Saturday, June 26, 2010


Food that nourish the body and soul.In Italy it differs with the regions.

I was volunteering for 6 months in Puglia, the South of Italyand hosted by the most adorable couple, Gianni and Graziella.

Graziella happens to be one of the most amazing cooks I've ever met.And trust me, I've been in the food business for a long time.

Cooking is her passion and her husband keeps a large organic veggie gardenwere we picked most of the fresh produce needed for her fantastic meals.

Top quality.

If I try to reproduce one of her meal with the sad tomatoes that I find at the grocery store this days it will probably taste like ...water (if I'm lucky)

Comfort food is a nostalgic element, and this baked pasta dish bring back memoriesof my great journey in Puglia this past winter.

Baked Pasta Puglia Style :

Ingredients: (4 people)

400 grs. rigatoni

120 grs. sausage

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 Tbs. basil, chopped

200 g ground beef

200 g tomatoes, diced

100 g bread

50 g milk

2 eggplants

200 grams mozzarella

extra virgin olive oil


In a pan with olive oil, place onion, basil, tomatoes, salt and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes.

Mean while shred the sausage, chopped the mortadella and set aside.

Mix the ground meat with bread soaked in milk, sausage and a pinch of salt and make some small meatballs.

Cut eggplant into strips and fry in a pan with olive oil.

Cut the mozzarella into pieces.

Cook the rigatoni in salted water, al dente and strain.

In a greased baking dish put a layer of rigatoni and cover with half of all ingredients including meatballs, add a second layer with the remaining rigatoni and finish the rest of the ingredients.

Bake at 200 degrees for twenty minutes.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


I arrived to Bergamo the first week of October just in time to go to the annual international food festival. Hundreds of stands with magnificent food steaming in the cold Autumn days.
How lucky I was.
People are always so happy around food.

I had dozens of samples.

But I spent most of my money on cheese. many creamy, pungent and delicious cheese.

I also had toasted chestnuts for the very first time in my life. I loved them.

One of my favorites was a spice stand with seasoning freom all over the world.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


While in Bergamo this winter I was honored to meet "Chef Enrico", a true bergamasco chef or cuoco with a twist.
During my time there he made several fantastic dishes and this original polenta was the first one of a series of unforgettable meals.

He made one mini omelette for each of us, sauteed some mushrooms with parsley and the best organic extra virgin olive oil in the world, cooked some polenta, sliced some smoked cheese and roasted some potatoes.

After that he assemble the dish by setting the polenta in the middle of the dish with the smoked cheese on top, above the cheese he set the omelette and cover it with the sauteed mushrooms.
All surrounded by the roasted potatoes.

The dish was delicious and great looking.
I have had polenta with mushrooms before and I really like it but I hated that the mushrooms turn the polenta kind of grayish looking. By placing the mushrooms on top of the omelettes, that problem was solved.
Thank you chef Enrico.