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Classic Tiramisu May 25, 2016

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic Desserts, Classic Italian Dishes.
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Tiramisu is the all-time most classic dessert recipe in the Italian lectionary.  You will find it on 75% of the menus in Italian restaurants.  There is a good reason for all of this – it is really good and actually fairly easy to make.

Origin and history:

Unlike many Italian dishes, tiramisu is relatively new on the scene.  It was “invented” in a famous restaurant in Treviso called Le Beccherie in 1969.  The restaurant is still there (2016).  Treviso is about 50km. north of Venice.

The dessert starts with zabaglione (or sabayon as they say in France).  This mixture of egg yolks and sugar is the beginning of many Italian desserts; so, if you learn to make tiramisu, you will be ready to prepare a whole range of luscious treats.  The zabaglione is poured over Lady Fingers, which are crunchy sweet biscuits shaped like a finger.   They are very absorbent and are quickly soaked in expresso or coffee along with some liqueur or rum before adding the zabaglione. (more…)

Sexy Italian Salads August 17, 2015

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic Italian Dishes, Classic Salads.
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The Ingredients for Sexy Italian Salads

The Ingredients for Sexy Italian Salads

Sometimes everything comes together and it all becomes clear. For, example, most people think of salads and can’t get excited. Well, that has all changed for me. Let me tell you how I got to this new place. (more…)

Linguine with Clam Sauce August 10, 2015

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic Italian Dishes, Classic Pasta Dishes.
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Linguine with Clam Sauce

Linguine with Clam Sauce

This is one of the all-time favorite pasta dishes. You will find it on well over 50% of the menus in Italian restaurants. In Italy, Venice is probably most famous for this dish. I have this vision sitting in a sidewalk café looking over a canal at sunset, sipping on a cold glass of Gavi di Gavi, watching long-legged beauties walking by and smiling at my wonderful travel companion of 50 years. (more…)

Spaghetti and Veal Meatballs October 22, 2014

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic Italian Dishes, Classic Pasta Dishes.
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Veal Meatballs

Veal Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs is certainly the most well-known Italian dish, at least in the U.S., but most of us have not even tried to make the dish. And yet, it is always a real hit with the fans, especially this recipe, which is incredibly tasty. After a recent dinner party, a friend announced to the table that these were the best meatballs she had ever tasted. (more…)

Grilled Pizza August 28, 2014

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic American Dishes, Classic Grilling Recipes, Classic Italian Dishes.
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Grilled Pizza Party

Grilled Pizza Party

Well, the end of summer is upon us. Look around at all of the things you didn’t fix or get done. Then, grab a cold beer, take a big drink and forget about it. There are more important issues, like, what are we going to have for the big Labor Day barbecue. And, luckily, I have a great suggestion to wow the troops. I want you to try Grilled Pizza. It seems scary at first, but it is amazingly easy to do. (more…)

Pesto Pasta – A Primer August 2, 2014

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic Italian Dishes, Classic Pasta Dishes, Fun Stuff.
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The Magic of Basil

The Magic of Basil

Get ready; it’s time for one of summer’s taste treats.  Although good quality basil is available in the Southern states for most of the year, those of us in the North have to wait until this time of year to enjoy the varieties of religious experience that come from this wonderful herb. If you grow your own, now is when it takes off. Farm stands and farmers markets have it in abundance.

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Classic Chicken Cacciatore – Umbrian Style October 25, 2013

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic Chicken Dishes, Classic Italian Dishes.
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Umbrian Style Chicken Cacciatore

Umbrian Style Chicken Cacciatore

Those of you who have read the posts from our trip to Italy and especially Umbria might remember that our cooking instructor showed us how to make classic chicken cacciatore  (see Cooking Lessons in Umbria).  I gave a brief description of the dish but not a complete recipe.  I have now tried this on my own and can now tell you exactly how to make this great dish. (more…)

Tortellini al Tartufo – A Last Fling from Umbria – July 26, 2013

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic Italian Dishes, Classic Pasta Dishes, Diary of a Wandering Foodie, Travels and Soirees.
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I Due Cuoci e Degustatori di Vini

Stewart and Bill: I Due Cuoci e Degustatori di Vini

This is my final post from Italy.  You can see my friend and Bravado chef, Stewart, enjoying a glass of wine with me outside the villa.  Note the beautiful hills in the background.  Rural Umbria is a real kick.

I convinced the owner of Ristorante Fontana in our village of Macerino to give me the recipe for Tortellini al Tartufo.  This was one of my favorites dishes in Italy, so I figured we better learn to make it.  It is a very easy recipe and will be a big hit. (more…)

Veal Saltimboca and More – Our Big Night in Umbria July 7, 2013

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic Beef/Lamb Dishes, Classic Italian Dishes, Classic Recipes by Type, Diary of a Wandering Foodie, Travels and Soirees.
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Buongiorno di Macerino

Buongiorno di Macerino

On our last night in the mountains of Umbria at the Palazzo Mazzuricci in Macerino (look it up on Google maps), we did our own version of “The Big Night” (I assume everyone has seen that movie – if not, go to Amazon NOW and stream it.)

To get you in the mood, here is a brief slideshow on our place in Umbria. (more…)

Caprese Salad – The Best Way to Start the Summer June 5, 2013

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic Italian Dishes, Classic Salads.
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Sometimes I look at people on the street and think that each one has a story – someone loves them and they love somebody – some have had great happiness or great sadness.  I find myself wanting to know their stories.  The same thing happens to me with recipes, especially with the classic dishes.  I want to know their story.

Caprese salad is a good example.  To understand this dish that appears on the majority of menus in Italian restaurants, we need to think of ourselves floating over southern Italy, a good three hours by car south of Rome.  Think of sunshine, warmth, field after field of ripe tomatoes and – wait a minute – water buffalo.  Where did these guys come from – they are everywhere?  We pass over Naples heading south and come to Sorrento (sounds like a song title).  And, right off the Sorrento peninsula we see the famous Isle of Capri, where our salad was supposedly invented.

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Make Your Own Pizza – Thin Crust Beauties May 10, 2013

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic Italian Dishes.
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Pizza - Thin crust - Margarita

Pizza – Thin crust – Margarita

If you want a great event for kids or grandkids, or, if you want an innovative dinner party idea, this is it – Make Your Own Pizza (The Thincrust Version). (more…)

Bolognese – The Queen of Sauces February 6, 2013

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic Italian Dishes, Classic Pasta Dishes, Classic Recipes by Type.
5 comments

Bolognese Sauce

Bolognese Sauce

I spent much of my life traveling in the developing world working on education projects, visiting many of the most remote countries on the planet.  Yet, on checking into a hotel in La Paz or Sana’a or Port au Prince, I would always find spaghetti Bolognese on the menu. (more…)

Pasta with Sausage and Cream October 19, 2012

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic Italian Dishes, Classic Pasta Dishes, Classic Recipes by Type.
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Pasta with Sausage and Cream

Earlier this year, we had dinner with a friend, Ann.  She was going to make a recipe that her daughter had found in “some cookbook”.  It was pasta with sausage and cream and the cookbook was Marcella Hazan’s  “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking”.  That was hardly “some cookbook” – her daughter had extracted a gem from the bible of Italian cuisine.  We’ve talked about Marcella’s book a number of times in the past (The Three Best Cookbooks) and this short, simple recipe is an example of some of the great dishes you will find there.  Most of you have already bought the book, I hope.

I like to use a little more sausage than she does, but otherwise it’s her recipe.  Actually, it is a very traditional Italian recipe so it is really not Marcella’s invention. (more…)

An Italian Classic – Eggplant Parmesan August 30, 2012

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic Italian Dishes, Classic Recipes by Type, Classic Vegetable Dishes.
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Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant has been around for a long, long time.  It originated in India maybe 3,000 years ago.  The three largest producers are China, India and Egypt, who produce twenty times more than anyone else.  Few of you have heard of the names of eggplant dishes in those countries, but as we get closer to home, you will all recognize Greek moussaka, French ratatouille, and the most famous of all, Italian Eggplant Parmesan.  Some people say that if God had a favorite dish, it would most certainly be Eggplant Parmesan. (more…)

Garlic Tomato Salad by Marcella August 23, 2012

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic Italian Dishes, Classic Recipes by Type, Classic Salads.
4 comments

Tomato plants are strange.  Nothing happens for a couple of months and then they go crazy.   They suddenly ripen with a frantic, almost feverish, flurry that gives you more product than you can use just as prices at the farm stand fall to their lowest point.  And yet, we continue to grow them.  (more…)

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