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Italian, With Only a Few Ingredients

Sometimes, the fewer the ingredients, the better.

Such is the case at the new location of Frankies Spuntino at 570 Hudson Street in Manhattan. Chef/owners Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo have let classic Italian dishes shine by focusing on essential ingredients like amazing extra-virgin olive oil and heaps of fresh garlic in their grandma’s dining room-style restaurant. When the duo appeared on Food(ography), they shared their paramount pork dish, Pork Braciola Marinara, and explained how a dish can have the maximum amount of flavor with a minimum amount of ingredients. In this case, parsley, Parmesan, provolone and homemade tomato sauce are key.

All of the items on the menu at Frankies have just a few rustic ingredients, like the arugula salad with Pecorino Romano; Frankies’ olio nuovo and lemon; and the house-made linguine with littleneck
clams, garlic, olive oil & parsley that had me sopping up the garlic and olive oil at the bottom of my bowl with bread. The menu speaks for itself, with little to no additional ingredients other than what is listed.

Stick to just a few ingredients at home and you can make simple but delicious recipes like Giada’s Spaghetti With Clams which relies heavily on fresh parsley and heaping cloves of garlic for flavor. And skip a complex salad by using a homemade vinaigrette over arugula, like Tyler’s Arugula Salad and Ultimate Vinaigrette.

In this rustic dining room (and your own), you can keep costs down and ingredients minimal while still making great-tasting Italian dishes.

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Comments (2518)

  1. judy posted 09/10/2011

    We were watching foodography and wondered when the cookbook by Melissa Clark about Franny's Pizza will be available.

  2. Lina sorbilli posted 09/11/2011

    My family is from the southern most tip of the boot of Italy, Calabria region (coastal). We have always used a minimal amt of ingredients, most Italians have for centuries, this is nothing new. My grandparents & those before them could not afford a lot of the things mentioned in the article, but garlic, pure extra virgin olive oil & many homegrown spices & herbs, they could. People said that they could smell my Nonni's garden miles away…they used whatever was available, made their own pasta & sauces. Now me, I personally like to pour on the herbs & spices & sauce (red usually)…we made simple dishes, like our own polenta served with just tom. sauce. Thanks for the post…

    • EDIE HAMMOND posted 09/11/2011

      My pop was from Calabria and my moma was from Naples. my pop made the sauce every sunday morning. Every thing fresh from the garden. Moma did the cooking the rest of the time. Not a lot of ingredients. Good food. Home made bread. Love to make gnocchi. Learned from my moma.

  3. L.Z. posted 09/11/2011

    Dear Food channel & Food network..U should b ashamed of yourself for the lack of content in Hungry Girl..This show is just unwatchable. I am flabbergasted at the Ridiculous recipes , and yes, I use the word recipe fast and loose, that is shown…I have no prob. with the host , but a 4 yr. old could create a better show worth watching..Let a true chef have a shot at a show ….

  4. Beth Blanc posted 09/15/2011

    I would also like to know when Melissa Clark's cookbook about Franny's Pizza will be available.

  5. Mesrianilaw posted 03/10/2012

    This back to basics recipe is indeed interesting. Its good to know that some restaurants feature simple but delicious entrees in their menu.

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