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Whites From Italy

Whites From Italy


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Felluga and Lageder wines are always welcome at the table

Wines from Italy’s Northeast have fruitiness plus freshness.

Opening a bottle of white wine from Marco Felluga or Alois Lageder is always like welcoming an old friend to the table — and in a way, that’s just what it is, as I have reviewed dozens of bottles from each and have visited both of their wineries in Italy.

Felluga is located in the Collio region, not far from the Adriatic and next door to Slovenia. Lageder is a bit more inland, resting in the foothills of the Dolomite mountains in Alto Adige. One thing that both have in common is the friendly fruitiness of their wines, which is paired with great freshness and acidity that makes them both so food-compatible.

Here are seven from the most recent vintages available:

Alois Lageder “Dolomiti” pinot bianco 2013 ($14). The wine shows pinot softness, but with some pleasant herbal qualities and prickly, lightly tannic edges.

Tenutae Lageder “Porer” Alto Adige pinot grigio 2013 ($25). Lively and lean with good apple flavors and lots of savory dried spiciness. Quite nice and should appeal to gin lovers.

Alois Lageder “Haberle” Alto Adige pinot bianco 2013 ($23). Creamy and floral, full-bodied, although with enough acidity for a crisp finish with some apple peel spiciness.

Marco Felluga “Montgris” Collio pinot grigio 2013 ($18). Very smooth and elegant, with soft pear and ginger flavors, but with enough acidity to give it structure.

Marco Felluga “Molamatta” Collio bianco 2012 ($23). Very rounded and honeyed, with enjoyable, juicy tropical fruits, including pineapple.

Marco Felluga Russiz Superiore Collio sauvignon 2013 ($28). Very lively; somewhat light in body with rich flavors and texture. Gamey and spicy — enjoyable by the glass or with food.

This article was originally published March 20, 2015


Egg recipes

Where would any cook be without eggs? They give colour to our pasta and creamy thickness to our sauces, and that's before one even begins to take into account the nutritional benefits of such a healthy, filling, protein-packed ingredient. Often playing an important part in dishes behind the scenes, this collection of egg recipes aims to celebrate this most hardworking of ingredient, make it the star of the dish in its own right.

Gaetano Trovato's Asparagus and egg recipe does just that, playing on the colour and appearance of both egg yolk and white in a stunningly creative starter. The distinctive shape of an egg hasn't escaped the notice of a few of our chefs, who play on this domed appearance in their presentation of dishes. Luca Marchiori's Easter pie recipe contains whole eggs inside, while Sally Abé's classic Carbonara recipe is a simple combination of egg, cheese and bacon. Heinrich Schneider's stunning Free-range egg, dried morels and caviar recipe is served in a hollowed out egg shell, while Pino Cuttaia goes one step further and disguises his seafood starter as a boiled egg (complete with shell) in his Cuttlefish egg with ink and ricotta dish.


Simple white lasagna

There isn't just one white lasagna recipe. The easiest way to make it is to use the same ingredients as the Bolognese sauce for lasagna – just eliminate the tomato. Then use lasagna egg noodles, béchamel sauce, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and minced beef with pork to make a white version of the meat sauce. How? Chop celery, carrots and onion and let them sauté together in a pan with oil and butter. Once this soffritto is ready, add the minced meat and once browned, add some white wine and let it evaporate. Add a little milk (about half a glass for 500 g of minced meat), salt and pepper. Lower the heat and cook for about 45 minutes. Once the meat sauce is ready, proceed to assemble the lasagna with a layer of pasta followed by a layer of béchamel sauce, one layer of meat and one layer of grated Parmigiano Reggiano. The lasagna will then be baked in the oven at 400°F (200°C) for 40 minutes.


How do you make Italian meringue buttercream?

Here are the steps to making Italian meringue buttercream

  1. Wipe down your bowl and attachments with lemon juice or white vinegar to make sure there are no traces of oil or fat on them that would prevent your meringue from whipping up
  2. Place your egg whites into the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment.
  3. Combine your sugar and water together in a medium-sized saucepan and stir to distribute the water evenly.
  4. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Leave the lid on for 5 minutes to ensure all the sugar granules are dissolved or your sugar could crystallize and become grainy.
  5. Remove the lid and insert your candy thermometer. Continue boiling the mixture without stirring until the thermometer reaches 235ºF
  6. Begin whisking your egg whites on high to soft peaks
  7. When your syrup reaches 240ºF, reduce the speed of your mixer to low and drizzle in your hot syrup. Try to drizzle between the whisk attachment and the side of the bowl to prevent the syrup from splattering.
  8. Increase the speed back to high and whip to very stiff peaks. Place ice packs at the base of your mixer to cool the meringue down to room temperature as you’re mixing or remove the meringue once it’s stiff enough and place it into the fridge for 15 minutes to cool it down.
  9. Once your meringue is completely cool, you can whip in your butter, salt, and vanilla until the buttercream is light and fluffy and no longer tastes like butter.
  10. Now you can add in food coloring if you desire


Italian White Beans

Italian White Beans are slowly cooked with sage & garlic, resulting in plump, firm beans that are delicious dressed with olive oil or served on crostini.

I came back from our trip to Italy this past summer with a desire to make some really authentic Italian dishes. Italian dishes that aren’t just your basic pasta with tomato sauce. There are also the more rustic dishes – things that we ate at those Italian restaurants that were only discovered after walking down several quite alleyways, or served at the small wine bars sprinkled about the towns.

One of our favorite meals that we had when we were in Italy was at this restaurant perched on a hilltop overlooking the vines in Tuscany. We were taken here as part of a wine tour and told that George Clooney had eaten here not just once, but several times. After our first dish, I could tell why…

We had the most amazing meal that consisted of two specialty pastas – A ravioli dish with fresh shaved truffles and a rigatoni with wild boar ragu. Also served were crostini – served three ways. One with tomatoes and garlic, another topped with pate, and a third that was topped with traditional Italian white beans and a sprinkling of rosemary.

It was that meal, and that last crostini in particular, that inspired this dish.

These Italian White Beans are cooked in the traditional style, low and slow on your stove. It’s that low and slow process that results in these beans holding their shape, not becoming too mushy, and having that perfect toothsome texture. They’re cooked simply, with just a few cloves of garlic, some fresh sage, and bay leaf. Because the flavor is simple, it’s up to you to decide what you’d like to do with them:

  • Dress them with a bit of quality olive oil and a sprinkling of flaky sea salt.
  • Serve them on crostini with a bit of fresh rosemary.
  • Use them in soups and stews.

I found that this recipe made so many beans, that I was actually able to use them in several ways. I also froze some in mason jars to use for soups during the winter. Just package them up with their cooking broth and you can store them for up to 3 months. Be sure to leave about an inch of room in the jar though to account for expansion when the liquid freezes.

Did you know that white beans are part of a superfoods category called “pulses,” the dry, edible seeds of plants in the legume family, which also includes chickpeas, dry peas and lentils? They’re naturally high in protein and fiber, but low in fat, and I’ve definitely noticed that after eating a meal containing pulses, I stay full for quite a while afterwards. That’s why I love sneaking them into my diet as part of my lunch routine. For lunches, I’ll typically toss some of the beans with some pesto or mojo sauce. It’s a yummy lunch that can be enjoyed warm or cold.

If you’re looking for ways to eat healthier, sneaking pulses into your daily routine is definitely a great way to do it! Sign up for the Half-Cup Habit, and see how easy it can be to add ½ cup serving of pulses to your diet 3x per week. That’s totally doable, right?!

How would you serve these Italian white beans? On crostini? In a soup? As a salad? Let me know in the comments below.


A less intense version of the Negroni, gin is swapped out for sparkling water.

Recipes you want to make. Cooking advice that works. Restaurant recommendations you trust.

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What is a Cannolo?

The Authentic cannoli recipe consists of a fried and crispy pastry wrap, stuffed with a creamy filling of ricotta, chocolate chips and candied pumpkin cubes.

The latter got a bit lost in time and isn’t considered to be the main ingredient anymore. The Sicilian cannoli are then trimmed laterally and covered with candied cherries, orange peels or chopped pistachios, but the filling remains the same.

The Sicilian cannolo is a typical dessert of Sicily.

Note: The authentic cannoli recipe consists of it, but if you don’t want lard at all, replace it with the same amount of vegetable oil. If you don’t prefer using chocolate chips, you can only use candied fruit.

Fill the cannoli waffles right before serving, to keep their characteristic crispness.


Italy's 50 Best White Wines

A little more than four years ago at my Italian wine blog, I wrote an article about Italy's 50 Best White Wines. It may have been the first article of its type, as white wines tend to be greatly overshadowed by the country's famous reds.

But having visited virtually every region of Italy, tasting the typical wines of each area, it became clear to me over the past ten years that the finest Italian whites are highly distinctive and can be ranked favorably with the best whites from around the world.

This was not always the case, as 20 or 30 years ago there were too many Italian whites that were overly simple, with many tasting alike, no matter the variety used in each particular wine worse still, few of the wines could be enjoyed beyond two or three years of age. But technology, and especially research in the vineyard - planting the best clones in the best locations - turned things around, giving numerous whites much more character, complexity, varietal purity, and perhaps most importantly, structure for notable aging potential.

There is so much more to write in this analysis, but let's get right to the wines. Instead of listing them from 1-50 - an impossible task - I've arranged them in groups of ten 1st ten, 2nd ten, and so forth. Within each group, I've listed the whites alphabetically. As there are a lot more than 50 great Italian whites, I've included a list at the conclusion of this article, with the names of another 25 wines. (Note: I did not include dessert wines or "orange" wines - I will write about these in the future.)

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Vigne Marina Coppi Timorasso “Fausto” (Colli Tortonesi)

Marisa Cuomo “Fiorduva” (Costa d’Amalfi, Campania)

Andrea Felici Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Riserva “Il Cantico della Figura” (Marche)

Livio Felluga “Terre Alte” (Rosazzo Bianco, Friuli)

Pieropan Soave Classico “Calvarino” (Soave Classico, Veneto)

Petilia Greco di Tufo (Campania)

Pietracupa Greco di Tufo (Campania)

Cantina Terlano Pinot Bianco Riserva “Vorberg” (Alto Adige)

Cantina Tramin Gewürztraminer “Nussbaumer” (Alto Adige)

Valentini Trebbiano d’Abruzzo (Abruzzo)

Ten truly compelling whites, all with superb varietal purity. The Terre Alte from Felluga, a blend of Friulano, Pinot Bianco and Sauvignon, is as distinctive and as stylistic a white as you will find from anywhere, but so too is the Fiorduva from Marisa Cuomo, a powerful Campanian white (a blend of local varieties Ginestra, Fenile and Ripoli) from pergola vineyards dramatically sited above the sea on the Amalfi Coast. Both these wines routinely drink well for 10-15 years after they are released.

Campania may be home to the finest whites in Italy, and Greco di Tufo is arguably the best white of Campania, both for its structure - the finest examples display amazing complexity after 7-10 years - and their distinct minerality. I've rated the Pietracupa Greco di Tufo as the best white of Italy for several years, but I've recently tasted the Greco di Tufo from Petilia that is as pure and as harmonious. Sabino Loffredo and Teresa Bruno, respectively, are the driving forces behind these two wines, and while both make extremely limited examples of Greco ("G" for Pietracupa, "Quattro Venti - 4 20" for Petilia), I decided to list their classic offerings.

The Nussbaumer Gewürztraminer is simply hedonistic - the perfumes of this wine, displaying enticing notes of lychee, yellow roses, lanolin and grapefruit are enough to make you fall in love!

I rated the “Calvarino” Soave Classico from Pieropan higher than the “La Rocca” (see below) because of its more classic profile - a blend of 70% Garganega and 30% Trebbiano di Soave, while the Terlano “Vorberg” is as complex and as dazzling a Pinot Bianco as there is in Alto Adige.

The Felici Verdicchio, from a relatively new estate, is as pure and as focused a Verdicchio as I have ever tasted cement-fermented and aged, this has exceptional length. The Coppi Timorasso is the finest example of this singular white from Piemonte, one with powerful minerality and stunning complexity.

Finally, what more can I say about the Valentini Trebbiano d’Abruzzo that hasn’t already been said? This great producer showed us the true potential of this variety his version towers over most of the competition. Unlike too many straightforward, relatively simple examples of Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, the Valentini version is powerful and tightly wrapped – it demands time. Here is a memorable wine that is superb after a decade or two, it has richly earned its status as one of Italy’s finest wines – red or white.

Juat harvested Vermentino grapes at the vineyards of Cantine Lunae Bosoni. Their Etchetta Nera . [+] (Black Label) is a superb version of Vermentino.

Photo courtesy Cantine Lunae Bosoni

Cantine Lunae Bosoni Vermentino “Etichetta Nera” (Colli di Luni)

Colterenzio Sauvignon “Lafoa” (Alto Adige)

Ettore Germano Riesling "Herzu" (Piemonte)

J. Hofstatter Gewürztraminer “Kolbenhof” (Alto Adige)

Lo Triolet Pinot Gris (Valle d’Aosta)

Pietracupa Fiano di Avellino (Campania)

Tenuta Sarno Fiano di Avellino (Campania)

Villa Bucci Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Riserva (Marche)

Villa Diamante Fiano di Avellino “Vigna della Congregazione” (Campania)

Three versions of Fiano di Avellino here – all powerful, all superb, and all great representations of Fiano. The Pietracupa is the most refined, the Diamante the most dynamic, the Sarno, the most aristocratic. Each wine has notable cellar potential.

A different style of Fiano is the “Cometa” of Planeta. This has been one of Italy’s top whites for some time recent vintages have been nothing short of brilliant. I love the exotic fruit profile along with the notes of chamomile and thyme. I love the slightly oily texture of this wine! The Hofstatter Gewürztraminer is deeply concentrated, has brilliant varietal focus and needs time to show its greatness the recently tasted 2012 is in excellent shape more than six years after its production.

The Villa Bucci is the most famous and perhaps the most consistent offering of Verdicchio the wine is all about finesse and charm. The Lo Triolet Pinot Gris is the finest example of this variety in all of Italy. Produced from grapes situated 2900 feet above sea level (arguably the highest elevation in the world for this variety), this is a stellar wine with pinpoint perfumes of apricot, red apple and pear backed by vibrant acidity and white spice notes in the finish. This Valle d’Aosta offering is layered, engaging and impossible to resist.

The "Herzu" Riesling of Ettore Germano is from high elevation vineyards in the Alta Langa zone. Proprietor Sergio Germano each year delivers a sumptuous dry Riesling with heavenly perfumes of jasmine, lime and orange blossom the 2015, 2016 and 2017 versions were all first-rate, while the new 2018 is as charming and as beautifully structured as ever it may be the best yet!

Finally, the Lunae Bosoni Vermentino “Etichetta Nera” is arguably the finest aromatic white in all of Italy. Brilliant varietal purity with vibrant acidity and amazing length – a great white from Liguria and as good a Vermentino as you will ever taste.

Cutizzi Vineyard of Feudi di San Gregorio

Bisci Verdicchio di Matelica “Vigneto Fogliano” (Marche)

Feudi di San Gregorio Greco di Tufo “Cutizzi” (Campania)

Gini Soave “Contrada Salvarenza Vecchie Vigne” (Veneto)

Manincor Sauvignon “Lieben Aich” (Alto Adige)

Emidio Pepe Trebbiano d’Abruzzo (Abruzzo)

Pieropan Soave Classico “La Rocca” (Veneto)

Poggio dei Gorleri Pigato "Albium" (Liguria)

Il Colombaio di Santa Chiara Vernaccia di San Gimignano “Campo della Pieve” (Tuscany)

Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Bianco "Santo Spirito" (Sicily)

Vadiaperti Greco di Tufo "Tornante" (Campania)

The Il Colombaio Santa Chiara Vernaccia di San Gimignano is as rich, complex and as focused an example of this wine type I have ever tried – simply perfect! The Walch Gewürztraminer is appealingly fruity and spicy – a wonderful combination.

The Feudi di San Gregorio “Cutizzi” is a stylish Greco di Tufo from a single vineyard the wine has subtle tropical fruit perfumes and great finesse. The Pieropan Soave "La Rocca" is oak-aged, 100% Garganega, that is one of the most intense examples of Soave Classico produced today it ages extremely well. The Gini “Contrada Salvarenza” is made from vines ranging from 60 to 100 years of age powerful in its approach, this is a great Soave with outstanding persistence and presence.

The Emidio Pepe Trebbiano has been a great wine for many years more approachable upon release than the Valentini, it ages gracefully and has memorable harmony. At Tenuta delle Terre Nere, Marco deGrazia excels in both Etna Rosso and Bianco. He crafts three different offerings of Etna Bianco, with the most distinctive being the "Santo Spirito" bottling, named for the eponymous contrada (vineyard) where the grapes are sourced. 100% Carricante, with some vines more than 100 years old, this is fermented and matured in barriques. Creamy with outstanding complexity and persistence, this is a sublime wine the 2017 version is the finest Etna Bianco I have ever tasted!

The Manincor “Lieben Aich” is from biodynamic vineyards near Lago Caldaro in Alto Adige this offers great varietal purity and persistence. The "Vigneto Fogliano" from Bisci, one of the premier producers of Verdicchio di Matelica, is a single vineyard wine from thirty-five year old vines there is great varietal purity (notes of spearmint and elderberries) as well as outstanding concentration and persistence. This is precise in its execution – and simply delicious!

The Vadiaperti (this winery is also known as Traerte) Greco di Tufo "Tornante" is a wine of great complexity, with notes of mango, tea leaf and yellow roses, with a light touch of minerality. You instantly know this is Greco di Tufo, and you'll also realize it 10 or more years after the vintage I've tried 20 year-old versions that are still in great shape!

Finally, the "Albium" from Poggio dei Gorleri is a singular example of Pigato from Liguria. It does not display as much saltiness as other versions of this variety, but the appealing notes of guava, saffron and golden apples, backed by excellent depth of fruit and lively acidity, make this wine stellar.

Castello di Tassarollo as seen from the air

Photo courtesy Castello di Tassarolo

Anselmi “Capitel Foscarino” (Veneto)

Ca’ Rugate Soave Classico “Monte Alto” (Veneto)

Castellari Bergaglio Gavi “Pilin” (Piemonte)

Castello della Sala “Cervaro della Sala” (Umbria)

Castello di Tassarolo Gavi “Alborina” (Piemonte)

Elisabetta Foradori Nosiola “Fontanasanta” (Vigneto delle Dolomiti, Trentino)

Malvirà Roero Arneis "Renesio" (Piemonte)

Manincor Pinot Bianco “Eichhorn” (Alto Adige)

Elena Walch Gewürztraminer "Kastelaz" (Alto Adige)

The Anselmi “Capitel Foscarino” is a deeply concentrated and thrillingly concentrated Garganega (with 10% Chardonnay) that never fails to excite the senses. The Foradori Nosiola is a one-of-a-kind wine made from an indigenous variety of Trentino, Foradori ferments the grapes with the skins in amphorae from Spain. This is a sensual, multi-layered white that reveals greater complexity over the years.

The Manincor Pinot Bianco "Eichorn" is a voluptuous Pinot Bianco, easily one of the best examples of this variety from Alto Adige. The "Renesio" from Malvirà is my favorite Roero Arneis offering notes of honey and pineapple, this is one of the most complex of its type.

Two examples of Gavi in the group, a wine many seem to have forgotten. The Tassarolo is from biodynamically-farmed grapes and offers exotic guava and candied fruit aromas, lovely acidity, perfect harmony and great finesse. The Bergaglio, is a completely different style, as it is barrique-aged there is marvelous texture and outstanding complexity. The wood notes are evident, but play a supporting role all in all, this is a strikingly distinctive Gavi.

The "Monte Alto" Soave from Ca'Rugate is a barrel-fermented and matured Soave with a creamy texture that is among Soave's finest the wine improves dramatically over five to seven years after the vintage. The Abbazia “Praepositus” Kerner displays the promise of this variety, grown in the Valle Isarco in far northeastern Alto Adige. Offering perfumes of papaya, melon and orange rind, there are also delicate yellow spice notes. Lovely acidity and complexity – I always find something new in this wine every time I taste it.

The Cervaro della Sala is a barrique-aged blend of 85% Chardonnay and 15% Grechetto that is as complex and as singular as almost any wine on this list. This is a great combination of varietal character and richness with great finesse, charm and style this is another white to be enjoyed years down the road. The Edi Keber Collio - no need to label it as a Bianco - is a blend of Friulano, Malvasia and Ribolla Gialla, that is partially aged in 10 year-old mid-size oak it is a powerful blend with outstanding complexity and persistence.

The Walch "Kastelaz" Gewürztraminer, from a beautifully situated vineyard not far from the town of Tramin is a textbook version of this variety, with lovely fruit and spice notes and notable persistence and complexity - it is very delicious!

The Irpinian landscape as seen from Villa Raiano

Abbazia di Novacella Kerner “Praepositus” (Valle Isarco, Alto Adige)

Elvio Cogno Anas Cëtta (Piemonte)

Peter Dipoli Sauvignon “Voglar” (Alto Adige)

Kuenhof Riesling “Kaiton” (Vallee Isarco, Alto Adige)

Ottin Petite Arvine (Valle d'Aosta)

Primosic "Klin Platinum" (Collio, Friuli)

Selva Capuzza Lugana Riserva "Menasasso" (Lombardia)

Umani-Ronchi Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Riserva “Plenio” (Marche)

Vie di Romans "Flors di Uis" (Isonzo, Friuli)

Villa Raiano Fiano di Avellino “Alimata” (Campania)

The "Alimata" is one of three selections of Fiano from Villa Raiano, a Campanian winery that is among the region's finest, yet still flies under the radar. From a vineyard in Montefredane about 1000 feet above sea level, this has great texture and varietal purity no oak is used at any time, while extended lees aging adds complexity.

The Vie di Romans "Flors di Uis" from Isonzo in the Friuli is a tantalizing blend of Malvasia, Friulano and Riesling that is a deeply flavored white fermented and aged solely in steel tanks that offers enchanting tropical fruit and lovely floral aromas, backed by a lengthy finish I love the harmony and subtleties of this wine!

The Petite Arvine from Ottin from the far northwest region of Valle d'Aosta is a sleek, dry, beautifully sculptured white with appealing mandarin orange, crocus and mint notes. backed by lively acidity.

The Cogno Anas Cëtta made from the Nascetta variety that is from the commune of Novello where the winery is located, is the prototype for this variety. Extended lees aging provides texture, and the wine has an intriguing subtle herbal note. Good natural acidity ensures longevity six and seven-year old versions are most enjoyable.

The Primosic "Klin" is another distinctive white blend from Friuli - this from Sauvignon, Friulano, Chardonnay and Ribolla Gialla - but this is fermented and matured in barriques, giving the wine tremendous complexity and weight on the palate this is very Burgundian in style.

Partial oak fermentation along with strict grape selection helps the Selva Capuzza "Menasasso" stand out among many other examples of Lugana this has great depth of fruit and impressive complexity. Umani-Ronchi is an accomplished producer of Verdicchio their finest wine is the “Plenio” Riserva. One-third of the wine is aged in large Slavonian casks to give the wine a touch of wood as well as additional texture. Perfectly ripe fruit, lively acidity and outstanding complexity, this is at its best seven to ten years after the vintage.

The Kuenhof Riesling is produced from soils containing quartz, schist and crush rock, which certainly give this wine a clear-cut individuality. The “Kaiton” Riesling has engaging aromas of apricot, petrol and even a note of green tea medium-full with steely acidity, this has precise minerality and lovely varietal focus.

The Abbazia “Praepositus” Kerner displays the promise of this variety, grown in the Valle Isarco in far northeastern Alto Adige. Offering perfumes of papaya, melon and orange rind, there are also delicate yellow spice notes. Lovely acidity and complexity – I always find something new in this wine every time I taste it.

Finally, the Peter Dipoli Sauvignon “Voglar” is all about varietal purity. Simply put, every component of this wine meshes seamlessly taste this wine and you realize what a great Sauvignon – or white wine, for that matter – is all about. Simply perfect!

Here are an additional 28 Italian white wines that are excellent to outstanding in quality and just missed making my top 50.

Benanti “Pietramarina” (Etna)

Cantina del Castello Soave Classico “Pressoni” (Veneto)

Cave du Vin Blanc Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle “Rayon” (Valle d’Aosta)

Donnachiara Greco di Tufo (Campania)

Livio Felluga Sauvignon (Collio)

Filippi Soave “Castelcerino” (Veneto)

Ghiomo Arneis “Imprimis” (Langhe, Piedmont)

Gradis’ciutta “Bratinis” (Collio)

Grattamacco Vermentino (Bolgheri)

I Clivi Friulano “Clivi Galea” (Friuli Colli Orientali)

Jankara Vermentino di Gallura (Sardinia)

Jermann Vintage Tunina (Venezia Giulia)

Alois Lageder Chardonnay “Lowengang” (Alto Adige)

Les Crêtes Chardonnay “Cuvée Bois” (Valle d’Aosta)

Massa Derthoni "Sterpi" (Piemonte)

Mastroberardino Fiano di Avellino "Radici" (Campania)

Montenidoli Vernaccia di San Gimignano “Carato” (Tuscany)

Ciro Picariello Fiano di Avellino (Campania)

Planeta Chardonnay (Sicilia)

Cantina Produttori San Michele Appiano Sauvignon “St. Valentin” (Alto Adige)

Russiz Superiore “Col Disôre” (Collio)

Schiopetto Friulano (Collio)

Tiefenbrunner Müller Thurgau “Feldmarschall von Fenner zu Fennberg” (Alto Adige)

La Vis/Valle Cembra Müller Thurgau “Vigne delle Forche” (Alto Adige)

Valle Reale Trebbiano d’Abruzzo “Vigneto di Capestrano” (Abruzzo)

Elena Walch “Beyond the Clouds” (Alto Adige)

Zenato Lugana Riserva "Sergio" (Veneto)

I am a Chicago-based wine writer, educator and photographer, with 40 years of experience in the wine industry. For the past 21 years, I have been a freelancer, writing


Here are 13 Vegetarian Italian Recipes You Can Try At Home:

1. Caprese Salad with Pesto Sauce

This timeless antipasti is what made me fall in love with Italian cuisine. It's truly a magical combination of flavours, textures and freshness with tomato, mozzarella and basil and either a drizzle of sweet balsamic reduction of pesto (or both). Side note: It even represents the 3 colours of the Italian flag.

A filling vegetarian Italian meal that's so hearty you won't even miss the meat. This Italian casserole layered with parmesan cheese and tomatoes is a fabulous way to serve eggplant, indeed. Serve with a bed of rocket salad and some crispy garlic bread.

3. Panzanella

Ideal for summer, cook up some Panzanella when you're in the mood for a chilled glass of Prosecco and a whole lot of sunshine! It does not follow any particular recipe, so play around with flavours and textures.

4. Mushroom Risotto

The flavors of dried and fresh mushrooms beautifully carry through in this classic Italian risotto, made from plump Arborio rice. If you're in the mood to indulge, stir in some extra parmesan and butter at the end, maybe even a splash of white wine.

5. Bruschetta

6. Four Cheese Pasta

Cheese lovers, rejoice! We bring you a gourmet version of mac n' cheese with parmesan, cheddar, brie and emmental. It's easy to follow and surely doesn't get more cheesy than this. For an extra kick of flavour, you can even sprinkle some rosemary and thyme.

7. Home Style Baked Pasta

You can never go wrong with this hearty, home-style baked pasta recipe, mingled with greens, tangy tomato sauce and cheese galore. Top it off breadcrumbs and bake to perfection.

8. Corn Cannelloni

Here's an all-star recipe featuring paneer and corn with a hint of pepper, baked with a whole lot of cream and cheese. Serve with a tossed salad, crusty garlic bread and dry white wine.

9. Ravioli with Coconut Milk & Lemongrass

Pour a smooth sauce of coconut milk, spring onions and fragrant lemongrass over ravioli stuffed with a mix of greens and go straight to foodie heaven! The coconut milk surprisingly pairs well with ravioli and makes it drool-worthy.

10. Pasta Con Pomodoro e Basilico

Having a rough day? Here's a giant bowl of pasta to solve all your problems. Flavoured with fresh basil, tomato and cloves - it just doesn't get more basic than this. You're in for a treat, we promise.

11. Grilled Vegetable Lasagne

Layers of lasagna sheets, creamy white sauce, crisp veggies and lots of cheese- this wholesome and filling treat is not only healthy but a delight at any time of the day. Brunch, Lunch or dinner this cheesy treat is a show stealer.

12. Grilled Vegetables With Feta Bruschetta

Zucchini, capsicum, feta cheese and spinach leaves, this veggie delight combines classic flavours and takes you on a joy ride of flavours. Make sure the veggies you pick are fresh so that you are able to retain the delicious crunch that comes with it.

13. Green Asparagus Risotto

A soothing and heart-warming combination of rice, cheese and vegetable broth cooked slowly along with white wine. This risotto is the perfect dish to try when you are out of time but are looking for something appetizing.

This risotto is the perfect dish to try when you are out of time.

How do you make Italian bread from scratch?

  • warm water (It should be about 110°.)
  • instant yeast (I use SAF yeast.)
  • granulated sugar (Gives the bread flavor, but also feeds the yeast, helping the bread rise.)
  • vegetable oil (or olive oil, or another oil that is liquid at room temperature)
  • salt (adds flavor, and prevents dough from rising too much)
  • all purpose flour
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the warm water, yeast, sugar, oil, and about 2 cups of the flour till smooth. Let the mixture sit at room temperature till nice and bubbly, about 30 minutes.
  2. Add the salt and stir in enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead a few times on a floured counter till dough is smooth.
  3. Place the dough ball back in the bowl. Cover and let raise in a warm place till at least doubled.
  4. Cut dough into two pieces on a counter that has been sprayed with non stick spray. Form each piece of dough into a loaf about 12 inches long. Place on a baking pan that has been sprayed with non stick spray.
  5. Let loaves raise till doubled. Make a few diagonal slices across the top. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. That’s it!

My family likes a softer crust, so I like to brush butter on the loaves when they come out of the oven. If you like a crisper crust on your bread, you can skip that step.

Nothing beats a soft and crusty bread warm from the oven! This Italian bread loaf is perfect on its own, especially slathered with some butter. And of course you can dip it in some olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER BREAD

This bread is definitely best fresh, but will last for about 2-3 days at room temperature if stored in an airtight container. The crust will soften up as it sits in the bag or container.

It can also be frozen, but it does lose some of the great texture. If you want to freeze it, wrap it tightly in two layers of plastic wrap or aluminum foil. It will last for about 3 months in the freezer.

We love serving it with spaghetti and other Italian dishes because it is perfect for soaking up all that tasty sauce. It it also makes fantastic garlic bread, or you can let it sit for a couple of days and then use it to make French toast. Such a versatile bread recipe.


Delicious Italy

Our choice of traditional Italian recipes from Genoa, the Cinque Terre and the rest of the region of Liguria Genoa. Start with our latest suggestions below.

The Original Pesto Recipe

A few years ago we were invited by Sanremo Promotion to see the city and wider province of Imperia in west Liguria.

As well as the wonderful old part of Sanremo called Pigna and a trip to Taggia to see the famous olive production, we were also taken to the Olive Oil Museum of Olio Carli in Imperia.

Mussel Carbonara with Linguine Pasta

Pandolce Christmas cake recipe

I am interested in a recipe to make pandolce. My mother in-law is from Genoa and I would like to make her the Traditional Genovese pandolce. If you cannot send a recipe can you please advise where I may be able to purchase some in the New York/New Jersey area.

Torta Pasqualina

This typical Ligurian Easter pastry dates from the XIV century and, in its original form, from the city of Genoa .

It boasted a very thin puff pastry made with 33 layers. If only we had the time to do this now.

Croxetti Pasta and Sauces

Do try this recipe at home, but first read our article about the man who saved corzetti or croxetti from being forgotten.

His name is Pietro Picetti and we visited his workshop in Varese Ligure, in Val di Vara.

Below we suggest the more traditional sauce first which is then followed by today's more popular condiment, both given to us by Signor Picetti.


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