Saturday, January 30, 2010

best minestrone ever

The winter season is soup season of course, and here is our favorite of all the many and varied minestrone recipes out there. This is quite a hearty version, and, for us, when we get the beans "just right" it is a perfect balance: not too thick but definitely not too liquid!

The recipe is on, and here is the link:

We used a short cut that really works when we last did this soup. We did not have time for long soaking, so we used Lidia's quick soaking method. Put the beans, after cleaning, in a pot of water with the water covering the beans by at least two inches. Turn up heat and boil. When you get to a boil, continue the boil for one minute. Turn off and let sit, uncovered, for an hour.

Works perfectly!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

butternut squash soup

Welcome to our mangia italiana blog for 2010.

Let's keep in touch . . . we promise to keep you supplied throughout the year with a steady influx of information, tips, ideas, discoveries and suggestions concerning all food Italian. (If you haven't done so, scroll back through previous blogs to see the variety and quality of the information herein). Our goal is to provide you with three new blogs a week. So do stay connected!

Now is the time for the great winter squash explosion. Butternut squash is obviously one of our favorites.

Here is a great butternut squash soup recipe we have adapted from Faith Williger's "Red, White and Greens." The original recipe is from Fabio Picchi, chef at the famed Cibreo in Florence.

We add a little cream to the soup at the end which he doesn't. Take your pick. Any squash will do -- acorn for example -- butternut is our favorite.

The complete recipe is on, the best site on the web for all things pasta. Here is the link:

While you are on the classic pasta site, browse for a moment. Go to "pasta" and then click on "ravioli" on the right hand side of the page, and then "butternut squash ravioli". Another taste treat!