Posted on 26 January 2011 by tomatocasual.com
By David Harbilas
This is a perfect example of Italian resourcefulness: take something plentiful, in tomatoes, and make something memorable of it with a simple addition.
This is really a lesson in layering: anyone can hack up some tomatoes and stew them and throw in a few eggs.
But to make even hard, underripe tomatoes and plain, store-bought eggs into something wonderful takes a little skill, in a sense.
Really, all it takes is the patience to dice the tomatoes correctly, cook them as a quick sauce and drop the eggs in and poach them over the right heat to make a really great meal.
Posted on 23 December 2008 by tomatocasual.com
By Michelle Fabio
A popular southern Italian Christmas Eve tradition carried on by Italians all over the world is the Feast of the Seven Fishes.
The number seven represents the seven sacraments, seven days of creation, or simply the fact that seven signifies perfection in the Bible.
And the fish?
Well that’s because Catholics aren’t supposed to eat meat on the Vigilia di Natale.
Popular fishes in the feast include calamari, smelt, clams, and shrimp, but my favorite is baccalÃ : dried, salted cod.
To reconstitute the fish, you soak it for two days, changing the water three or four times, a nice ritual that increases the anticipation of a delicious Christmas Eve dinner with each change of the water.
Here is a recipe for baccalÃ typical of Calabria in southern Italy: Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on 22 July 2008 by tomatocasual.com
By Michelle Fabio
One of summer’s best treats in Italy or anywhere is Insalata Caprese or Caprese Salad, which, incidentally, also proudly displays the colors of Italy’s flag (red, white and green).
Named for the island of Capri on which it is said to have originated, this is a dish that can, technically, be made year-round, but if you want the flavors at their best, the heart of the summer is when you should enjoy this delightful salad.
The traditional recipe couldn’t be simpler: sliced tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, sprinkled with freshly torn basil leaves, drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt.
But now for the details, because these are what will turn your good Caprese Salad into something your Italian neighbors will covet:
– The tomatoes should be red, vine-ripened, firm and Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on 29 June 2008 by tomatocasual.com
By Michael Nolan
Picking up where we left off last time, we were talking about Vincenzo Corrado’s efforts with regard to tomatoes.
He recommended stuffing them with garlic, anchovy, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper, then sprinkling with bread crumbs and oil and baking them in the oven.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? Okay, maybe not the anchovies…
The world’s first pizzeria would open in Naples in 1830, and two generations of pizza cooks (pizzaioli) would claim to have made pizza for Kings Ferdinand I and II which is likely, as Ferdinand I also Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on 24 June 2008 by tomatocasual.com
By Michael Nolan
While thumbing through an old Italian cookbook that belonged to some long gone member of my family, I learned a great deal about the history of the tomato in the country that now considers the fruit a staple of daily life.
The most surprising thing I learned was that it wasn’t always that way.
The first time tomatoes were mentioned in Italy came from a 1557 translation of a text by the Greek physician Dioscoride. The description mentioned tomatoes turning from green to red and being eaten fried (like mushrooms) or juiced (for sauces).
In a letter to a pen pal dated March 10, 1572, Costanzo Felici wrote of the “Pomo d’oro or pomo del Peru…either intense yellow or vigorously red, either round or ridged in slices like a melon.”
He would go on to say that Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on 07 May 2008 by tomatocasual.com
By Thomas Cenci
Parmigiana di Melanzane is a classic Sicilian dish which is served on most households throughout Italy.
The combination of the tomatoes with the eggplant and two cheeses makes a mouth watering recipe and is a must for all who love to cook.
– 1kg eggplant
– 4 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 bunch fresh basil leaves Read the rest of this entry »