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March 24, 2015

Is it Spring yet where you live?

gnocchi with gorgonzola and peas edited

Many of us are still desperately waiting for real springtime weather but I’m determined to at least start eating some dishes that feel like spring. I love this gnocchi with gorgonzola and peas.  The peas remind me that spring is near, yet the gorgonzola and gnocchi are still heartwarming when the weather still has that wintertime chill.

March 19, 2015

St. Joseph’s Day Treats


March is a month that is very dear to Italians, as today marks Italian Father’s Day, or La Festa di San Giuseppe. The tradition of setting out a bountiful feast every year on this day dates back to Sicily in the Middle Ages, when St. Joseph is said to have ended a period of terrible drought and famine. When the heavy rains finally arrived, people gave thanks by inviting the poor inside to feast with them at their table. Every year the Feast of Saint Joseph is celebrated with a big table full of delicious food and sweets, so give these St. Joseph’s Fig Cookies a try.

March 17, 2015

Healthy Pasta Featured in Redbook Magazine

Redbook April 2015

If you are looking for ways to lighten up pasta this springtime be sure to check out recipes from Tanya’s and Joe’s Healthy Pasta Cookbook featured in Redbook Magazine’s April issue which hits newsstands today. http://www.redbookmag.com/.

February 26, 2015

In and Around Umbria

Gubbio - Umbria (9)

As we are in this deep freeze in the northeast I can’t help but think of the beauty of Umbria during the summer. My family and I would share stories especially my son-in law, who always reminisces about the summers he would spend with his grandparents. He would play on the funivia, which was a tram that goes up to the top. One of my favorite eateries is also in this area as well. There is a bakery-tratorria truck stop called Il Panaro, near Gubbio. We drive there for the torta al testo, which was a freshly baked bread resembling focaccia split and stuffed with a choice of savory fillings, prosciutto or sausage or pecorino, ricotta, or stracchino. Being outside and basking in the Umbrian scenery, with the smell of charcoal in the air and a light taste of ash on your tongue, I am filled with the wonderful sense of family and of the heritage of food from one generation to another.

February 19, 2015

Winter Baking: My Cherry Jam Tart

Cherry Jam Tart

This cold weather makes me want to bake, but I also yearn for something that says summer. The cherry jam preserves and dried cherries in this tart allows you to make this year round. Enjoy! 

February 13, 2015

Celebrate “Red” on Valentine’s Day


I’m sure you all have a favorite chocolate dessert or candy that you share on this special day but why not add a little “red” to the meal with two special home cooked savory dishes as well?  My Beet Risotto and Seared Lamb Chops with Red Wine Sauce work beautifully for Valentine’s Day and show off a great  presentation. Enjoy! 

February 5, 2015

Carnevale 2015


This time of year is so fun and magical in Italy. During Carnevale Italians will be celebrating with costume parties, rich meat dishes, and plenty of sweets. Mischief and pranks are also a part of the festivites, which is the reason behind the phrase A Carnevale ogni scherzo vale—Anything goes at Carnival. Before we say our final farewells to winter, maybe a little last minute indulgence is in order as we get ready for spring? Crostoli :This is one name for the most popular carnevale dessert: fried dough. You will find variations on this delicious recipe throughout Italy; in much of southern Italy they are called chiacchiere, a fun Italian word meaning “chatter” or “chitchat.” Enjoy.

January 29, 2015

Tips for Soup

Bread & Basil Soup and Semolina & Escarole Soup and Oatmeal Biscuits (3)

Winter is a great time to put a hearty soup on the stove, whether it’s for a formal occasion or an everyday supper.  Remember to serve hot soup in warm bowls; you can bring the pot or a tureen of the soup to the table, have warm bowls stacked up and ladle out and garnish each serving when everyone is seated.  This will give you a great presentation and a safe delivery.  Dress soups with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some grated Grana Padano, and your guests are ready to eat.  Enjoy!


January 23, 2015

Happy Birthday Grandma Erminia!

walkens 8 - grandma erminia

I know her as Mama; most of you know her as Grandma. Today is a special day as we celebrate another beautiful birthday with her. She has been with me all week as I test recipes with my team at home for another cookbook. She helps clean the vegetables, offers her sound advice and of course helps to taste.  We wouldn’t have it any other way.  Tanti Auguri!

January 19, 2015

Delicious Citrus

Back Camera

This is the season for citrus—clementines, oranges, blood oranges, tangerines and much more.  These fruits are not only tasty but also rich in antioxidants and Vitamin C, which is another perfect excuse to include them in your recipes during this time of year. I particularly love Blood Oranges, which I discovered in Sicily years ago but have also found them here during the winter months. They are best eaten fresh, out of hand or in salads, salsas, or marmalades or you can try them in my Orange and Red Onion Salad. Enjoy!

Food Books and Dvds Tableware

Lidia's Italy in America
Lidia brings viewers on a road trip into the heart of Italian-American cooking.
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Lidia's Pasta and Sauces
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Lidia's Stoneware Collection

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