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January 17, 2014

Ever been to Prato?


Adoro visitare qualsiasi luogo in Italia e sono rimasta piacevolmente sorpresa quando ho visitato Prato, in Toscana. Mia figlia Tanya ha vissuto per quattro anni a scrivere la sua tesi di dottorato incentrata sul Palazzo Datini. Il Duomo ha un pulpito esterno circolare disegnata da Donatello e ospita la sacra reliquia della cintura della Vergine Maria, la Sacra Cintola. La città ha una storia ricca di produzione tessile ed è stata la città natale di Filippo Lippi, un favoloso pittore rinascimentale. Con tutti gli splendori del Rinascimento, come la Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Carceri progettata da Antonio da Sangallo, la città è anche sede del primo museo in Toscana ad essere dedicato all’arte contemporanea, il Centro Pecci. Devo tornare presto!

Basilica Cattedrale di Santo Stefano a Prato

 

Filippo Lippi, Salomè riceve la testa del BattistaPhoto credit

I love visiting any place in Italy and was pleasantly surprised when I visited Prato, in Tuscany.  My daughter Tanya lived there for four years writing her PhD thesis focused on the Palazzo Datini.  The Duomo has a circular external pulpit designed by Donatello and houses the sacred relic of the Virgin Mary’s belt, the Sacra Cintola.  The city has a rich textile producing history and was the native hometown of Filippo Lippi, a fabulous Renaissance painter.  With all the Renaissance splendors, like the Church of Santa Maria delle Carceri designed by Antonio Sangallo, the town is also home to the first museum in Tuscany to be dedicated to contemporary art, The Pecci Center.  I must go back soon!

 

 

January 13, 2014

Trulli


La campagna dell’Istria è costellata di piccoli ripari di pietra circolare, utilizzato per contenere attrezzi agricoli. Questi sono stati costruiti senza l’uso di malta. Edificio simile si trova in tutta Europa e soprattutto in Puglia. Questo è in Galizana.

trulli

The countryside of Istria is dotted with small circular stone shelters, used to hold agricultural tools.  These were constructed without using any mortar.  Similar building can be found throughout Europe and especially in Puglia.  This one is in Galizana.

January 9, 2014

There’s a Lidia MARATHON on Create TV this weekend!


Create TV is happy to present a weekend marathon of Lidia’s Italy in America on January 11 and 12. The marathon will celebrate Lidia’s recent Daytime Emmy win and, of course, her delicious Italian dishes. Tune in to watch at the times below!

Saturday JANUARY 11:

05:30 AM
Lidia’s Italy in America
From Bloomfield to the Strip in Pittsburgh • Episode #207
Braised veal shank; olive oil mashed potatoes; peas with bacon.

06:00 AM
Lidia’s Italy in America
Italian Style Breakfast for Dinner • Episode #201
The Season 2 premiere features frittatas, including ricotta frittata; sausage, eggs and pepper frittata; and an asparagus-and-onion frittata. Also: How Italian-American sausage is made at Brooklyn’s Faicco restaurant.

06:30 AM
Lidia’s Italy in America
New York Italian Style • Episode #202
Italian-American comfort food, including zucchini-and-eggplant parmigiana; chicken piccante; and skillet cauliflower torrisi.

07:00 AM
Lidia’s Italy in America
Heartwarming Italian-American Classics • Episode #203
Chicken trombino; Italian-American meatloaf.

07:30 AM
Lidia’s Italy in America
Sicily in New York City • Episode #204
Stuffed calamari; broccoli with garlic and anchovies; cappuccino cake.

08:00 AM
Lidia’s Italy in America
Kansas City Alla Parmigiana • Episode #205
Penne rigate alla vodka; chicken parmigiana; tiramisu. Also: how chickens are raised in Emilia-Romagna, Italy.

08:30 AM
Lidia’s Italy in America
Yummy Pastas • Episode #206
Baked ziti; fettuccine Alfredo; spaghetti with basil-pistachio pesto.

09:00 AM
Lidia’s Italy in America
From Bloomfield to the Strip in Pittsburgh • Episode #207
Braised veal shank; olive oil mashed potatoes; peas with bacon.

09:30 AM
Lidia’s Italy in America
It’s Chicken Time • Episode #208
Braised chicken with smoky provola; chicken cacciatore dishes; a panzanella salad, which is made with tomatoes and day-old bread.

10:00 AM
Lidia’s Italy in America
Italian American Sandwiches • Episode #209
A New Orleans muffuletta sandwich; St. Louis’ veal hamburger parmiciano; Chicago’s Italian beef sandwich.

10:30 AM
Lidia’s Italy in America
New England’s Italy • Episode #210
Calamari fra diavolo over linguine; a salt cod, potato and string bean salad; zuppa Inglese.

11:00 AM
Lidia’s Italy in America
Italian-American Sandwiches #2 • Episode #211
Baltimore’s Italian-American civic club sandwich; a Primanti sandwich; a prosciutto, scallion and egg sandwich; celery, artichoke and mortadella salad.

11:30 AM
Lidia’s Italy in America
St. Louis’s Little Italy • Episode #212
Spaghetti and meatballs with arancini (rice balls).

12:00 PM
Chef John Besh’s Family Table
Creamy Heirloom Tomato Soup; The Perfect Frittata; Warm Any Fruit Crumble • Episode #115
Heirloom-tomato soup; frittatas; warm fruit crumble.

12:30 PM
Simply Ming
On the Road in the Azores • Episode #1017

1:00 PM
Julia/Jacques Cooking at Home
Potatoes • Episode #121
Potatoes are prepared in a variety of ways. Included: mashed potatoes, baked potatoes and potato casserole.

1:30 PM
Lidia’s Italy in America
Kansas City Alla Parmigiana • Episode #205
Penne rigate alla vodka; chicken parmigiana; tiramisu. Also: how chickens are raised in Emilia-Romagna, Italy.

2:00 PM
Cook’s Country/Test Kitchen
Irish Country Cooking • Episode #608
How to make Guinness beef stew; and brown soda bread. Also: the best whisks.

2:30 PM
Cooking With Nick Stellino
Halibut With a Kick & Aristocratic Risotto • Episode #112
Halibut with tequila and jalapeño pepper sauce; risotto with zucchini, goat cheese and prosciutto.

3:00 PM
Chef John Besh’s Family Table
Creamy Heirloom Tomato Soup; The Perfect Frittata; Warm Any Fruit Crumble • Episode #115
Heirloom-tomato soup; frittatas; warm fruit crumble.

3:30 PM
This Old House
Arlington Italianate Project 2014: A New Project in Arlington, MA • Episode #3309
Work begins on an 1872 Italianate-style home in Arlington, Mass., that has an awkward layout.

4:00 PM
R. Steves’ Europe
Poland Rediscovered: Krakow, Auschwitz and Warsaw • Episode #310
A visit to Poland includes stops at Krakow (“the next Prague”), Auschwitz and Warsaw.

4:30 PM
Joseph Rosendo’s Travelscope
Taiwan Lantern Festival • Episode #712
A visit to Taiwan during the Taiwan Lantern Festival, a Chinese holiday that’s more than 2000 years old.

5:00 PM
Lidia’s Italy in America
Kansas City Alla Parmigiana • Episode #205
Penne rigate alla vodka; chicken parmigiana; tiramisu. Also: how chickens are raised in Emilia-Romagna, Italy.

5:30 PM
Cook’s Country/Test Kitchen
Irish Country Cooking • Episode #608
How to make Guinness beef stew; and brown soda bread. Also: the best whisks.

6:00 PM
Lidia’s Italy in America
Italian Style Breakfast for Dinner • Episode #201
The Season 2 premiere features frittatas, including ricotta frittata; sausage, eggs and pepper frittata; and an asparagus-and-onion frittata. Also: How Italian-American sausage is made at Brooklyn’s Faicco restaurant.

6:30 PM
Lidia’s Italy in America
New York Italian Style • Episode #202
Italian-American comfort food, including zucchini-and-eggplant parmigiana; chicken piccante; and skillet cauliflower torrisi.

7:00 PM
Lidia’s Italy in America
Heartwarming Italian-American Classics • Episode #203
Chicken trombino; Italian-American meatloaf.

7:30 PM
Lidia’s Italy in America
Sicily in New York City • Episode #204
Stuffed calamari; broccoli with garlic and anchovies; cappuccino cake.

8:00 PM
Lidia’s Italy in America
Kansas City Alla Parmigiana • Episode #205
Penne rigate alla vodka; chicken parmigiana; tiramisu. Also: how chickens are raised in Emilia-Romagna, Italy.

8:30 PM
Lidia’s Italy in America
Yummy Pastas • Episode #206
Baked ziti; fettuccine Alfredo; spaghetti with basil-pistachio pesto.

9:00 PM
Lidia’s Italy in America
From Bloomfield to the Strip in Pittsburgh • Episode #207
Braised veal shank; olive oil mashed potatoes; peas with bacon.

9:30 PM
Lidia’s Italy in America
It’s Chicken Time • Episode #208
Braised chicken with smoky provola; chicken cacciatore dishes; a panzanella salad, which is made with tomatoes and day-old bread.

10:00 PM
Lidia’s Italy in America
Italian American Sandwiches • Episode #209
A New Orleans muffuletta sandwich; St. Louis’ veal hamburger parmiciano; Chicago’s Italian beef sandwich.

10:30 PM
Lidia’s Italy in America
New England’s Italy • Episode #210
Calamari fra diavolo over linguine; a salt cod, potato and string bean salad; zuppa Inglese.

11:00 PM
Lidia’s Italy in America
Italian-American Sandwiches #2 • Episode #211
Baltimore’s Italian-American civic club sandwich; a Primanti sandwich; a prosciutto, scallion and egg sandwich; celery, artichoke and mortadella salad.

11:30 PM
Lidia’s Italy in America
St. Louis’s Little Italy • Episode #212
Spaghetti and meatballs with arancini (rice balls).
- See more at: http://createtv.com/CreateProgram.nsf/ScheduleLookup?ReadForm&date=01/11/2014#06:00AM

FOR SUNDAY JANUARY 12:

12:00 PM
Lidia’s Italy in America
Italian Style Breakfast for Dinner • Episode #201
The Season 2 premiere features frittatas, including ricotta frittata; sausage, eggs and pepper frittata; and an asparagus-and-onion frittata. Also: How Italian-American sausage is made at Brooklyn’s Faicco restaurant.

12:30 PM
Lidia’s Italy in America
New York Italian Style • Episode #202
Italian-American comfort food, including zucchini-and-eggplant parmigiana; chicken piccante; and skillet cauliflower torrisi.

1:00 PM
Lidia’s Italy in America
Heartwarming Italian-American Classics • Episode #203
Chicken trombino; Italian-American meatloaf.

1:30 PM
Lidia’s Italy in America
Sicily in New York City • Episode #204
Stuffed calamari; broccoli with garlic and anchovies; cappuccino cake.

2:00 PM
Lidia’s Italy in America
Kansas City Alla Parmigiana • Episode #205
Penne rigate alla vodka; chicken parmigiana; tiramisu. Also: how chickens are raised in Emilia-Romagna, Italy.

2:30 PM
Lidia’s Italy in America
Yummy Pastas • Episode #206
Baked ziti; fettuccine Alfredo; spaghetti with basil-pistachio pesto.

3:00 PM
Lidia’s Italy in America
From Bloomfield to the Strip in Pittsburgh • Episode #207
Braised veal shank; olive oil mashed potatoes; peas with bacon.

3:30 PM
Lidia’s Italy in America
It’s Chicken Time • Episode #208
Braised chicken with smoky provola; chicken cacciatore dishes; a panzanella salad, which is made with tomatoes and day-old bread.

4:00 PM
Lidia’s Italy in America
Italian American Sandwiches • Episode #209
A New Orleans muffuletta sandwich; St. Louis’ veal hamburger parmiciano; Chicago’s Italian beef sandwich.

4:30 PM
Lidia’s Italy in America
New England’s Italy • Episode #210
Calamari fra diavolo over linguine; a salt cod, potato and string bean salad; zuppa Inglese.

5:00 PM
Lidia’s Italy in America
Italian-American Sandwiches #2 • Episode #211
Baltimore’s Italian-American civic club sandwich; a Primanti sandwich; a prosciutto, scallion and egg sandwich; celery, artichoke and mortadella salad.

5:30 PM
Lidia’s Italy in America
St. Louis’s Little Italy • Episode #212
Spaghetti and meatballs with arancini (rice balls).

January 8, 2014

Two reasons to celebrate in January


Dear Friends,

January 1st is the start of the New Year, but personally, I’m more excited for January 23rd, which marks my mother Erminia’s birthday.

Every year the whole family gets together to celebrate this special occasion. Last spring, I even wrote a book about it–Nonna’s Birthday Surprise–in which I tell the story of my grandchildren’s quest to cook the perfect birthday dinner for Grandma.

On the subject of favorite meals, I recently asked the chefs at Felidia, Becco, Lidia’s Kansas City, and Lidia’s Pittsburgh what they like to make in January–at home, and in the restaurant. Be sure to read my latest newsletter to get the recipes, and sign up on the homepage to receive them in the future!

Happy New Year and happy birthday to Grandma Erminia!

Warmly,
Lidia

Lidia Bastianich

January 5, 2014

Warm up with this cheesy baked pasta recipe


This is a delicious Sicilian pasta dish, and as I discovered in Palermo while researching Lidia’s Italy, you will find it on just about every restaurant menu. In Sicily they fry the eggplant cubes before they add them to the pasta, but here I instruct you to bake the eggplant; it is just as good, but with much less fat. I am asked for this recipe over and over again–everyone seems to love eggplant, ricotta, and Grana Padano, and this dish is the perfect combination of those ingredients. Get the recipe here.

Lidia Bastianich

December 30, 2013

Who needs champagne?


Toast the New Year, Italian-style!

Champagne has its place on the table, but for New Year’s Eve I like to drink Prosecco. It’s a dry sparkling white wine made from glera grapes that are grown in the Friuli and Veneto regions of Italy. Its bubbles are produced by the Charmat process (in large steel containers) rather than in each bottle, as they are in Champagne. This allows wineries to produce wines more or less continuously, rather than just once a year. This is great for the wineries, but it also means slightly more economical wines for consumers.

Here are a few tips for finding a bottle you’ll enjoy:

First, look for prosecco labeled “spumante” and not the lower quality “semi-sparkling” frizzante. (The latter only undergoes a partial second fermentation.) Second, understand how sweetness is rated; “Dry” Prosecco generally has the highest sugar content (about 20 to 26 grams per liter), “Extra Dry” contains between 14 to 20 grams of sugar per liter, and “Brut” is the driest, clocking in at 6 to 12 grams of sugar per liter. When Italians make a Spritz (a fun way to spice up your New Year toast) they usually use Extra Dry. Remember, you don’t have to spring for the dusty bottle with an older vintage; most Prosecco is meant to be enjoyed fresh. And when in doubt, I always enjoy a cold glass of Bastianich Flor prosecco!

Buon Capodanno!


December 24, 2013

See when the next Lidia Celebrates America special airs near you!


Lidia_BKGD

This December I’m continuing my journey through the US to experience American culture through food in my next Lidia Celebrates America special: Moments and Milestones.

I hope you’ll join me as I experience four families’ special rites of passage: A French-Cajun sweet-sixteen birthday party and country music debut in Nashville, a Greek Orthodox baptism for triplets, a Brazilian-American culinary student’s college graduation, and a Navajo house blessing ceremony. 

Watch a preview here!

Lacy Lidia Victoria edited 650x409

You can tune in to Lidia Celebrates America:  Moments and Milestones at the following times.  Also be sure to check your local PBS station website for more information or go to pbs.org.

New York, WNET: Sat 12/28 at 3:00pm
New York, WLIW:  Sun 12/29 at 2:00pm, Mon 12/30 at 7:00pm
Los Angeles, PBS SoCaL: Not yet scheduled
Chicago, WTTW: Sun 01/12 at 4:00pm
Philadelphia, WHYY: Not yet scheduled
Dallas, KERA: Not yet scheduled
San Francisco, KQED LIFE: Fri 12/27 at 4:00am
Boston, WGBH: Wed 12/25 at 9:00pm, Sat 12/28 at 1:30pm
Boston, WGBX: Fri 12/27 at 1:30pm, Sat 12/28 at 6:00pm
Washington, DC, WETA: Planning to air in April
Atlanta, GPB: Not yet scheduled
Houston, Houston PBS: Not yet scheduled
Detroit, DPTV PLUS: Mon 12/30 at 10:30am, Mon 12/30 at 1:30pm
Phoenix, KAET: Not yet scheduled
Seattle, KCTS: Not yet scheduled
Tampa, WUSF: Sat 01/04 at 3:00pm
Minneapolis, TPT: Sat 12/28 at 1:00pm
Minneapolis, TPT LIFE: Tue 12/31 at 8:00pm|}
Denver, RMPBS: Tue 01/28 at 2:00pm
Orlando, WUCF: Sun 12/29 at 1:00pm
Cleveland, WNEO: Fri 01/24 at 10:00pm
Sacramento, KVIE: Fri 01/03 at 3:00pm
St. Louis KETC: Sat 12/28 at 3:00pm, Sun 12/29 at 4:00pm
Portland, OPB: Sun 12/29 at 2:00pm
Portland, OPBPLUS: Tue 12/31 at 8:00pm
Pittsburgh, WQED: Thu 12/26 at 10:30pm
Indianapolis, WFYI: Fri 12/27 at 2:00am
Baltimore, MPT : Not yet scheduled
San Diego, KPBS: Sun 12/29 at 1:00pm
Nashville, WNPT: Fri 12/27 at 1:00am
Hartford, WEDH: Will air in February
Kansas City, KCPT: Fri 12/27 at 1:00am
Columbus, WOSU: Sat 01/04 at 11:30am
Columbus, WOUB: Fri 12/27 at 5:00am
Salt Lake City, KUED: Mon 12/30 at 9:00pm
Cincinnati, WCET: Thu 12/26 at 9:00pm, Fri 12/27 at 1:00pm
San Antonio, KLRN: Thu 12/26 at 9:00pm
Spartanburg,  ETV-SCC: Sun 12/29 at 9:00pm
Spartanburg ETVW: Mon 12/30 at 7:30pm
West Palm Beach, WXEL: Thu 12/26 at 9:00pm
Grand Rapids, WGVU: Sun 01/05 at 3:00pm
Austin, KLRU: Sat 12/28 at 4:30pm
Oklahoma City, OETA OKLA: Fri 12/27 at 8:00pm
Las Vegas, KLVX: Sat 12/28 at 3:00pm
Harrisburg, WITF: Thu 12/26 at 8:00pm
Birmingham, APT: Fri 12/27 at 1:00am
Norfolk, WHRO: Not yet scheduled
Albuquerque, KNME: Thu 01/02 at 7:00pm
Jacksonville, WJCT 4: Sun 12/29 at 11:00pm
Memphis, WKNO: Sat 12/28 at 3:00am

December 20, 2013

Roasting Veggies


Hearty vegetables like winter squashes and eggplant roast very well on their own without the help of a roasted meat to add flavor. You can roast most vegetables whole, but squash is an example of one that is usually cut into large pieces. Season your vegetables with salt, pepper, and oil or butter; you can also season them after baking with several spices and herbs. Sweet potatoes and winter squashes are great with brown sugar or honey.

acorn squash

This weekend, why not pick up some seasonal produce and get to roasting? It’s easy and will preserve your energy for all that holiday cooking next week.

Here’s a recipe I love for a Roasted Acorn Squash Salad.

 

December 16, 2013

Wrapping up 2013 and Welcoming my next PBS special


Dear Friends,

As the year winds down, I’m busy as ever, but always grateful for the countless opportunities my career has given me.

As many of you know, I’ve been traveling around the country promoting my latest cook book, Lidia’s Commonsense Italian Cooking, which has allowed me to meet so many of you over the past few months.

I’m also excited to announce that the next installation in my series of PBS prime time specials, Lidia Celebrates America: Life’s Milestones, airs on December 26th.  The show has brought me to many different celebrations and many different tables, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you this holiday season.

Most importantly, I can’t wait to gather my family around the table in a couple weeks. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and very happy new year.

Warmly,

Lidia

Lidia Celebrates America: Life’s Milestones premiers on Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 9pm ET/PT on PBS (check local listings)

December 10, 2013

Lidia’s Commonsense Italian Cooking chosen as a TOP 10 cookbook in 2013 by the NYT!


To read the full article, visit Newyorktimes.com. Here’s the excerpt:

“Finally, two confidence-builders. Some cookbooks challenge. Others perform the neat trick of convincing even beginners that it’s possible to make guest-worthy food in a small, ill-equipped kitchen. THE FRENCH KITCHEN COOKBOOK: Recipes and Lessons From Paris and Provence (Morrow/HarperCollins, $35) comes directly from the cooking classes Patricia Wells gives at her homes in Paris and Provence, so the lineup includes plenty of uncomplicated dishes that have been tested within an inch of their lives. Most require only a handful of ingredients and a few simple techniques. Even hesitant amateurs can turn out seared duck breast with figs and black currant sauce or tomato tatins made with store-bought puff pastry.

Lidia Mattichio Bastianich and her daughter, Tanya Bastianich Manuali, do the same thing with Italian food in LIDIA’S COMMONSENSE ITALIAN COOKING (Knopf, $35), based on the public television series of the same name. The cowardly cook might start with the surefire chicken breasts, sliced thin and sautéed and simmered in a pan with olives, red onion, and orange juice flecked with orange zest. It doesn’t get any easier than this, or tastier. The authors don’t include song recommendations. May I suggest “Acquerello Napoletano,” by Claudio Villa?”

 

Lidia's Commonsense Italian Cooking 800px

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