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Carbonara Recipe

Carbonara Pasta Dish

Carbonara Recipe

Italy_Food_Carbonara_Dish_Detail

One of Rome’s famous pasta dishes, carbonara is popular throughout the Italian peninsula. The ingredients are simple, yet timing and technique are the most difficult parts of this dish. It may take a few attempts to master carbonara, but trust us it will be well worth it.

  • Prep Time8 min
  • Cook Time10 min
  • Total Time18 min
  • Yield4 Servings

Ingredients

For Spaghetti:

  • 1 lb. spaghetti, rigatoni, or other pasta of your choice
  • Coarse sea salt or kosher salt

For the sauce:

  • 4 oz thick cut bacon (about 6-8 slices) or slab bacon*
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 oz Pecorino Romano
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • *Guanciale or (sometimes) pancetta would be the traditional pork ingredients, though bacon is an appropriate substitute when these are not available.

Instructions

1

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of pasta water.

Italy_Food_Spaghetti_Pasta_Cooking_Boiling
2

Meanwhile, chop the bacon into strips or squares, depending on your preference. Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat and cook the bacon until golden and crispy, stirring frequently. When the bacon is ready, turn off the heat and cover the pan to keep warm.

Italy_Food_Carbonara_Ingredients_Prep
3

Pour the egg yolks, eggs and Pecorino into a bowl. Add plenty of freshly ground black pepper plus one spoonful of pasta water and whisk to combine. The mixture should have a bright yellow color.

Italy_Food_Carbonara_Ingredients_Prep
4

When the pasta is ready, use tongs or a slotted spoon (depending on the pasta shape) to transfer the pasta directly to the pan with the bacon. Add 2-3 spoons full of pasta water. Turn on the heat and set it to low. Quickly stir the pasta and bacon together.

Italy_Food_Carbonara_Pasta_Making
5

Turn off the heat and move the pan away from the stove. Pour the egg and cheese mixture into the pan and stir well until a silky consistency is reached. Adjust the consistency as needed with a spoonful or two of hot pasta water. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

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6

Top with more Pecorino and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.

Italy_Food_Carbonara_Dish_Detail
Note: In step 5, the heat of the bacon, bacon fat, pasta, and pasta water will be enough to lightly cook the eggs, which is the key to this dish. Do not leave the heat on when adding the eggs as this will cause the eggs to scramble.

Struffoli Recipe

Struffoli Napolitan Pastry

Struffoli Recipe

Campania_Naples_Struffoli_Pastry_Dessert_

Originating in Naples, this sweet treat can be found in other parts of southern Italy as well, such as Calabria and Sicily, under different names and topped with other ingredients. Traditionally prepared during the Christmas Season, Neapolitan struffoli are served with honey and brightly colored sprinkles.

  • Prep Time30 min
  • Cook Time35 min
  • Total Time1 hr 5 min
  • Yield6 Servings
  • Cuisine
    • Italian
  • Course
  • Cooking Method
    • Frying

Ingredients

For Struffoli:

  • 4 tbsp (2 oz) unsalted butter (melted)
  • 400 g (14 oz) flour
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • 3 tsp limoncello or white wine
  • Peanut oil (for frying)

For the glaze:

  • ½ cup honey
  • Nonpareils sprinkles, as needed to generously cover struffoli

Instructions

1

Start by melting the butter then let it cool. Meanwhile, place the flour, sugar, eggs, pinch of salt, and orange zest in a mixing bowl. Add the melted butter once cooled followed by the limoncello or white wine.

2

Mix the dough with a large spoon to combine the ingredients then knead by hand until you can form it into a dense ball. Cover with a kitchen towel and let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes at room temperature. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Italy_Food_Dough_Making
3

When the dough is ready, cut the dough vertically into 6-7 even slices with a dough scraper or knife.

4

Roll out each slice into a long tube approximately 1 cm thick. Next, cut each tube into small round pieces about 1 cm wide. Place on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper (make sure the dough is evenly spread out otherwise the pieces will stick together).

Campania_Naples_Struffoli_Preparation_Food_dough
5

In a large Dutch oven, slowly heat the peanut oil to approximately 350 degrees (use a deep fry thermometer). When the oil is ready, lower the dough balls into the oil with a wire skimmer. To ensure the temperature does not fluctuate too much, only cook about 2 handfuls of dough at a time. Stir the oil with the skimmer to ensure even cooking. Fry for about 2 to 3 minutes then remove the dough balls with the skimmer, strain, and place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Campania_Naples_Struffoli_Frying_Food_Pastry
6

While the struffoli are cooling, pour the honey into a deep pan and melt over low heat. After about 1 to 2 minutes, add the struffoli and stir to combine. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool a bit before adding the nonpareils sprinkles. Stir to combine.

Italy_Food_Honey
7

Place a glass jar in the center of a round serving platter (this will help shape the struffoli into a ring). Arrange the struffoli around the glass jar. When the honey has solidified, remove the glass jar and enjoy!

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Note: Instead of frying, you could also bake the struffoli at 390 degrees for 15 minutes then proceed with steps 6 and 7.

Cioccolata Calda Recipe: Authentic Italian Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate Recipe
Hot Chocolate Cup in Italy

Cioccolata Calda Recipe: Authentic Italian Hot Chocolate

The quintessential winter treat, cioccolata calda (hot chocolate) is beloved by Italians for its rich flavor derived from the use of milk and melted chocolate. A delicious staple of Italy’s characteristic Christmas markets, cioccolata calda is also perfect for a quiet evening at home.

  • Prep Time5 min
  • Cook Time15 min
  • Total Time20 min
  • Yield2 Servings

Ingredients

For Cioccolata calda (Hot Chocolate):

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 ½ tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp corn starch
  • 4 ¼ oz dark chocolate 60% to 69% cacao

For Optional whipped cream:

  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream

Instructions

1

For the optional whipped cream:  Pour cold heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract into a mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to whip the cream. Continue to whip until peaks begin to form and stop periodically to test the peaks (medium to stiff peaks are best for this recipe). When the whipped cream is ready, place in the refrigerator and start preparing the hot chocolate.

2

For the hot chocolate: Roughly chop the dark chocolate. Set a medium bowl over a saucepan or pot of simmering water (the bowl must not touch the water) and put the chocolate in the bowl. With a whisk or spatula, stir continuously until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Put the melted chocolate aside.

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3

Pour the milk into a medium saucepan followed by the corn starch. Stir the mixture then add the cocoa powder and stir once more.

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4

Turn on the heat to medium-low and let the mixture heat up while whisking continuously. Add the sugar, then continue to whisk. Ensure that the mixture does not boil.

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5

Add the melted chocolate to the saucepan with the milk and cocoa powder mixture. Continue to stir until thickened to your desired consistency. Pour into a mug and top with homemade whipped cream.

Note: If the chocolate ends up being too dense, dilute with a bit of milk or more whipped cream.

Hugo

Hugo Cocktail

Hugo

Italy_Food_Hugo_Cocktail

Also referred to as the Alto Adige Spritz or the White Spritz, the Hugo is a variation of Spritz from the South Tyrol area of northern Italy. Invented in 2005, this refreshing drink with a low alcohol content is a perfect option for an aperitivo.

  • Prep Time5 min
  • Total Time5 min
  • Yield1 Serving
  • Cuisine
    • Italian
  • Course
    • Drinks
  • Cooking Method
    • Mixing

Ingredients

For Hugo:

  • Ice
  • 2 oz Prosecco
  • 2 oz soda water or seltzer water
  • 1 oz elderflower syrup
  • 4-6 mint leaves (plus an extra sprig of mint to garnish, if desired)
  • Lime slice

Instructions

1

In a wine glass, gently muddle the mint leaves, elderflower syrup and soda water to release the flavor of the mint.

Add the Prosecco and ice then garnish with the lime slice and mint, if desired.

Note: For a stronger drink substitute the elderflower syrup with ½ oz or 1 oz elderflower liqueur.

Americano

Americano Aperitivo

Americano

Italy_Food_Americano_Drink_Ingredients_Cinzano_Campari

An Italian cocktail with origins steeped in legend, the Americano can be traced back to the 1860s and is considered to be the “father” of the Negroni. Favored by none other than James Bond in several of Ian Fleming’s novels, the Americano is a timeless classic.

  • Prep Time5 min
  • Total Time5 min
  • Yield1 Serving
  • Cuisine
    • Italian
  • Course
    • Drinks
  • Cooking Method
    • Mixing

Ingredients

For Americano:

  • Ice
  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz red vermouth
  • Splash of soda water or seltzer water
  • Orange slice
  • Lemon twist

Instructions

1

Take a highball glass and add ice until ¾ full.

Pour in the Campari and red vermouth followed by the splash of soda water.

Garnish the glass with the orange slice and add the lemon twist.

Bellini

Bellini Drink

Bellini

Italy_Food_Bellini_Peach_Drink_Prosecco

Instantly recognizable due to its striking color reminiscent of a sunset, the Bellini made its debut in the 1940s at Harry’s Bar in Venice. The bar’s jet set clientele, which included the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Humphrey Bogart, ensured that this refreshing drink quickly became popular around the world.

  • Prep Time5 min
  • Total Time5 min
  • Yield1 Serving
  • Cuisine
    • Italian
  • Course
    • Drinks
  • Cooking Method
    • Mixing

Ingredients

For Bellini:

  • 2 oz fresh white peach purée
  • 4 oz Prosecco

Instructions

1

Start by chilling a champagne flute.

To make the peach purée, cut the peach into slices, removing the pit, but leaving the peel.

Blend the peach slices and strain.

Refrigerate for up to one hour (fresh purée is best for this cocktail).

When you are ready to make the drink, pour the peach purée into the flute followed by the Prosecco.

Carefully stir until combined.

Notes: One peach makes enough purée for approximately 2 drinks. If white peaches are unavailable, yellow peaches can be substituted. For a quicker cocktail, though with a different consistency, skip the purée and substitute peach juice or peach nectar.

Pasta Fredda (Cold Pasta)

Pasta Fredda (Cold Pasta)

Pasta Fredda (Cold Pasta)

Italy_Food_Pasta_Fredda_Dish

A simple and refreshing dish, pasta fredda (cold pasta) can be enjoyed all summer long. The following recipe keeps things simple with tomatoes and mozzarella, but feel free to experiment with whatever ingredients you have on hand such as olives, peppers, vegetables, seafood—the possibilities are endless!

  • Prep Time20 min
  • Cook Time10 min
  • Total Time30 min
  • Yield4 Servings
  • Cooking Method
    • Boiling

Ingredients

For Pasta:

  • 1 lb. short pasta such as fusilli, penne, farfalle, etc.
  • Coarse sea salt or kosher salt

For the Souce:

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or 4 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 16 oz fresh mozzarella bocconcini size (small round balls)
  • Fresh basil, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

1

Heat a large pot of water and add the coarse sea salt when it begins to boil.

Italy_Food_Pasta_Maccheroni_Cooking_Boiling
2

Meanwhile, cut your cherry tomatoes in half (or roughly chop your large tomatoes). If you do not have bocconcini size mozzarella, cut mozzarella into cubes. Roughly chop the basil. Place the tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil together in a bowl.

Italy_Food_Vine_Tomatoes_Fresh
3

Add salt, black pepper, and extra virgin olive oil to the bowl. Mix well to coat all of the ingredients then taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Let this sit while you cook the pasta.

Italy_Food_Oil_Tomatoes_Garlic_Ingredients
4

 When the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta.

Italy_Food_Pasta_Spaghetti_Making
5

Rinse the pasta under cold water to stop the cooking process. Strain the pasta then add it to the bowl with the tomatoes and mozzarella. Carefully stir everything together and let it reach room temperature prior to serving or place it in the refrigerator and serve cold.

Italy_Food_Pasta_Fredda_Dish

Pasta con pesto alla genovese

Pesto alla Genovese Sauce

Pasta con pesto alla genovese

Liguria_Food_Pesto_Genovese_Souce

This iconic sauce will immediately transport you to the sunny region of Liguria. Many families have their own personal ratios for pesto, but the key ingredients remain the same. The following recipe is a simple and quick version that comes together with a food processor, however if you have the time, using a mortar and pestle is the traditional way to achieve the perfect consistency, and this method is also outlined below.

  • Prep Time10 min
  • Cook Time10 min
  • Total Time20 min
  • Yield4 Servings
  • Cooking Method
    • Boiling

Ingredients

For Pasta:

  • 1 lb. of your favorite pasta
  • Coarse sea salt or kosher salt

For the Pesto Sauce:

  • 50 grams fresh basil (washed in cold water and fully dry)
  • 15 grams pine nuts
  • 70 grams Parmigiano-Reggiano (or Grana Padano)
  • 30 grams Pecorino
  • Coarse salt, one pinch
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

1

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of pasta water.

Italy_Food_Pasta_Maccheroni_Cooking_Boiling
2

Place the basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt, and cheeses in a food processor. Pulse in intervals for about 1-2 minutes, pausing and scraping down the sides as needed.

Italy_Food_Pesto_ingredients_Basil_Garlic_Pinenuts_Oil
3

While pulsing, add the extra virgin olive oil and continue to pulse until smooth.

Italy_Food_Oil_Olive
4

When the pasta is ready, drain it and mix in the pesto, adding a bit of pasta water to adjust the consistency of the sauce.

If you would like to make your pesto with a mortar and pestle, use the same ingredients as above and proceed as follows:

5

Begin by placing the garlic cloves and pinch of salt in the mortar. Grind to a smooth paste. Add the pine nuts and continue to grind until the consistency is uniform.

Italy_Food_Pini_Nuts_Food_Ingredients
6

Add the basil leaves (working in batches if necessary) and gently push the pestle on the basil leaves in a twisting motion to release the flavor.

Italy_Food_Pesto_ingredients_Basil_Garli
7

Once the basil has broken down, add the cheeses and stir until incorporated. Drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil and finish off with the pestle until the sauce is consistent throughout.

Italy_Food_Pesto_Pasta_Basil_Garlic_Pinenuts_Oil
Bonus Tip: In Liguria, one traditional variation of pasta al pesto features sliced green beans and chopped potatoes that are cooked in the boiling water together with the pasta. When the pasta is ready, the water is drained and the pesto is added to the pasta and vegetables.

Aglio Olio e Peperoncino Recipe

Spaghetti Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino

Aglio Olio e Peperoncino Recipe

Italy_Food_Spaghetti_Aglio_Olio_Peperoncino_Dish

Traditionally served with spaghetti, this simple, yet flavorful pasta dish is perfect to throw together in a pinch. The use of high-quality extra virgin olive oil and careful sautéing of the garlic and chili pepper are the keys to perfect aglio, olio e peperoncino.

  • Prep Time5 min
  • Cook Time15 min
  • Total Time20 min
  • Yield4 Servings
  • Cuisine
    • Italian
  • Course
  • Cooking Method
    • Sautéing and Boiling

Ingredients

For Pasta:

  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • Coarse sea salt or kosher salt

For the Sauce:

  • 2-3 fresh red chili peppers (or 1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh chopped parsley, to taste (optional)

Instructions

1

Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente.

Italy_Food_Spaghetti_Pasta_Cooking_Boiling
2

Peel the garlic cloves, cut them in half, and thinly slice. Finely chop the fresh red chili peppers (removing the seeds if less spice is desired). For a more subtle garlic flavor, leave the cloves intact, proceed with step 3, and then remove the cloves before adding the pasta.

Italy_Food_Garlic_Prep
3

Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and add the garlic and red chili peppers. Carefully sauté for a few minutes until golden and fragrant. To ensure even cooking, tilt the pan so that the olive oil, garlic, and chili peppers are all in the same portion of the pan.

Italy_Food_Soffritto_Garlic
4

When the pasta is ready, reserve some of the pasta water then drain. Add the pasta to the pan with the garlic and peppers together with 1-2 ladles of pasta water (this helps the other ingredients bind to the pasta). Mix over low heat until the flavors come together, then serve immediately. Top with fresh parsley if desired.

Italy_Food_Spaghetti_Aglio_Olio_Peperoncino_Dish

Negroni

Negroni Aperitiv

Negroni

Italy_Food_Aperitiv_Negroni_Cocktail

A classic drink with an approximately 100-year history, the Negroni is one of Italy’s enduring cocktails. The Negroni has inspired countless variations and new drinks over the years, yet it remains in a league of its own.

  • Prep Time5 min
  • Total Time5 min
  • Yield1 Serving
  • Cuisine
    • Italian
  • Course
    • Drinks
  • Cooking Method
    • Mixing

Ingredients

For Negroni:

  • Ice
  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz ml red vermouth
  • 1 oz Campari
  • Orange slice

Instructions

1

Place ice in an old fashioned glass until it is about ¾ full.

Add the gin, vermouth, and Campari.

Carefully stir to combine and garnish with an orange slice.

Note: One common variation is called Negroni Sbagliato, which features Prosecco instead of the gin.