Genius, 5-Ingredient Dinner to Make By Heart (Now Tell Me Yours)

No matter how much (or how little) you love cooking—we all need more effortless, make-by-heart dinners.<p>Part of this unquenchable need for quick dinners is, of course, that we’re all busy, and we all need to eat. But it’s also because we see words like “quick & easy” and “weeknight ___” applied in …

Italian Food

Smooth and Creamy Polenta Recipe

There are a lot of rules people say you need to follow to make polenta, like using a wooden spoon, stirring in only one direction, adding the polenta to boiling water, and stirring constantly. Forget those. What's <i>really</i> important is using the right ratio of liquid to cornmeal and cooking the …