Category Archives: Baking

easter pies

Since my sister and her family recently moved to North Carolina, my mother and my littlest sister drove up there for Easter.  My mom and I usually make the traditional Italian Easter pies on Holy Saturday and serve them up on Easter Sunday.  We were fortunate to be invited to a friend's house to celebrate Easter tomorrow, so I'll be making the pies solo this year to bring with us.  For many people, Easter isn't Easter without a ham; for me, it's these pies. I've written about the savory pie Read more [...]

american-style lasagna

This isn't authentic Italian lasagna.  It's authentically Italian-American.  It's meaty, cheesy, saucy, and good.  It's lasagna like my mother and grandmother make -- comfort food to the highest degree.  It's also easy.  This could all be put together inside of an hour (and then baked for an hour). 1 package Barilla no-boil lasagna sheets 2 - 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes (I like Pomi brand) 1 lb ground meat (beef, pork, lamb, sausage, etc. -- any one of these or a mix) 4 TB olive oil 2 Read more [...]

pizza napoletana at home

No way, right?  There's no way that you could replicate the intense heat of the wood-burning ovens of Naples, Italy, right?  I mean, Jeffery Steingarten tried: Not long afterward, I slid a raw pizza into a friend's electric oven, switched on the self-cleaning cycle, locked the door, and watched with satisfaction as the temperature soared to 800°. Then, at the crucial moment, to defeat the safety latch and retrieve my perfectly baked pizza, I pulled out the plug and, protecting my arm with a Read more [...]

biscotti base

I love biscotti in just about every form, from sweet to savory. This is my go-to base for a sweet biscotti dough; you can customize it to your liking with almost any mix-in you desire. Any type of nut, dried fruit, chocolate chip, or combination will work -- just keep it to the specified amount. You may wonder why I choose to use olive oil instead of butter. It's simple -- this recipe makes so many biscotti that it takes me a while to eat them all. Using olive oil helps them to keep Read more [...]

ratatouille lasagna

We've been trying to heed the advice of many nutritionists by cutting back on the amount of meat we're eating. Mark Bittman makes the case for "vegan before dinnertime", but we found that a little too restrictive since we like the occasional cold-cut sandwich for lunch. So we've modified the philosophy by trying to eat meat at only one meal per day; so far it has worked out pretty well.Stuck on what to do with a boatload of veggies the other day, I realized I had everything I needed for ratatouille. Read more [...]