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Posts Tagged ‘Italian’

Perfect Pasta, Part 2

Sausage and Radicchio Orecchiette

Guest contributor Gabriele Corcos and his wife Debi Mazar star in Extra Virgin, Wednesday nights at 10pm ET/ 9pm CT.

Last time, I wrote about how Italians enjoy pasta in all different shapes and sizes, and talked about the various long cuts of pasta. Today I want to tell you about the different short pastas we cook in Tuscany.

Penne, Ditalini, Ziti, Wheels and Fusilli all have a casual feel, and allow for an easier and more relaxed approach than cooking spaghetti. Almost every recipe works well with these cuts—red sauces, vegetable sauces and meats are the most common dressings.

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Pasta Perfect with Extra Virgin

Gabriele Corcos and his wife Debi Mazar star in Extra Virgin, Wednesdays at 10pm ET/ 9pm CT.

For Italians, pasta is everything. It’s our heritage, our comfort food, our excitement and enthusiasm—pasta is pure sexiness!

Italians cook with both fresh and dry pastas, but don’t be fooled! They are very different from each other and they are absolutely not interchangeable.

We cook fresh pasta for special occasions or with special sauces: Grandma prepares it for the Sunday family lunch; the local bakery sells fresh ravioli or tortellini; and your favorite restaurant might offer fresh pappardelle to honor the wild boar that was hunted, prepared and cooked over the weekend by the locals.

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David Rocco Talks Olive Oil

A lot of folks ask me about olive oil, so here’s the deal. I use extra virgin for everything, including deep frying. There’s no comparison to other oils. Don’t believe me? Try frying your french fries next time in EVOO.

I generally have two types: a good one for frying and sauteing, and an amazing one for drizzling over and finishing bruschetta, salads, pastas, meats, etc.

To find that amazing bottle, you can go to a gourmet supermarket, deli, or cheese shop and ask them to try out a few, or check out your favorite Italian wine maker — they often make an excellent olive oil.

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Extra Virgin: Tips for Tuscan-Style Grilling

Gabriele Corcos and his wife Debi Mazar star in Extra Virgin, premiering tonight at 10pm ET/ 9pm CT.

Italy is a microcosm of regional cuisines, but all Italians love to grill. Where I come from in Tuscany, people have a pretty straightforward way of thinking when it comes to seasoning and cooking meat on the grill. Steaks are not overly salted or oiled—maybe some pepper, that’s about it. Then a touch of salt if you really feel like it, when it gets to your plate.

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More Mario — Ciao America!

Mario Batali at Molinari's Deli in San Francisco, CA.

Ciao America! Tour Mario's Italian food picks here in the US.

Beloved Italian super-chef Mario Batali doesn’t just love cooking Italian, but eating it to. There’s no denying the guy’s one of the foremost experts on Italian in the country. So aren’t you just the least bit curious to see where his favorite places to eat are?

That’s why we’re psyched that Ciao America has found a new home on Cooking Channel. Beginning this Friday, we get to travel with him across our very own U. S. of A. as he eats his way through his favorite Italian dishes. Sign me up for the road trip!

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Debi Mazar Stars in “Extra Virgin”

Actress Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos

What do you get when you pair a modern girl from the streets of Queens with a food purist from the hills of Tuscany? A modern day Lucy and Ricky with a passion for food, family and each other.

Actress Debi Mazar and her husband Gabriele Corcos invite you into their kitchen in the new series Extra Virgin, premiering Wednesday, January 19th.

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Zucchine Sott’Olio

Zucchini Preserved in Oil with Hot Peppers, Garlic, and Mint Zucchini Preserved in Oil with Hot Peppers, Garlic, and Mint

I recently had the pleasure of lunching at the Oakland home of Rosetta Costantino. Rosetta’s been teaching how to cook the foods of her native Calabria for years, and her extensive knowledge of this much overlooked regional cuisine is now lovingly and gorgeously documented in a new book.

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Summer Fest: Peck of Perfect Peppers

Spice Goddess Bal Arneson's Red Pepper Soup - Indian Style

Spice Goddess Bal Arneson's Red Pepper Soup - Indian Style

Summer Fest 2010We’re teaming up with other food and garden bloggers to host Summer Fest 2010, a season-long garden party. Each week we’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. To join in, check out awaytogarden.com.

In celebration of Summer Fest: pepper week, I decided I’d like to pick a peck of peppers, Peter Piper-style. But my peck would be a virtual one, a peck of the best peppers on the web. To do this, I’d first need to figure out what a peck is. Some quick research proved to me that a peck is a customary unit of dry volume, equivalent to 2 gallons, 8 dry quarts, or 16 dry pints.  (And 4 pecks make a bushel.) Turns out that a measure of dry volume doesn’t translate as well online as I’d hoped, but in the spirit of a peck, I’ll pick 8 of my favorite pepper recipes out there — one for each gallon. Try to top that, Peter Piper.

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David Rocco’s Updates from Italy

DavidRocco

David hanging out in Florence

This summer, I lived vicariously through David Rocco as he traversed Italy for three weeks to work on his second cookbook and scout locations for the next season of David Rocco’s Dolce Vita. Every day I’d check his Facebook fan page for the next mouth-watering update as David cooked and ate his way through Sicily, the Amalfi Coast and Florence.

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Cooking the Channel: A Duo of David Rocco Salads

Summer in a bowl: David Rocco's panzanella salad

Summer in a bowl: David Rocco's panzanella salad

On a sweltering Sunday, the last thing I wanted to do was turn on a burner or the oven. It was the perfect day for light, refreshing no-cook recipes. Maybe a salad, I thought, but not any old boring jumble of lettuce and dressing. A couple fresh Italian salads from David Rocco’s Dolce Vita caught my eye and I knew they’d make an ideal summer meal.

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