5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
The Italian food most Americans love - spaghetti and meatballs, baked ziti, sausage and peppers - is as red-blooded (and red-sauced) American as it is Italian.
In authentic Italian food, whole fish, game and offal are customary; and a great deal of the country's culinary landscape embraces cocina povera, or “peasant cooking," as well as living off the land's fresh fruits and vegetables.
This simplicity - sometimes from unexpected ingredients - plays a key part in living la dolce vita, according to David Rocco.
Five Surprising Components of the Italian Dinner Table: David Rocco
The flour is surprisingly sweet with a gorgeous nutty flavor that makes wonderful desserts like castagnaccio (chestnut cake) and chestnut fritters. It’s also wonderful for those who have a sensitivity to wheat, since it does not contain gluten."
Chestnut Fritters (Frittelle di Castagne)
1 3/4 cups (400 ml) of chestnut flour
Mix the chestnut flour and the water together until the mixture is smooth and just slightly thicker than a pancake batter. Add a pinch of salt and give it a good mix.
Heat up the olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Just before the oil starts to smoke start adding your fritter batter in small ladlefuls. Don’t overcrowd the pan.
Cook until they’re golden on both sides. As each one is done, put them on a plate covered with an absorbent paper towel to soak up any excess oil.
Plate them and sprinkle with icing sugar.
Often, when we stopped for a lemon granita (lemon ice), we found there were little chunks of rind in there that were a burst of flavor and added a fun texture.
We even did some grilling on lemon leaves (and you can too): the oils from the leaves infuse the meat or cheese with lemony flavor, and, believe me, there were no sourpusses at the table!"
In San Vito Lo Capo, just outside Palermo, they have a weekend festival where - you guessed it - couscous is the star ingredient!"
4. Wine (just trust me, here)
And if baking isn't your thing, substitute your vegetable broth with a good Chianti wine when making a risotto for a full-bodied dish that is not short on flavor.
Or for one of my summertime favorites, add fresh-cut peaches to a pitcher of wine for a delicious post-dinner infusion."
Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.
Next entry »Coffee klatsch
« Previous entryFire in the belly - evidence suggests early man may have cooked