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We caught up with Lidia at All the Best Fine Foods in Toronto last week where she introduced a new line of wines, dry pastas and pasta sauces. Lidia is popular, for certain. Braving the large crowd (many lined up around the block for a chance to meet her), we sat down with Lidia to chat a bit about her products, and of course, what defines the “Italian Experience.”
We’re only a week away from the premier of Lidia’s Italy in America! We’re continuing the countdown with a few fun recipes and behind the scenes photos from Italian American New England.
Lidia’s Italy in America begins to air on September 10th; be sure to check your local television listings to see when Lidia’s show airs in your area!
The accompanying cookbook, filled with more than 175 recipes, will be released October 25th. Don’t miss the discounted presale!
Ippoglosso di Gloucester al Forno
Gloucester Baked Halibut
This delicious baked halibut recipe came from The Gloucester House, presided over by Leo Linquata, with whom we had a lovely lunch on the porch of the restaurant. This fish is simple to make and the recipe can easily be multiplied if you have guests coming.
Get a sneak peek at this Lidia’s Italy in America recipe on Lidia’s website.
Spotlight on Providence, RI
Federal Hill is the Italian neighborhood in Providence, and Piazza De Pasquale seems to be the community’s beating heart. Scattered trees and umbrellas shade the outside seating of the cafes and restaurants on the square. There is a bronze fountain gently squirting water, and colorful flowers drape from the pots on the lampposts. One might as well be in a piazza in Napoli; there is gurgling water, people chattering, even an Italian song sung now and then.
If you visit Providence, be sure to check out: Caffe Dolce Vita, Antonelli Poultry, Constantino’s Venda Ravioli, Constantino’s Ristorante Caffe, and the Scialo Bros. Bakery.
Behind-the-Scenes in New England
Constantino’s in Piazza de Pasquale, Providence
Luigi Charchia serenades Lidia in Piazza de Pasquale
Scialo Brothers Bakery in Providence
A sampling of fresh eggs at Antonelli Poultry
If you missed Lidia on the Today show yesterday, watch her make Skillet Gratinate of Zucchini and Chicken here–recipe included!
We’re back this week with a look at Pittsburgh, the next stop on our Lidia’s Italy in America tour. Join us as we count down the days until the release of Lidia’s newest series and book!
Stay tuned for upcoming posts featuring New Orleans, New England, and many more.
Lidia’s Italy in America begins to air September 10th, 2011. Check your local television listings for the exact schedule. The accompanying cookbook, filled with more than 175 recipes, will be released October 25th. Be sure to check out the discounted presale.
I had this dish at Del’s Bar & Ristorante DelPizzo on Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh, the local restaurant that caters to the neighborhood crowd. It’s not too far from our restaurant, Lidia’s, on Smallman Street. This velvety combination of tomato and cream sauce is good on any pasta. The day we were there it was offered with shells, but I think it is even better served with fettuccine.
Get a sneak peek at this Lidia’s Italy in America recipe and more on Lidia’s website.
Pittsburgh’s Little Italy
I have gotten to know Pittsburgh pretty well during the past ten years, doing research and then ultimately opening Lidia’s Pittsburgh in 2001. The city of steel (now the city of the Steelers) first attracted Italian immigrants toward the end of the nineteenth century. More than a century later, a welcoming Italian community still thrives near Pennsylvania Avenue and in the Bloomfield area, home to Pittsburgh’s Little Italy.
Places to visit: The Pennsylvania Macaroni Co., the Primante Brothers’ sandwich shops, Del’s Bar & Ristorante DelPizzo, and Merante Gifts.
Behind the Scenes in Pittsburgh
In anticipation of Lidia’s return to Public Television and the release of her newest book, we’re writing weekly features on some of the great cities Lidia visits in Lidia’s Italy in America. In addition to sharing a few fun facts, we’ll give you a sneak peek at new recipes and behind-the-scenes photos from each episode.
This week we’re featuring beautiful Southern California, but stay tuned for upcoming posts featuring New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and many more!
Lidia’s Italy in America begins to air September 10th, and the accompanying cookbook, filled with more than 175 recipes, will be released October 25th.
Be sure to check out the discounted presale
The love Italians have for the artichoke is evident at the table. It is also evident as you visit markets in Italy, when you search through the pickled and canned vegetables in the Italian section of specialty stores in America, and when you consider the endless number of recipes dedicated to this thistle.
Get a sneak peek at this Lidia’ Italy in America recipe on Lidia’s website.
Southern California and its Italian Vegetable Trail
Due to their similar climates, one could call Southern California a second Italy. Missing the products from their home country, Italian immigrants transported seeds and knowledge to their new home in Southern California. They developed what would become one of the largest agricultural communities to grow Italian produce like artichokes, purple asparagus, and red radicchio, just to name a few.
Whether you watch Lidia’s Italy in America or read the cookbook, you’ll travel with Lidia and Tanya from San Clemente to Modesto, where they learn all about the Italian-American families who cultivated the farms that give this part of Southern California its reputation. Check out photos from Lidia’s trip below!
Fun Fact: Did you know that artichokes are one of the oldest foods known to humans? The Greek philosopher and naturalist Theophrastus wrote of them being grown in Sicily in 300 B.C. In the 1920s, it was Italians who turned most of the cornfields in California’s Central Coast into a garden of artichokes. As a result, today we have Castroville, CA, known as the Artichoke Capital of the World. Every May, the Artichoke Festival takes over the town, and visitors are offered field tours and are able to taste artichokes cooked in every method imaginable. There is an antique car show, a show of agro art (three-dimensional artworks made of produce), and also a run and walk through the artichoke fields. It comes as no surprise that California accounts for 99.9 percent of the artichokes grown in the United States!
Behind the Scenes in Southern California
Lidia with the beautiful artichokes at Pezzini Farms
At the garlic fields at LJB Farms
Wading in the fields of broccoli rabe at Andy Boy Farms with Margaret D’Arrigo
Vibrant Royal Rose Radicchio
Brent and Russ Bonino at LJB Farms