This is a classic Florentine pork roast of Tuscany, Arista alla Fiorentina. Like much Tuscan food, it has few ingredients so they must be of top quality.
In this case, it's just a pork loin roasted with rosemary, garlic, and black pepper, and a couple of whole cloves just to get wacky, in a Tuscan sense.
This is a totally succulent and aromatic piece of meat that is wonderful fresh from the oven, but it is also good (and frequently) served cold in a picnic or other al fresco setting. I know that because I read it, but also because that's how I ate the leftovers with a little mostarda...there was no need to reheat them.
This is a simple vegetarian dish. According to the Accademia Italiana della Cucina, it's "typical of Caserta", a humdrum little town northeast of Naples with an immense and fabulous palace and gardens. I don't know why this simple dish has such specific roots, but there you have it. It's delicious in any event.
We visited Caserta in 2015 to see the royal palace of the Bourbon kings, and I recommend it!
Rory O'More was an Irish nobleman of an ancient lineage ruined by the British Crown, and one of four leaders of the Irish Rebellion of 1641. He was a dashing figure known for his wit, cleverness, and compassion, and he became wildly popular among the Irish laboring and dying under the British imperial yoke. A generation after the rebellion, Oliver Cromwell attempted to destroy the Irish people and killed (by some estimates) a third of them. Almost two centuries (and some more rebellions) later, the Great Hunger saw the loss of a third again. Then came hard-won independence... By the time of the Golden Age of the Cocktail, is it any wonder that the many Irish descendants in America would name a cocktail after this hero?
This is essentially a Manhattan Cocktail made with Irish Whiskey and orange bitters. I like it with Powers Gold and Dolin vermouth.
This Spezzatino di Coda di Manzo is a recipe from the northeastern Italian Alps. It includes typical mountain seasoning like juniper berries and bay leaves. This is not the iconic oxtail stew from the area of Rome/Lazio, called Coda alla Vaccinara, which has tomatoes and batons of celery in it.
Oxtail has a lot of collagen, so slow cooking develops it into a rich, delicious stew full of umami goodness. Leftovers make a great sauce for pasta.
This frittata is typical of Lombard tastes, although it could certainly be made anywhere in Italy.
This one is rich and heavy enough to be served at any meal. It would be fine with a little pepper jelly, or maybe a glass of Barbera d'Alba!
This Fagiolini Rifatti, or "twice-cooked beans" is nothing at all like Tex-Mex refried beans! Italian uses the same word, fagioli, to mean both green beans and dried beans.
This is an easy dish that bursts with the contrasting flavors and colors of the green beans and the red tomatoes.
Chicken alla Romana is a classic Roman dish of chicken with bell peppers. There are many recipes, but maybe the best known is that of Sora Lella.
Sora Lella was a fictional character portrayed on TV and in movies for decades by Elena Fabrizi. Elena was also a renowned foodie and restaurateur in Rome. This was her cornerstone dish.
Here's an intriguing idea - a mint-leaf omelette!
I saw this a lot while researching i frittati, usually near other simple omelettes that called only for garden-fresh herbs. During nice weather we always have plenty of spearmint and peppermint in the garden, so I decided to give this a try.
It's delicious! The mint needs nothing else, no cheese or onion, and certainly no sugar. It's simple and elegant!
I'd wanted to try this old style cocktail for years, since first reading about it in Ted Haigh's fun book Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails.
The reason that it took this long to mix this particular forgotten cocktail is that the main ingredient, Orange Gin, is a true vintage spirit that has been extinct for decades. But now Tanqueray makes one, their Sevilla Orange Gin, so I got to try it.
I think a lot of people would like it, but it's not my new favorite. The gin is quite sweet, so I tried again and doubled the lemon juice, and that helped a lot. Your mileage may vary, or course!
I thought this sounded interesting, and I kept an open mind about how good it would be. After all, I am trying lots of new Italian recipes these days, and it's as much an exploration as it is just making another dinner every night. But this one I really liked, and I will definitely make it again!
Here's a Spezzatino Speziato, or spicy pork stew.
It's not spicy the way we Americans usually employ the term; it is not hot at all, but it's loaded with ground cumin and coriander, and the lemon gives it a light citrusy zing.
This would be good served over rice.
This Pampanella is a strange recipe from Molise that I found in the encyclopedic La Cucina, The Regional Cooking of Italy, from the Accademia Italiana Della Cucina (I wish the USA had such an institute!).
You rub morsels of pork with garlic and chili and roast it, then pick the cooked meat out of the juices and finish them with vinegar, and discard the juices. It's a strange preparation, but i couldn't stop picking at it when it was finished... it's bewitching.
This recipe for Spezzatino di Maiale all Bolzanese comes from Bolzano, in the northeastern Italian Alps, beyond Venice. The paprika is a clue that this dish has Austrian roots, from the long period that northern Italy was under the control of the Hapsburgs and the Holy Roman Empire.
The pork shoulder has enough flavor to support the other strong flavors and the mix or tomatoes and paprika makes is a memorable cold-weather dish!
This is traditionally served with hot polenta.