First courses–typically soup and pasta.

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 […]

Primi, Tomato-based

Spaghetti al’Amatriciana

Here’s another one you can make with stuff you’ve probably already got in the pantry. It’s great when you want to make something quick. It should have a little kick to it, but not too much. It’s very traditional, but so simple, you won’t find it on many menus. It reminds me of when your […]

Oil-based, Primi

Orrechiette with cauliflower

This is another sauce in the olive oil and garlic family. It’s similar to a dish made with broccoli rabe, which is sort of a wild cousin to broccoli, but cauliflower is a bit denser and harder to overcook. In fact, it’s even better when it’s a bit caramelized.  Though orrechiette (little ears) is the […]

Oil-based, Primi

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

This is another wonderfully simple dish—but it’s also very easy to screw up. It used to be standard fare at any self-respecting Italian restaurant, but nowadays, it’s hard to find. That’s partly because it’s made with raw eggs, and our health inspectors probably make it hard to cook in the traditional way. But also, as […]

Oil-based, Primi, Tomato-based

Spaghetti Puttanesca

After college, I worked one summer in an Italian restaurant, earning enough money to take a trip to Europe. I had no experience, but the restaurant was new (in fact, it hadn’t even opened yet), and they needed bodies. Also, when I met the chef/owner, Pasquale, I spoke a bit of Italian with him (though […]