Tag Archives: Italian Cuisine

Filippo Trapella’s Pollo alla cacciatora

The flavors of Italy vary greatly. Each region places it’s own signature on the cuisine and these differences are influenced by many factors. Location, history, customs of other cultures, weather and of course seasonal foods. I am on a quest to discover Italy.

The dish I have chosen today is Pollo alla cacciatora. A simple, traditional dish with a few nuances in nearly all regions of Italy.

It has an intense tomato and red wine sauce that is flavored with fragrant rosemary and juniper.  ~ Filippo Trapella

To make this sauce “extra” bold, Filippo Trapella suggests braising the meat with red wine.

Pollo alla cacciatora

  • Difficulty: Moderate
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pollo alla cacciatoraIngredients

  • 1 chicken, skin-on, jointed
  • 1 white onion, sliced into thin half-rings
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 500ml of passata, a little over 2 cups
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, triple-concentrated
  • 1 glass of red wine, 270ml,  a little over a cup
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 juniper berries, crushed
  • black pepper
  • salt


  1. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a stainless steel or enamel pan, over medium heat. Pan-fry chicken in batches, browning all over. Set aside and cover.
  2. Pour red wine in pan and deglaze, scraping meat from bottom of pan. Simmer 5 minutes and set reduction aside.
  3. Add remaining oil to hot pan, fry onion, juniper berries and rosemary until onions are translucent.
  4. Add chicken and tomato paste to pan and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat.
  5. Increase heat, add red wine reduction, cooking for additional 5 minutes and stir in pasta.
  6. Cover and gently stew  over low heat, 1 hour.
  7. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Serve with a thick crusty bread, white rice or polenta. We are pairing this delicious pasta dish with Tenuta Boncore Negroamaro 2013

Recipe: Great Italian Chefs

My quest to discover Italy goes deeper than just cuisine. I am currently sampling wines from the winegrowing region of Salento and the recipe above is chosen based on Southern Italian foods. Wines from the prevalent local grape Negroamara are characterized by lovely fruity aromas, full body, round tannins and great balance.

I have been inspired to explore regional cuisines of the world by a wine club I have joined, VinoVersal.com I will spend two more weeks exploring Southern Italian foods and  will visit different cities and work with local chefs to create authentic, regional cuisine to nibble on while sampling the wines of Salento, Italy. I would love to have you join me!

As we move deeper in to June we  will embark on a new “journey”and taste wines from a different country. If you would like us to visit your city, please leave your comments below!


Celebrating Italy ~ The Hot Delicious Pizza

This week is all about Italian cuisine.  The first known Italian food writer was a Greek Sicilian named Archestratus from Syracuse in the 4th century BCE. (Before the Common Era) He wrote a poem that spoke of using “top quality and seasonal” ingredients, citing that flavors should not be masked by spices, herbs or other seasonings. He placed importance on simple preparation of fish.Celebrating Italy

Pizza was originally invented in Naples, Italy and is now a staple in many parts of the world.  This tasty dish is an oven-baked, flat round bread, typically topped with tomato sauce, cheese and creators choice of toppings.  Although I am a fan of almost any pizza sauce, ranch, garlic, barbecue, the traditional tomato is still my all time fav.

Celebrating Italy Pizza Margherita

Celebrating Italy Pizza Margherita

This first delicious recipe from Saveur is full of flavor and a bit involved but completely worth it.  This recipe makes 4 11 – 13″ pizzas

  • 1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 7 cups 00 flour, preferably Caputo brand, plus more
  • 4 tsp. sugar
  • 4 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, preferably Olivestri Siloro brand, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 28-oz. can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, preferably Cento brand, undrained, passed through a food mill
  • 8 oz. mozzarella fior di latte ovoline or mozzarella di buffala, thinly sliced and patted dry with paper towels
  • 16 basil leaves, torn by hand

What is oo flour?   In Italy, flour is classified either as 1, 0, or 00, and refers to how finely ground the flour is and how much of the bran and germ have been removed.  Click here for the full recipe

There are times, when schedules are tight and making your own pizza dough is just not a possibility.  That doesn’t mean it’s either take out or frozen pizza, it simply means compromise.  Your local pizzeria may have dough you can pop in and purchase and if that doesn’t work for you, there is always the option of refrigerated pizza dough from your local grocer.  Prepare your dough, and whip a pizza that is all your own.

Celebrating Italy White Four Cheese Pizza

Celebrating Italy White Four Cheese Pizza

Here is a simple recipe from Bon Appetit that can be cut in to small squares and used as a quick starter with cocktails.   At times the best inspiration in the kitchen comes from your own pantry.  Let your imagination and creative side guide you.

White Four Cheese Pizza with Basil and Garlic

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 13.8-ounce tube refrigerated pizza dough
  • All purpose flour
  • 6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices, then coarsely chopped
  • 3 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

For full recipe please click here

Celebrating Italy with Sunday At the Giacometti’s

Celebrating ItalyThis week we are Celebrating Italy!

Barbara Cioffi Giacometti’s, of Sunday at the Giacometti’s, posts every day, and my heart stops beating for just a moment.  The cuisine is gorgeous and the ingredient’s list has me salivating on my keyboard.  She has graciously agreed to allow me to share a couple of her culinary masterpieces with you.

Take a few minutes to visit Barbara’s links that are provided here.  Here Facebook page is delightful and informative to follow and her blog is sheer culinary genius.

Alfredo's Pork Roast

Alfredo’s Pork Roast

Alfredo’s Pork Roast ( Arrosto di Maiale con Verdure )

A succulent pork tenderloin with roasted vegetables.  This is a dish that is not difficult to create and is full of flavor.  The ingredients list is simple, you probably have these items in your pantry; 3 pound pork tenderloin, fresh rosemary, fresh sage, garlic, pepper, salt, flour, white wine, olive oil, vegetable oil, red potatoes and baby carrots  Full recipe

Italian cuisine is characterized by its extreme simplicity, with many dishes having only four to eight ingredients, with the quality of the ingredients more important than extensive preparation.  Dishes vary by region with cheese and wine being a major component of the cuisine.  With roots tracing as far back as the 4th century BCE, (Before the Common Era), you know it’s outstanding.

Of course cheese, a crust of bread, a bottle or two of wine and great friends to share your meal with, is an absolute must.  After your table has been cleared, it’s time for dessert.  And once again, Barbara has the perfect post.

Torte Caprese

Torte Caprese

Torte Caprese

Chocolate, almonds, eggs and butter create a delightful flavor and aroma.  This recipe is involved, but not difficult.  Be sure to take the notes on her post to heart, as this is created in the traditional method, for the ultimate outcome of the dessert.  Full Recipe

Next, Barbara gives us a very special treat that requires a bit of patience.




Limoncello is an Italian Liqueur mainly produced in Southern Italy.  The exact origin of the drink cannot be agreed upon, however, it is at least one hundred years old and is traditionally served chilled as an after-dinner digestivo ( in theory, to aid digestion ).  Traditionally, it is made from the zest of Femminello St. Teresa lemons, Barbara has let us know, that organic will be just fine.

What you will need to prepare your Limoncello;  one large clean and sanitized mason jar, 8 – 10 organic lemons, Everclear or 100 proof vodka, sugar, spring water and a bit of patience.    Full Recipe

You can find Barbara at her blog and on Facebook.  Be sure and stop in to say hello.


Celebrating Italy

Celebrating Italy