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Posts Tagged ‘Italian Food’

Tuscan White Bean Soup

So, I’ve received just a tiny bit of flack for featuring a veggie dish that contained prosciutto in the Veggie Dinners post and sought to rectify the situation. In my defense, the second recipe was strictly vegetarian, but I understand that there is a ‘truth-in-advertising’ issue with a post titled “Veggie Dinners” that features prosciutto. Lest I invoke the wrath of any more vegetarians, I will own that the base of this soup is a chicken stock – because that is what I always have on hand – but vegetable stock could easily be used as a substitute.

 

Tuscan White Bean Soup is a recipe that is both categorically healthy – carrots, white beans, and kale constitute its base – and all succor, warmth, and comfort. It is not every recipe that can soothe both the spirit and the body, but this recipe does so perfectly.

 

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It's ironic.... this may be the worst picture I've taken, yet it's of one of the most delicious desserts.

It's ironic.... this may be the worst picture I've taken, yet it's of one of the most delicious desserts.

 

Each culture has its ‘thing’ that it does far better than the rest. Jews? We save money better than most. The Swiss? Nobody dots their i’s and crosses their t’s like the fastidious Swiss. The French? They have an uncanny knack for self-preservation when it comes to international conflicts. The Italians? Nobody does simple, rustic food as spectacularly as the Italians.

 

While I would most likely tip my hat to the French for overall cuisine, Italian food wins the award for turning a handful of plain, every day ingredients into something drool-worthy. The culture that brought us thin-crust pizza, Linguine alla Carbonara & Cannolis must be applauded for its prowess in turning the simple into something sublime.

 

While Italy has many popular culinary claims to fame, one of my favorite Italian dishes is the little-known Affogato.

 

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Linguine alla Carbonara

Several years ago, I went to an inexpensive Italian restaurant in London. I had made the foolish mistake of trying to do a very expensive city on the cheap, whereas, in my old age, I’ve learned to do inexpensive cities very grandly, and end up with a much better experience. But I digress…

 

This restaurant offered Linguine alla Carbonara on the menu, and, as it is one of my favorites and so rarely on a restaurant’s menu, I decided to try it. The offending dish came out as I should have expected, with cream used to bind the delightful, fresh flavors, and subsequently drowning their freshness in its leaden heaviness. I ended up with a less-cheesy alfredo – not terrible to eat, but not the carbonara I was hoping for.

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