Curious Appetite

Recipes

Cucina Lockdown: Pici al ragù di agnello (pici pasta in lamb ragù)

to be or not to be a sugo, that is the question

Well, hello! Welcome to my blog! I have to say, one of the bright sides to this whole lockdown thing is having more time to cook and write recipes. But let’s be honest, some of the hassle in this is all the cleaning. I am so tired of cleaning and washing up. I miss restaurants!

I made this for Easter Sunday since in Italy lamb is traditionally eaten during Easter feasts (and I love making ragù). Before I dive into the recipe, in case you’re wondering “what’s the difference between a sugo di carne and a ragù?” I’ll do my best to answer while preemptively apologizing to the Italian food police, who still somehow have the energy to work during a pandemic. Continue Reading

Cucina Lockdown: Zuppa con fagioli, salsiccia e bietole (Tuscan-inspired Soup)

beet greens! you can’t beat a bunch of beets!

If you follow me on instagram or have been reading for a bit- you’ll know I am obsessed with soups. They are my favorite dish to make for myriad reasons. They are affordable, a clever way to use up surplus veg, are extremely nourishing and bring an immense sense of comfort when making them.

If I have someone over to my house for the first time I’ll either make one of 2 things: a ragu’ bolognese or a soup since for me, making food is one of the most sincere love letters one could write to another. So best to make the things which I love the most.

Another reason I love soup (and ragu, too) is they are rather straightforward and easy to make once you have some basics down. You can read my full love letter and basic soup tips to the art of Tuscan soup making HERE. If you’re looking for more personalized cooking help, check out some of Curious Appetite’s online versions of our food tours and culinary lessons, led by our team of experts in Italy. Continue Reading

Cucina lockdown: Gnocchi con salsa di zucchine

wanna make this? more like gnocchetti (smaller gnocchi) but hey home cooking is forgiving unlike the Italian food police! scroll for the recipe!

Ciao readers, what a time to be blogging. Without stating the obvious, like how unbelievable reality feels right now and somehow we’re adapting to this new normal, I’ll get right to it.

The world is cooking more. But I miss restaurants so much, I miss cocktails and while I could make them at home, something feels so out of place (for me) making a negroni at home vs sitting at the bar pondering their gin, bitter and vermouth collection with a friend after a massive feast out. There is of course takeout, but honestly as someone whose income has been hammered to smithereens, take-out is not exactly a luxury many people can afford right now even if I’d so very much like to. So, instead of usually writing about restaurants I’ll be posting more recipes like this one for gnocchi in a zucchini and almond sauce. Continue Reading

3 easy recipe ideas for artichokes

photo by Tracy Russo

In Italy artichokes are a big deal. They are beautiful, delicious and full of amazing health benefits and are extremely versatile culinarily-speaking.

Roman cuisine probably gets most of the diva attention for their thistles, and rightly so. They have plenty of culinary uses in Roman cuisine, the most famed being from the Roman Jewish repertoire, carciofi alla giudia (Jewish deep fried artichokes, traditionally served after Yom Kippur but eaten joyously by all when in season). If you are in Florence and love carciofi alla giudia, Club Culinario da Osvaldo in Santa Croce pays them due justice even if outside of Rome. Worth knowing is this artichoke currently experiencing some controversy as Israel’s chief Rabbinate declared the dish non-kosher. 

In Florence, artichokes may not have fascinating recipes steeped in deep cultural history like Rome’s, but they are nonetheless present and important to Florentine and Tuscan cuisine. They are commonly found in traditional trattorias quartered, battered and fried with a squeeze of lemon. At home they are made into sughetti (sauces) for pasta, carciofi ritti (upright artichokes doused in lemon, herbs, pancetta and garlic) and are cooked along with a variety of meat dishes, such as involtini (meat-rolls), arrosta in crosta (crusted roast meats), etc. Continue Reading

{recipe!} Turmeric & Ginger rich Tuscan-inspired chili soup

 

Tuscan-inspired chili? Whatever could this mean?

There’s is a lot of debate of what makes a chili a chili, but to me a chili is a hearty bean & ground meat soup with spicy chili and some tomato. While this has no tomato and neither chili apart from dried chili flakes, the depth in spice is derived instead from raw turmeric root and ginger root. And instead of ground beef, this recipe calls for ground turkey which I order in advance from Luca Menoni at the Sant’Ambrogio market. Just call Luca up and let them know how much you want- 500grams (half-kilo) is minimum and I suggest getting a kilo, divided in 2 packs, one vacuum packed so you can throw in the freezer for later!

How’d ya get raw turmeric root in Florence? La Raccolta health food store in Sant’Ambrogio!

Ginger root is a thing in Florence so you can find it pretty much everywhere, albeit questionable in quality. However, the best roots can be found in Sant’Ambrogio from the sole Asian food stand, also Naturasi and La Raccolta for organic ginger. Continue Reading

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