First courses–typically soup and pasta.

Butter-based, Primi


Basil is another item I associate with summer. In fact, my dad would plant basil in between the tomatoes in his garden. It really thrived in the humid New Jersey climate, and we had an abundance when the days got hot and lazy. Consequently, spaghetti with pesto was a frequent summer supper, often eaten in […]

Butter-based, Primi

Farfalle with Salmon

This is another dish of my own creation. It’s a nice dish to eat al fresco on a warm summer night—but I often serve it with the Christmas Eve feast. (My dad, on the other hand, would typically make spaghetti with a crab marinara, made with crabs he had caught and frozen over the summer). […]

Butter-based, Primi

Spaghetti with Spinach, Bacon, & Cream

This is another one of my own inventions, though it’s in some ways similar to a carbonara. I normally get a fresh bunch of spinach, but you can also save some effort by getting a bag of pre-washed. If you’re starting with a fresh bunch, tear off the stems and soak the leaves in a […]


Escarole and beans

Escarole is a slightly bitter green related to endive and frisée. It’s pretty coarse when raw, but softens up with cooking. It can be hard to find in supermarkets, though you can sometimes find it in the farmer’s market in winter. I used to grow my own—it grows pretty well in SoCal. This is a […]

Primi, Tomato-based

Rigatoni Bolognese

I could go on all day about Bologna. It’s an amazing city, home to one of the oldest universities in Europe, and arguably the birthplace of modern medicine. The architecture is significant for its tall midieval towers, though only a few remain of the many that once dominated the town. The sidewalks are covered by […]