Tag: Italian

These Incredible Italian Grandmas Teach you to Make Pasta from Scratch

Pasta videos are one of my favorite things on the internet. To be specific, the making and shaping of pasta using traditional ingredients and methods. There are all sorts of videos out there, and pasta enthusiasts on all the different platforms, but I love watching Italian grandmas (nonnas) the most. I’m going to highlight a handful of favorite pasta videos here, and let these Italian grandmas show us how it’s done.

I also want to mention a channel on You Tube, Pasta Grannies, because it’s an absolute treasure trove of pasta videos by Vicki Bennison. I’ve embedded a few favorites episodes down below, definitely poke around the archives as well. There’s also some great inspiration at #pastamaking, and Miyuki Adachi is one of my all-time favorite Instagram accounts. Let me know in the comments if you have any favorites in this vein as well, I’m always adding to my list!

1. Pici

Pici(!!!) Pici is my first pasta love, and my favorite pasta to shape by hand. You roll out long spaghetti-shaped noodles across a countertop, and because you’re doing it by hand the shape is beautifully irregular and rustic. I thought my pici game was respectable until I came across this Tuscan grandma. Around the :50 second mark of this video, she shows us who’s boss.

2. Trofie

Trofie is the most recent shape I’ve tried to master. To make these tiny coils, some people wrap the pasta dough around a thin needle or umbrella spoke. I don’t have the patience for that (I’m so slow), and always resort to something more like this. Look at her outside-the-palm technique!

3. Fusilli Ricci

Proof that making fresh pasta keeps you strong! A beautiful portrait of nonna Maria at 86 years old making fusilli ricci.

4. Tagliatelle

Nonna Elena makes beautiful tagliatelle here, and make you think you can ditch your pasta machine for a pasta board and mattarello rolling pin. If you watch carefully, you get a sneak peek into her refrigerator too :).

5. Orecchiette

I visited Puglia years ago, and could watch the ladies make traditional orecchiette (little ears) for hours. In this video we see an orecchiette master at work, but don’t look away, because at the 2:00 minute mark, she goes big.

6. Cavatelli

The shaping of the cavatelli kicks in around the 2:00 minute mark here. I remember meeting some of these ladies when I travelled to Puglia years ago.

7. Sicilian Maccheroni

One more from the Pasta Grannies series. Filmed in Menfi, Sicily, I love this video for a hundred reasons. Watch Damiana and Gaetano make an incredible fava bean pasta lunch. Her knife skills are the best, the fresh from the garden favas(!), the sunny patio(!), Damiana’s fruit and berry tablecloth!

8. Miyuki Adachi

Not a nonna, but I suspect you’ll love Miyuki nonetheless. I found her on Instagram, and love watching her video shorts and pasta shaping demonstrations from Toronto. This is a video of some of what you’ll find her working on. As you can see, her trofie game is quite strong as well! (Follow Miyuki)


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Veneto: Recipes from an italian Country Kitchen

Veneto: Recipes from an italian Country Kitchen

food writer | www.valerianecchio.com
video | www.lennypellico.com
music | licensed under Audiojungle

How To Make Almond-Flavoured Cookies (Amaretti)

How To Make Almond-Flavoured Cookies (Amaretti)

Learn how to make delicious homemade Almond-Flavoured Cookies (Amaretti).

Follow this link for the textual recipe: http://www.panoramitalia.com/en/food-wine/recipe/amaretti-almond-flavoured-cookies/372/

How To Make Dessert Rose Cookies

How To Make Dessert Rose Cookies

Learn how to make these delicious cookies based on a recipe by Ida Fanzolato.

Follow this link for the textual recipe: http://www.panoramitalia.com/en/food-wine/recipe/dessert-roses-cookies/371/

How to Lunch Like an Italian (Even If You’re Not)

It’s Italy Week! All week long, we’re celebrating everything Italian and Italy-inspired: recipes, stories, and travel tips.

In Italy, breakfast is usually small, just enough to jumpstart the day—and your appetite. Dinner is short and sweet and sends you to bed not swollen but satisfied. Lunch, however, takes on an almost spiritual importance. In the Italian culinary psyche, the midday meal is like the ego, the id, and the superego all rolled into one. It dictates your mood, your hunger, your schedule. In my family, lunch was so important my grandmother used to wake up before sunrise to start preparing pasta and sauce so that it was ready to eat by 1 p.m. By the time the sun swelled highest in the sky, we crowded back in the house to escape the heat and seek comfort in her plump, ricotta-filled ravioli.

 It Took Me 20 Years to Pin Down Grandma's Gnocchi

It Took Me 20 Years to Pin Down Grandma’s Gnocchi
by cdilaura

We Could Watch These Italian Nonnas Make Pasta All Day

We Could Watch These Italian Nonnas Make Pasta All Day
by Valerio Farris

Obviously, no one (not even me) is asking for that level of dedication. It’s admittedly a lot of food: a teeming plate of pasta, a secondo (meat or fish), vegetables (usually local, seasonal, and so delicious), all punctuated by freshly cut fruit and a hot, slightly sugared shot of espresso (no milk!).

We lead busy lives—like leave home before sunrise and return after sunset busy—so expecting anyone to lunch like a Ligurian is probably out of the question. Even though our American work schedules don’t encourage a two to three hour early afternoon work break, that doesn’t mean that we can’t all take a midday moment to savor a nice meal, to bask in the comfort of a satisfied stomach, and indulge a conversation as it lopes its way across a table. All without leaving the office. Here are just a few suggestions:

Lean into leftovers.

Italians love to repurpose foods. Why throw out a perfectly good meal? Lunch, particularly when eaten on the go, is prime time to give last night’s dinner new life. For example, a pasta with red sauce becomes silkier than ever when reheated with a splash of milk (a trick I learned from my aunt). And steak or rotisserie chicken chopped and tossed with fresh seasonal vegetables is a feast on its own.

Porter To-Go Bowls

Porter To-Go Bowls


13 Low-Cost Lunches to Pack for Work

13 Low-Cost Lunches to Pack for Work
by Katie Macdonald

Tango with Tupperware.

If you’re committed to the structure of a primo (pasta dish), secondo (meat dish), and contorni (vegetable-centric sides) then its a good time to invest in some sturdy, organized container. Think something like a tiffin that’ll keep your courses separate and easily accessible. Easy to clean is always a plus, too!

Don’t be afraid of the sandwich.

Or, as Italians call them, the panino. Sandwiches, though on the simpler side, are a perfectly acceptable lunch alternative. The Italian secret is maximizing the best ingredients. Think: oily, artisan focaccia, freshly sliced prosciutto, sliced, salty, sumptuous mozzarella. The sandwich becomes elegant when its components are treated as such.

Fruit’s a friend.

In Italy, fruit is almost always used to signal the end of a meal.The sweet bookend leaves you feeling full but not stuffed Try packing a fresh peach or some grapes for your last bite—a pear’s always a good idea, too. Think seasonal, easily transportable fruit that’ll satisfy your sweet tooth without being too saccharine.

The Art of Making Coffee the Italian Way

The Art of Making Coffee the Italian Way
by Emiko

Stelton Espresso Maker

Stelton Espresso Maker


End with an espresso.

There’s a hard and fast Italian rule that after 11 p.m., no one should drink milk with their coffee. It may sound downright un-American, but there’s some sense to it: Milky, frothy drinks are too filling and nap-provoking for later in the day. Instead, Italians opt for a quick shot of earthy, black espresso. This helps cut through the midday meal and give you enough energy to curb that early afternoon slump. If black coffee isn’t your thing, go for a macchiato—an espresso with just a dash of steamed milk.

You may be miles from Milan, but still, the ease and elegance of an Italian meal doesn’t have to be so far away.

What are your favorite lunch packing tips? Let us know in the comments.

Italy Week

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Italian Housekeeping and Cleaning Tips & Tricks

It’s Italy Week! All week long, we’re celebrating all things Italian with our partner Lagostina. Stay tuned for more great recipes, stories, and travel tips.

When I have a headache, my Italian aunt will fill a handkerchief with sliced potatoes and lay it on my head. Supposedly, the spud-filled napkin helps alleviate the pain. The medical viability of such a method remains to be seen, but my aunt swears by it and I find it funny, so I let it happen.

Maybe this is my genetic bias speaking, but Italians are more often than not renowned for their food, their style, their gesticular prowess. And yes, for the most part, people from the boot-shaped country excel in any or all of the above categories. But what of their homemaking skills? Potato head wrap aside, what are some unignorable, must-try tips for keeping a clean and tidy home?

My family always jokes that the Italian love for olive oil extends well beyond the kitchen. Squeaky door hinge? Try olive oil. Dry hands? Rub some olive oil on them. Stubborn sticker residue? You get the drill. It’s like My Big Fat Greek Wedding, except instead of blue window cleaner, we’ve always got a bottle of extra virgin on hand. As it turns out, Italians have a few tricks up their sleeves when it comes to housekeeping. I canvassed the web—and my own family—for some of the best.

Whip It!

This one’s a keeper—and it comes straight from an Italian nonna, so you know it’s good. Basically, here’s a tip for drying your greens—without a salad spinner—after you’ve given them a solid rinse. You place your wet greens in a towel, fold the edges together so they can’t spill out and make like Devo and whip it (the towel that is). Jerk the greens-filled towel over your shoulder back and forth until all the water spritzes out. Feel free to lean out a window while you do this.

An Egg-celent Hack

This tip comes to us from a community member’s Italian mother. According to mrslarkin, when you’re short on measuring spoons, an eggshell is a perfectly viable alternative. Here’s how it works: Say you’re baking and you’ve got some empty eggshells lying around. Instead of tossing them, use them to eyeball out some of your other ingredients. Apparently, an egg yolk is roughly one tablespoon in volume while the egg whites are about two. This puts half an eggshell somewhere around 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons in volume—perfect for measuring out baking soda.

Laundry’s Surprise Superhero

My favorite memories from visits to my nonna’s house in Italy almost always involve laundry. It sounds mundane, but there was something about the smell and the clothes hanging in the courtyard that will always punctuate my time there. Recently, I asked my dad what made nonna’s laundry smell so good. The secret, he told me, was vinegar. I balked. Apparently, a splash of a vinegar and water solution in your laundry machine keeps your clothes soft, refreshed, and super clean. Try pouring a half cup of distilled white vinegar in your washing machine (along with your detergent) next time you do a load.

8 Ways to Clean with Vinegar

8 Ways to Clean with Vinegar
by The Laundress

A 5-Minute Trick to Keep Your Kitchen Smelling So Fresh, So Clean

A 5-Minute Trick to Keep Your Kitchen Smelling So Fresh, …
by Valerio Farris

Iron Your Intimates

This one may sound weird, but bear with me. Keeping with the theme of laundry is the Italian propensity for running an iron over your socks and underwear. Many Italian homes forego the dryer for a clothesline to allow their laundry to dry, and then pass their clothes under a hot iron to steam out the creases. Including your freshly washed underwear in this group might seem strange but—trust us—that little extra press will go a long way.

Freshen Up

Italians love their homes to smell clean, clean, clean. Most of their cleaning products go hard on the scent. Odor control is, of course, an essential element of making a room feel fresh. If you’re going for a super smelling room, perhaps a natural scent solution is in order. If even after scrubbing and spraying, you’re still not loving the smell of your kitchen, turn to the stove. Yep, fill a pot with water, some lemon peels, a sprig or two of rosemary and bring the whole affair to a boil. Let that roll for some time—anyone who walks in the room will notice immediately.

Here are just a few ways Italian keep their homes spick and span. Maybe you’ve even heard of some. I’ve incorporated a splash of vinegar into my laundry and let me tell you, there’s no going back. It may not be as soft and sweet smelling as my nonna’s laundry, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. And that’s something I can get behind.

Have you learned any housekeeping tricks from an Italian in your life? Share them in the comments below.

Italy Week

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11 Amalfi Coast-Inspired, Lemony Recipes For an Italian Dinner

It’s Italy Week! All week long, we’re celebrating all things Italian with our partner Lagostina. Stay tuned for more great recipes, stories, and travel tips.

I was only eight years old the first time I stepped foot on the Amalfi Coast, and many of my memories of the place are striking and vivid—as if I had just come back from a trip. But because I was so young, others are fleeting and imperfect.

I remember sneaking a sip of limoncello (a liqueur made from lemon peels) as my parents looked away and finding its syrupy, neon-yellow taste far too sweet for my liking. (Today, I’d never turn down an after-dinner sip of the stuff.) I have flashbacks of my mother clutching me as the tour bus driver whipped around the region’s steep, winding cliffs with wild abandon en route to some other coastal town, probably Sorrento. And while I can’t recall every single thing that we ate, I remember our meals being magical: oceanside terraces, fresh-caught seafood I gobbled up like candy, and all the pasta I could ever want.

The snappy, perfectly acidic punch of lemon lightens the heft of the potatoes, and brings out the sweet, clean flavor of an octopus cooked until tender in a Lagostina pot.
The snappy, perfectly acidic punch of lemon lightens the heft of the potatoes, and brings out the sweet, clean flavor of an octopus cooked until tender in a Lagostina pot.
Photo by Julia Gartland

But while many of these experiences only come back to me after flipping through an old photo album, there’s one moment—and smell—I’ll never forget: the lemons.

It was the summer, so the lemons were ripe on the vine and the size of my head (or at least they seemed like it at the time). I vividly recall walking through lush, terraced groves; the intoxicating smell of pure lemon was everywhere. Then, our tour guide offered me a bite of one. I hesitated, since every lemon I had tasted before this had been sour, but took one anyways. It was sweet! And juicy, too. It was the most refreshing piece of fruit I had ever tried.

Ever since, whenever I make anything with lemons—even when they’re not Amalfi’s famous sfusato lemons, which are bigger and sweeter than the varieties you’ll find in your grocery store—I’m taken right back to the Italian coast, the Mediterranean waves lapping up against the rocky shore and the scent of lemons in the air.

Here, I’ve collected a few of my favorite lemony dishes, like the octopus and potato salad above, a tastes-like-the-ocean dish you can find all along the Italian coast. The soft potatoes, thinly sliced celery, and fresh parsley make the perfect complement to octopus that’s gently simmered in white wine until tender (read: not chewy). If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on some real Amalfi lemons when they’re in season—which is coming to a close now, after summer’s peak—use them! That being said, unwaxed organic or Meyer lemons are a decent substitute for when you can’t make a trip to southern Italy.

In partnership with Lagostina, the premium Italian cookware brand that values high-quality materials and time-honored craftsmanship, we’re bringing you seven days of stories and recipes all about Italy.

To cap off the week, we’re highlighting the #LagostinaSundayDinner with a new series all about the Italian tradition of Sunday suppers—casual, all-day affairs with friends, family, and delicious food—that features go-to recipes from some of our favorite chefs and cookbook authors.

Lemon, Italy Week

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