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Food

Martini Party Penguins

Martini Party Penguins

These will brighten up any cocktail party.

The Best Italian Herb You Never Heard Of

The Best Italian Herb You Never Heard Of

Nepitella completes the trifecta of Italian herbs that are a must-have in any Tuscan kitchen.

Quick Tomato Sauce

Quick Tomato Sauce

From a nineteenth-century, classic, Italian cookbook, it doesn’t get any more authentic than this.

Chard Stuffed with Risotto and Mozzarella

Chard Stuffed with Risotto and Mozzarella

Guests at our house said this was one of their favorites.

Torta d’patata

Torta d’patata

This is a very thin and savory potato cake from northern Italy.

Carol’s Cheesy Fig Delights

Carol’s Cheesy Fig Delights

This appetizer couldn’t be any easier to make, especially if you allow your guests to make their own.

Ma’s Stuffed Peppers

This is an easy one and the kids like them too. Feel free to dip them in ketchup. 

Best Super Bowl App: AI (Asian-Italian) Chicken Wings

Best Super Bowl App: AI (Asian-Italian) Chicken Wings

Here’s something different and guaranteed to be addictive.

Shrimp Saute, “Fresh From Maine”

Shrimp Saute, “Fresh From Maine”

Here’s a simple and delicious way to cook shrimp, perfect for a quick weeknight supper but also impressive for a special occassion.

Healthy Green Gazpacho Soup

Healthy Green Gazpacho Soup

I created this recipe after tasting green gazpacho soup for the first time last month.

Quick, Easy and Filling Greek Breakfast

Quick, Easy and Filling Greek Breakfast

(A Greek frappe and yogurt with honey makes a good filling breakfast.)In Greece there’s a thing called a “frappe.” You see people drinking them everywhere, in restaurants, outdoor cafes and small bars. It’s an iced coffee but without any pretense. The beans aren’t exotic. They’re […]

Quick, Easy Nutella Cookies

Quick, Easy Nutella Cookies

These are so good, it’s hard to stop eating them.

Cold Taiwanese Sesame Noodles With Peanut Sauce

Cold Taiwanese Sesame Noodles With Peanut Sauce

This is how you make Taiwanese street food.

Recipe Videos From Boston’s Best Chefs

This is one of my favorite recipes from the weekly Dorm Room Chef series I produced for the Boston Globe.

A Long Lost Julia Child Recipe From the Days Before the Internet

A Long Lost Julia Child Recipe From the Days Before the Internet

Roulade: The Rolled Souffle A long time ago in a world far away, before there were smartphones, social media, the World Wide Web, and PCs had tiny green screens….That’s right, I’m talking about the 1980s. During this prehistoric time, I was working at a small-town […]

A Quick, Easy, One-Pan, Weeknight Eggplant Delight

A Quick, Easy, One-Pan, Weeknight Eggplant Delight

This Turkish dish is similar to eggplant parmesan but without the cheese and without as much work.

Seared Scallops with Peas, Mint, and Bacon (Prosciutto?)

Seared Scallops with Peas, Mint, and Bacon (Prosciutto?)

My friend Ray, who owns a fishing boat in Gloucester, gave me a bag full of scallops on Saturday that were caught that day. I got around to cooking them Tuesday night and they were still fresher than anything you could buy at a reputable […]

Sartu di Riso: One of the Best Dishes, Ever

Sartu di Riso: One of the Best Dishes, Ever

There are many recipes on RootsLiving but this one takes the cake. The giant rice cake, stuffed with sausages and meatballs covered in a velvety tomato sauce, has become a RootsLiving favorite. I first ate it when my sister-in-law, Kathy, made it. It sounds like […]

Can’t Beet This Vegetarian Dinner

Can’t Beet This Vegetarian Dinner

After work I felt like cooking, so I went shopping and came home and whipped this up in about 90 minutes (I used left over tomato sauce). All of the recipes except for the beet recipe have been posted on Rootsliving. So, I’m posting a […]

Chickplantasagna is born

Chickplantasagna is born

We were hungry. I had eggplant, zucchini, some leftover cheddar cheese and a new block of Parmesan Reggiano in the refrigerator. All day long I thought of those ingredients and asked myself what I could make for dinner. Around 4 p.m., the answer came to […]

Short Ribs Provencale

Short Ribs Provencale

This recipe is time consuming but it’s well worth the wait. I found it on Epicurious. Cookbook author Rick Rodgers said the editors of Bon Appétit magazine asked him to create the ultimate version of braised short ribs and this is what he came up […]

An Easy Recipe For Making English Muffins From Scratch

An Easy Recipe For Making English Muffins From Scratch

(These english muffins are much better than store bought and contain only a few natural ingredients: not a long laundry list of chemicals you can’t pronounce.) I made english muffins from scratch for the first time this morning. And I’ll be making these again — […]

Giant Peruvian Lima Bean Soup (From Taranta Restaurant in Boston’s North End)

This soup is easy to make and guaranteed to make you healthy.

Tuscan-Style Fried Sage Leaves

Tuscan-Style Fried Sage Leaves

The light batter is reminiscent of tempura: another example of the similarities between Asian and Italian cuisine.

Caponata, aka: Sweet and Sour Eggplant

Caponata, aka: Sweet and Sour Eggplant

This is delicious by itself as a side dish or when mixed with pasta.

Some Easter Dinner Favorites

Some Easter Dinner Favorites

These tried and true side dishes show up at the RootsLiving dinner table every Easter. If you’re looking for ideas to wow your guests this year, try these recipes. Nan’s Mashed Potatoes are rich, creamy and flavorful. And there’s no better way to make carrots […]

Baked Stuffed Shrimp

Baked Stuffed Shrimp

Growing up, this was my favorite dish. My mother would make it for me every year on my birthday. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to post the recipe. Here it is: Ingredients: Jumbo shrimp. If you’re buying frozen, get the 8-12  pack. […]

Bok Choy With Raisins (A Winning Side Dish Is Born)

Bok Choy With Raisins (A Winning Side Dish Is Born)

This side dish is a definite keeper. I made it up yesterday, while trying to come up with a good green side dish to go with baked stuffed shrimp. At first I was thinking of an arugula salad, but didn’t feel like driving three or […]

A Classic Vinaigrette

A Classic Vinaigrette

This salad dressing recipe is so easy and delicious, I stopped using store-bought dressings years ago. It takes less than five minutes to make. Here’s the recipe: Ingredients: Olive oil. Here’s where you use extra-virgin olive oil if you have it. About half a cup. […]

Have A Therapeutic Moment This Saint Patrick’s Day

Have A Therapeutic Moment This Saint Patrick’s Day

Pull up a stool and watch Terry Nixon, a bartender at Mr. Dooley’s in Boston, pour a perfect glass of Guinness. It’s truly an art form and there’s no better artist than Terry. You don’t drink Guinness immediately after it’s poured. You have to wait […]

City Rebounds With Some Asian Flair

City Rebounds With Some Asian Flair

By Mark Micheli (This story ran in the Feb. 22, 2015 edition of the Boston Sunday Globe.) MALDEN — It took Maria Tran 11 tries before she successfully left Vietnam in 1984. “It was not a trip. It was an escape,” said the owner of […]

Forget the Snow, It’s Stew-A-Palooza – 2015

Forget the Snow, It’s Stew-A-Palooza – 2015

Dorm Room Chef: Dante de Magistris Makes Steak Pizzaiola from Mark Micheli on Vimeo. (This is one of my favorite recipes from the weekly Dorm Room Chef series I produced during 2014. It’s steak pizzaiola made in a slow cooker: easy and delicious. Watch the […]

Coq Au Vin Blanc

Coq Au Vin Blanc

Coq au vin is traditionally made with red wine but I wasn’t in the mood for such a deep strong flavor. So I decided to make it using white wine and the results were perfect. A few nights ago, I made a traditional beef bourguignon […]

Christmas Eve Dinner

Christmas Eve Dinner

(Chef Gina Palmacci from Legal Oysteria demonstrates how to make Antipasti Platter.) The menu this Christmas Eve for 11 people at our house was as follows: Shrimp Saute (From Joshua’s Restaurant, Wells, Maine) Chard Stuffed with Risotto and Mozzarella (From La Zucca Magica, Nice, France) […]

Dorm Room Chef: Microwave Chocolate Cake In One Minute

Dorm Room Chef: Microwave Chocolate Cake In One Minute

Several months ago I created two weekly video series for the Boston Globe and Boston.com. Dorm Room Chef features Boston chefs preparing a dish that a college student could prepare in their dorm room. Drink of the Week features Boston bartenders creating a specialty cocktail […]

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers The Way My Mother Made Them

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers The Way My Mother Made Them

I hope you find the wait has been worth it. For several months I abandoned this column. But now I return with one of my favorite dishes: stuffed zucchini flowers. My mother used to make these maybe once a year, or once every two years. […]

Frozen Fruit and Yogurt Rollups

Frozen Fruit and Yogurt Rollups

It’s Super Bowl Sunday and I’m making chili, chicken wings and pub kettle chips but to make myself feel better about those indulgences I searched online for something healthier. I found this recipe for frozen fruit rollups: a perfect dish to make with kids. And […]

The Best French Onion Soup Recipe

The Best French Onion Soup Recipe

French cooking doesn’t have to be complicated as evidenced by this simple to follow recipe for a classic soup.

Guacamole

Guacamole

Fresh guacamole is much better than store-bought and it’s pretty easy to make.

A Christmas Eve Dinner Fit For A Pitstop By Santa Claus

A Christmas Eve Dinner Fit For A Pitstop By Santa Claus

The menu is set. Santa Claus may travel around the world in one night but I like to travel more leisurely: eating and drinking and then recreating some of my favorite dishes. Here’s what we’re having tomorrow night, Christmas Eve. The dishes are ones I […]

Pub Kettle Chips

Pub Kettle Chips

These would go great with watching a football game or just watching the snow fall.

Homemade Hummus and Pita Chips

Homemade Hummus and Pita Chips

Why would anyone make their own hummus when it’s readily available at most supermarkets? Because the homemade is that much better. Trust me.

Ghosts in the Graveyard, Just in Time for Halloween

Ghosts in the Graveyard, Just in Time for Halloween

It’s scary, I know: a recipe from a gigantic food conglomerate. The man wants to sell more Cool Whip so he relies on creative to come up with a recipe millions will be forced to make, at least once each year. My brother is one […]

The Great Fall Applesauce Campaign Continues

The Great Fall Applesauce Campaign Continues

Last month  I posted a recipe for roasted applesauce as part of a class project at Northeastern University. The project started with a single photograph that had to show “transformation.” It then progressed to taking that one photo and adding more photographs to create a […]

Chicken in Milk: Strange, but True

Chicken in Milk: Strange, but True

This was a pretty simple recipe, albeit an odd one. You basically put a chicken in a pot, brown it on all sides, remove the grease and then add milk, lemon zest and a cinnamon stick. The result is a tender, juicy and sweet, chicken […]

Audio Slideshow: Roasted Applesauce

Audio Slideshow: Roasted Applesauce

Not sure what to do with all of this season’s apples? Make applesauce. Not sure what to do with all that applesauce? Put it on pork chops. Mix it in yogurt. Add it to oatmeal. Swap it for oil in box cake-mixes. Swap it for […]

Mushrooms Stuffed With Nepitella Pesto

Mushrooms Stuffed With Nepitella Pesto

Nepitella is a cross between basil and mint and pairs perfectly with mushrooms.

10-Minute Crostini

10-Minute Crostini

This is super easy, super fast, and so good.

Ban on Italian Cured Meats Lifted After 50 Years

Ban on Italian Cured Meats Lifted After 50 Years

(I wrote this article for the Boston Globe and after much digging was able to find out that the ban was in place for 50 years.) By Mark Micheli Globe Correspondent Italian cold cut connoisseurs are eagerly awaiting the arrival of imported salami, pancetta, coppa, […]

Picture Perfect Bread

Picture Perfect Bread

(Above: Head baker and manager Ben Tock of Bricco Panetteria in Boston’s North End. ) I wrote a story for the Boston Globe about a North End bakery that specializes in old world Italian bread. I thought a Globe photographer was scheduled to take photos at […]

Stracciatella Soup

Stracciatella Soup

This is also called, “Roman Egg Drop Soup.”

La Tourte de Blettes: A Pie for Dinner or Dessert

La Tourte de Blettes: A Pie for Dinner or Dessert

This is savory and sweet: perfect as a meal or as a dessert.

Mexicali Chicken

Mexicali Chicken

You won’t find many recipes on RootsLiving that use processed food. But today we’re making an exception because this one is tasty, easy to make and has been pleasing crowds for decades. I made it yesterday, Super Bowl Sunday, because if there’s one day of […]

A Low-Cal Snack To Get You Through The Night

A Low-Cal Snack To Get You Through The Night

It’s that time of year again when all of the tasty RootsLiving recipes of the holiday season catch up to you in one startling moment as you step on the scale. BMI? WTF is that? I’ll worry about that when my body mass shifts so […]

The 12 Treats of Christmas

The 12 Treats of Christmas

There are some foods I make every year around Christmastime. They are tried and true classics that continue to make taste buds happy year after year. And each year, I also try some new recipes. Some stick and become a classic, others fade away either […]

Cocktail Pitcher Inspires 60s Dinner Party

Cocktail Pitcher Inspires 60s Dinner Party

My parents had this cocktail pitcher and glass set from the 1960s and it’s been sitting on a shelf in the RootsLiving butler’s pantry for years gathering dust. So we decided to put it to good use by throwing a 1960s dinner party. We knew […]

Beef Bourguignon II: An Easier Recipe

Beef Bourguignon II: An Easier Recipe

This is easy to make but takes more than a couple of hours.

Pumpkin Gnocchi in an Almond Cream Sauce

Pumpkin Gnocchi in an Almond Cream Sauce

This is a sweet, savory, gooey piece of heaven.

Risotto (This time with mushrooms and eggplant)

Risotto (This time with mushrooms and eggplant)

Making risotto is not hard, but it is an art.

Marco’s Fuscilli

Marco’s Fuscilli

You can make this dish as fast as it takes you to boil a pot of water.

Patata Ball In Tomato Sauce

Patata Ball In Tomato Sauce

This makes a great first course or can be served as a side dish.

A Bad Day Making Cupcakes Is Still Better….

A Bad Day Making Cupcakes Is Still Better….

So how can one have a bad day making cupcakes? Well, let me first say that I don’t bake that often and could use more experience. And so, this is what happened to me on Friday when I made Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes: I’ve got […]

BREAKING NEWS: Barbecued Chicken Parmesan

BREAKING NEWS: Barbecued Chicken Parmesan

We interrupt this menu from Nice to let you know about a wonderful dinner I created this week with ingredients I had on hand. Last Christmas my brother gave me a skillet and roasting pan that are designed to use on the grill. I had […]

Tomatoes Stuffed With Pasta Salad

Tomatoes Stuffed With Pasta Salad

Another vegetarian delicacy from Southern France.

Meal Plan: Blending French, Italian, Old and New in Southern France

Meal Plan: Blending French, Italian, Old and New in Southern France

Here’s a meal plan that will work for vegetarians and meat eaters.

Cantaloupe Gazpacho With Crispy Prosciutto

Cantaloupe Gazpacho With Crispy Prosciutto

Instead of serving cantaloupe wrapped in prosciutto for a first course, try this.

Pork Cutlets With An Express Marinade

Pork Cutlets With An Express Marinade

I made this one up Monday night with ingredients I had on hand. It was quick and easy to make and very garlicky. In other words, it’s a healthy dish. Ingredients: Pork cutlets (about 1 pound) Garlic powder (2 tbspoons) Paprika (2 tbspoons) Dried sage […]

Eggplant and Mushroom Stacks

Eggplant and Mushroom Stacks

I improvised this dish one night using ingredients I had on hand. The taste is savory, sweet, and comforting. And it’s something that can be whipped up in about half an hour. Ingredients: 1 Eggplant (Make sure it’s firm, shiny and a dark purple. This […]

The Wine Is Ready to Rumble

The Wine Is Ready to Rumble

The wine is fermenting nicely today. I went into the basement and I could hear it rumbling: the sound is like that of water boiling gently on the stove. An audible “boil” started yesterday, about three days after crushing the grapes. This is a little unusual, as […]

Making Wine With South American Grapes

Making Wine With South American Grapes

It’s got to be fall somewhere. And so it is: in Chile. That’s why I’m able to make wine today. I purchased 10 boxes of Malbec grapes from a vineyard in Chile. I picked them up at the Beer and Wine Hobby Store in Woburn […]

Twice Basted Asian Barbecue Chicken

Twice Basted Asian Barbecue Chicken

I invented this recipe probably close to 20 years ago. However, I made it last night for the first time in years. It’s easy and very flavorful. The soy sauce makes it salty and the mixture of herbs makes it memorable. So I’m not sure […]

Parmesan Basket With Risotto or Rice

Parmesan Basket With Risotto or Rice

This is sure to impress your guests. It’s easy and quick to make, but don’t tell them that.

Pasta Carbonara

Pasta Carbonara

So you’ve had your fill of corned beef and cabbage. And probably eaten too much Irish soda bread or drank too many beers. It’s time to travel south to explore some Italian cuisine and this dish is an old standard: as warm and fuzzy and […]

What’s Cooking This Christmas

What’s Cooking This Christmas

So here’s what I cooked up this holiday season. I started by making a couple of hundred Befana cookies, a traditional Italian Christmas cookie with flavors of sugar, orange, lemon, almonds and anisette. I then moved on to try something new: chocolate bark with orange […]

Cookie Cutters Just In Time For Christmas

Cookie Cutters Just In Time For Christmas

These vintage babies arrived in the mail this week. Every Christmas I make Befana cookies and look for cookie cutters in the shape of the four playing card suits (that’s how my grandmother made them) but had no luck until this year. Last week, I found […]

Chocolate Bark Christmas Gift

Chocolate Bark Christmas Gift

The only thing that would be easier than making this sweet treat would be going out and buying it. And it takes only about a half hour. I got these recipes from the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine but altered the ingredients somewhat in the dark […]

Pumpkin Coffee, Really?

Pumpkin Coffee, Really?

I’m not someone who likes to put fruit in my beer or a vegetable in my coffee, but after hearing so many friends and colleagues sing the praises of “pumpkin lattes,” I decided to give it a try. I tried a Starbucks pumpkin latte and […]

Easy Sunday Morning Popovers

Easy Sunday Morning Popovers

If you have 30 minutes before the gang wakes up, try this easy popover recipe.

It’s Time For Bolognese

It’s Time For Bolognese

I’ll admit I made bolognese sauce a couple of times over the summer. But this rich, thick, meaty sauce is usually more appropriate with cooler times. One way to look forward to the cooler seasons approaching is to think of all the seasonal delicacies you […]

Yogurt Sundaes

Yogurt Sundaes

Here’s a nice, light dessert for a summer’s night whether you’re on a diet or not. I sometimes prefer this to ice cream. Ingredients: Greek Yogurt, non-fat. 8 oz. Strawberries, sliced. 3 or 4, preferably locally grown. Blueberries, a handful, preferably locally grown. Walnuts, about […]

Nothing But Farm Fresh Meat For Six Months

Nothing But Farm Fresh Meat For Six Months

Six months ago we joined a meat CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). During that time all of our meat came from the Houde Family Farm in northeast Vermont. The meat has been tastier, and I believe healthier, than anything you can get in a supermarket. Each […]

What Do You Do With Watermelon Radishes?

What Do You Do With Watermelon Radishes?

Slice, dip, eat. Repeat.

Ekmek Kataifi (Greek Dessert)

Ekmek Kataifi (Greek Dessert)

Oh, sweet custard!

Moussaka

Moussaka

This is an untraditional recipe of a traditional Greek dish. It takes about 3 hours to make but it’s worth the effort.

Meal Plan: My Big Fat Greek Mother’s Day Party

Meal Plan: My Big Fat Greek Mother’s Day Party

(Above: Mothers, daughters, cousins, and nieces all celebrated Greek food in the RootsLiving kitchen.) After an amazing trip to Greece last month, Trish asked for a “Big Fat Greek Mother’s Day” party for herself and her cousins and our niece, Jenno. So I whipped out […]

A Healthy Bowl of Japanese Yum

A Healthy Bowl of Japanese Yum

I got this recipe from Malden Patch food writer Kate Sedan. Kate has a wonderful way of finding recipes from different cultures and making them simple to prepare. This one is called donburi and it’s simply a bowl of rice with tasty treats on top. […]

Make Biba’s Mother’s Fried Meatballs For Your Valentine

Make Biba’s Mother’s Fried Meatballs For Your Valentine

These are so delicious they’re an act of love. Like all good things they take a little work but aren’t the loved ones in your life worth it? Restaurant owner and cookbook author Biba Caggiano has the best recipe for meatballs or polpette (as the […]

Simplicity at its Lemon-Roasted Best

Simplicity at its Lemon-Roasted Best

My friend Jeannie gave me the most beautiful cookbook for Christmas. It’s part of Williams-Sonoma’s “Authentic Recipes of the World” series. And this one focusses on the city of Florence. Northern italians cook simply with the freshest and best ingredients at hand. And that’s what […]

Best Lobster Stew Recipe, Ever!

Best Lobster Stew Recipe, Ever!

This is easy to make, especially if you buy the lobsters already cooked.

Chocolate Kahlua Rum Balls

Chocolate Kahlua Rum Balls

This is a quick and easy treat to make. And they make a great gift around the holidays too. I got the recipe from the December, 1997 edition of Bon Appetit magazine but it was my idea to add the Kahlua. You can also make […]

Some of My Favorite Things (for the Holidays)

Some of My Favorite Things (for the Holidays)

You’re busy enough this time of year. And so am I (which is one of the reasons I haven’t updated this site recently). So here are some of my favorite recipes that will hopefully help you out around the holidays: Asian Shrimp Salad: Looking for […]

All Your Favorite Things, Fried

All Your Favorite Things, Fried

This is a fun way for young and old to get their vegetables. I got this recipe for the Japanese dish, Okonomiyaki, from Malden Patch food writer Kate Sedan. Okonomi means “all your favorite things” and “yaki” means fried. Most of the work comes from having to chop […]

Easy Weeknight Pasta, Part Two

Easy Weeknight Pasta, Part Two

Tweaking basic recipes with some of your favorite ingredients keeps things exciting, fresh and new. This basic pasta recipe from the bible of classic Italian cooking, the Artusi, was featured in a post here a year ago. I recently upgraded it to include one of […]

Gnocchi Di Pollo E Patata Soup

Gnocchi Di Pollo E Patata Soup

This is chicken and potato gnocchi soup from the classic nineteenth century Italian cookbook, The Art of Eating Well, by Pellegrino Artusi.

Lasagna, from The Figs Table

Lasagna, from The Figs Table

Chef Todd English makes a good lasagna. I still remember one I had at his Olive’s Restaurant in Boston that was made with veal. He has a knack for taking an old standard and then being innovative, without being preposterous, paying more attention to the […]

Vegetable and Cheese Strata For a Breakfast Meeting

Vegetable and Cheese Strata For a Breakfast Meeting

Working from home has its benefits and one of them is being able to plan a breakfast meeting in your own backyard. Last week I held an editor’s meeting in the great outdoors. No sterile company conference room or institutional cafeteria for us. Since we’re […]

Making Dinner During a Heat Wave

Making Dinner During a Heat Wave

Afternoon thunderstorms gave some relief from the Greater Boston area heat wave today. And so, I returned to the kitchen after a week of take out, cold cereal, and quick omelette dinners. But it’s still hot. So what’s a well-intentioned cook to do? Tonight, I’m […]

Panna Cotta with Balsamic Berries

Panna Cotta with Balsamic Berries

This dessert recipe might sound ambitious but really it’s pretty simple. It’s also good to make for a dinner party or cookout because you make it the night before. I got it from the May edition of House Beautiful, in the “Ask the Barefoot Contessa” […]

Before and After Farmers’ Market

Before and After Farmers’ Market

To celebrate the opening of several farmers’ markets in New England this week we’re introducing a new RootsLiving feature called “Before and After Farmers’ Market.” Each post will feature a photo of items we purchased at a local farmers’ market and another photo of what […]

Nine Recipes That Will Make Your Cookout Memorable

Nine Recipes That Will Make Your Cookout Memorable

The unofficial kickoff of the summer season is only a week away (Memorial Day Weekend). So break out the grill and try one (or more) of these nine time-tested recipes. Your guests won’t forget these simple, extra touches. And here’s some music to grill by, […]

Sex on the Kitchen Table

Sex on the Kitchen Table

You’ve heard of the “Sex on the Beach” cocktail? Well, I’m calling last night’s dinner, “Sex on the Kitchen Table.” It was basic, impulsive, and glorious. And not because of the greatness of any one dish. It was the combination of kitchen maneuvers all working […]

Cheesy Khachapuri From ‘The World’

Cheesy Khachapuri From ‘The World’

This could be an appetizer for many or a meal for six, served with a salad.

Chicken Basilico

Chicken Basilico

I found this recipe stashed away in the deep recesses of the RootsLiving library. The details of how I created it are sketchy. The last time I made this was probably 10 years ago. And I’m guessing I created it by working with ingredients I […]

I’m Dreaming of a Black Forest Cake

I’m Dreaming of a Black Forest Cake

Here’s the last recipe I’m giving out from our Easter feast. “What no recipe for the ham?” you ask. Sorry, but ham needs no recipe. You simply stick it in the oven. “Someone defined eternity as a ham and two people.” That’s my favorite quote […]

The Best Bloody Marys

The Best Bloody Marys

People knew how to drink 35, 45, 50-years-ago. Case in point: “The Joy of Cooking” cookbook, that bible of English cookbooks, first published in 1931 (my version was published in 1975), recommends that cocktails be made with 60 percent alcohol, “never below half.” However, I […]

Stuffed Artichokes

Stuffed Artichokes

Learn how to make and eat this classic Italian side dish.

Simple Asparagus

Simple Asparagus

Spring Vegetable Week continues here at RootsLiving.com. This is a technique I developed from watching chef Jacques Pepin on TV. The secret to all good vegetable courses is buying fresh vegetables. Asparagus should be a bright green with tightly packed tips. Ingredients/Shopping List: Fresh asparagus […]

Spring Vegetable Week at RootsLiving

Spring Vegetable Week at RootsLiving

With Easter now over, we’ve declared it “Spring Vegetable Week” here at RootsLiving.com. For the rest of the week, we’ll share the Easter dinner recipes with an emphasis on the vegetables we served. Today’s vegetable dish: Carottes a la creme (that’s “Carrots in Cream” for […]

Carrots in Cream

Carrots in Cream

This is one of our favorites and a tradition every Easter. I got the recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, “Paul Bocuse: French Home Cooking,” which I purchased in a small shop on the Left Bank many years ago. In keeping with our RootsLiving […]

Nan’s Mashed Potatoes

Nan’s Mashed Potatoes

My brother’s mother-in-law, Theresa (aka: Nan, short for Nana), is a great cook and one of her specialties is this mashed potato recipe. It’s good for special occasions, like tomorrow’s Easter Dinner, and is guaranteed to have your guests asking for more. If they also […]

Easter Dinner Menu / Bottling Wine

Easter Dinner Menu / Bottling Wine

I took some time this morning to bottle more of the ’09 vintage. The grapes were a little sweeter this year and so the wine is a little stronger than last year’s award winner. I now have plenty of home-made wine to serve at Easter dinner. This […]

Mary’s Chicken (or Seafood) Paella

Mary’s Chicken (or Seafood) Paella

There are many variations on this Spanish dish, including one with chicken and another with seafood

Mortadella and Ham Salad Tapas

Mortadella and Ham Salad Tapas

Blending these ingredients may seem strange, but it creates a savory, sweet dish.

Fast Food: Spinach, Red Pepper and Feta Quiche

Fast Food: Spinach, Red Pepper and Feta Quiche

Here’s a quiche recipe, made from scratch, that surprisingly takes less than 45 minutes to make. I made this the other night when I made the Irish Soda Bread. It’s in the same issue of Gourmet Magazine from March, 1994. And I served them both […]

St. Patrick’s Day — It Isn’t Over Yet

St. Patrick’s Day — It Isn’t Over Yet

One of the good things about a holiday falling midweek is that you can justify celebrating it on the weekend before, on the actual day, and on the following weekend. So, if you think I’m a little late in getting this recipe out for Irish […]

Katie’s Roast Beef Sandwiches

Katie’s Roast Beef Sandwiches

The time and effort is worth it to make the best roast beef for sandwiches you ever had.

Rum, Yum: How a Midnight Snack Was Born

Rum, Yum: How a Midnight Snack Was Born

Tricia had a craving for oatmeal with blueberries one night. She had been reading about this dish in a magazine or saw an ad there and mentioned it sounded good. So I said, we have frozen blueberries. I’ll add them to some oatmeal and we’ll […]

Vegetable Lasagna Masterpiece

Vegetable Lasagna Masterpiece

(This recipe is based on a spinach lasagna recipe from Pomodoro’s Restaurant in Boston’s North End. However, I incorporated some techniques learned from Cook’s Illustrated magazine and added some tricks of my own — the addition of tomato sauce to the bechamel sauce and pine […]

Salmon With Lemon Butter and Dill (Caesar Salad Option Too)

Salmon With Lemon Butter and Dill (Caesar Salad Option Too)

Microwaves aren’t usually associated with gourmet foods. However, one thing they excel at is cooking fish. Salmon haddock, swordfish steaks — most any firm fillets — come out flakey and moist when cooked for a few minutes in a microwave. It’s the quickest and easiest […]

Soup and Sandwich Night With Style (Instead of Take-Out)

Soup and Sandwich Night With Style (Instead of Take-Out)

So maybe you forgot to go shopping or make a dinner plan. You’ve worked all day and now you have the dreaded task of figuring out what’s for dinner. You hate to spend money on take-out again: a pizza, subs, chinese food, etc. But you’re […]

A Gift: Smothered Escarole (Scarola Affogata)

A Gift: Smothered Escarole (Scarola Affogata)

I came home the other day and found a plastic bag filled with four heads of escarole tied to my back fence. There was no note: just the mystery lettuce left hanging there. I didn’t bring it in right away. After all, I live in […]

Little Ears Filled With Eggplant & Sausage

Little Ears Filled With Eggplant & Sausage

I can’t pass up a good-looking eggplant. If I see one at the grocery store I buy it, regardless of my dinner plans for the week. This is because a good eggplant is not always easy to find. I’d say there’s about a 50/50 chance […]

Chicken Parmesan (or beef or veal)

Chicken Parmesan (or beef or veal)

This recipe works for chicken parmesan, beef parmesan or veal parmesan. If you want to make beef or veal parmesan, buy good quality beef or veal cutlets and omit the sage. (Good veal should be pink, not brown or gray.) My mother often made the […]

Tomato Sauce

Tomato Sauce

Here’s my standard tomato sauce recipe. I got this from my mother who was an excellent cook. I’ve changed a few things over the years, adding touches of my own and some embellishments from my cousins in Italy. It’s great to use when making chicken, […]

Florentine Rags (Cenci)

Florentine Rags (Cenci)

Here’s another recipe from the classic 19th century Italian Cookbook, The Art of Eating Well, by Pellegrino Artusi. Cenci are a Florentine winter treat, made from Epiphany to Mardi Gras. This deep-fried pastry looks like little rags and tastes a little like fried dough, but […]

Joe’s Weight-Loss Chinese Chicken and Vegetables

Joe’s Weight-Loss Chinese Chicken and Vegetables

My friend Joe, who recently found out he is diabetic and lost more than 50 pounds, credits this dish with his success. Using brown rice, instead of white, is healthier and has fewer calories.  You can also add other vegetables to it as you see fit. […]

Emancipation Proclamation Breakfast Cake

Emancipation Proclamation Breakfast Cake

I believe that food can play a role in people learning and appreciating each other’s culture. And with that thought in mind, I’m celebrating Martin Luther King’s birthday by making something from one of my “go-to” cookbooks: The Black Family Reunion Cookbook. This is Emancipation […]

Breakfast for Dinner: Gingerbread Pancakes

Breakfast for Dinner: Gingerbread Pancakes

A friend on a skiing trip in Vermont raved about some gingerbread pancakes she ate at a restaurant up there. I emailed the place to see if they’d be willing to share the recipe with the RootsLiving community. But alas, they wouldn’t give it up. […]

Geneva’s Quick Chicken and Shrimp Gumbo (Thaw, baby thaw!)

Geneva’s Quick Chicken and Shrimp Gumbo (Thaw, baby thaw!)

With temperatures in the Boston area only in the 20s, gumbo weather has arrived. You need this rich, hearty stew to rejuvenate after walking across the desolate tundra: your ears bleeding cold, your toes freezing numb, and your neck whiplashed by the icy fingers of […]

Pane alla Cioccolata (Chocolate Bread)

Pane alla Cioccolata (Chocolate Bread)

This lightly sweetened bread is great with a cup of coffee or a glass of red wine. The recipe comes from “The Italian Baker” cookbook, by Carol Field. I’ve made this several times before but this time it tasted better than ever. The texture was […]

Happy New Year: Dancing Dan’s Tom and Jerry Cocktail

Happy New Year: Dancing Dan’s Tom and Jerry Cocktail

After the clock struck 12, and after the obligatory flute of champagne (actually it was an old bottle of Asti Spumanti that had been sitting in the RootsLiving wine cellar for 10 years), we ended the night last night with hot Tom and Jerry cocktails. […]

Meal Plan: Julia meets Bruna

Meal Plan: Julia meets Bruna

This makes a great hearty meal in the winter.

Christmas Befana Cookies

Christmas Befana Cookies

La Befana is an old woman who visits children in Italy on Jan. 6 in celebration of the Epiphany. Similar to Santa Claus, she enters their homes through the chimney in order to deliver gifts. Small towns throughout Italy celebrate her arrival each year, including […]

Secrets of a Food Photographer

Secrets of a Food Photographer

OK, so I admit it: my food photography skills need improvement. Since I started writing about food more than six months ago, my main effort has gone into choosing exceptional dishes that are worth the effort to make and then presenting the recipe in an […]

Ribollita Soup

Ribollita Soup

Also known as “Tuscan Bean Soup,” this is a real crowd pleaser.

Easy Weeknight Pasta

Easy Weeknight Pasta

Sometimes you need a recipe like this to remind you how easy perfection can be. This is a simple tomato and pasta dish that dates back to the classic Italian cookbook, “The Art of Eating Well,” published in 1891 by Pellegrino Artusi. Artusi travelled throughout […]

Kathy’s Fried Olives

Kathy’s Fried Olives

This unique appetizer is tangy, sweet and hot.

Our Signature Dish: Root Soup

Our Signature Dish: Root Soup

Eat this and lose weight. Seriously.

Blanquette De Veau (French Veal Stew)

Blanquette De Veau (French Veal Stew)

Nothing helps me cope with the loss of the summer (my favorite season) than turning my attention to fall cooking and eating: hearty stews and rich soups. Here is an easy version of a traditional french veal stew. Veal (even stew meat) can be costly, […]

Last Minute Sunday Steak Dinner

Last Minute Sunday Steak Dinner

I had dreams of making a chicken parmesan last Sunday. But as I went through my daily chores, the time for doing that dwindled. So next I thought, I’ll make a roast beef. That’s easy and quick to throw together. But by the time I […]

Work Night Dinner: Octopus’s Garden Gazpacho/Sandwiches

Work Night Dinner: Octopus’s Garden Gazpacho/Sandwiches

The cold soup is low on calories but high on taste.

Eggplant Parmesan Light

Eggplant Parmesan Light

(The first in an occasional series of low-calorie meal recipes.) I should weigh 1000 pounds. After making, eating and writing about food for RootsLiving – with recipes such as Ma’s Stuffed Peppers, Mac and Cheese for Adults, Chicken with Polenta,  and Italian Cheeseburgers — I need […]

Dinner on a Moonlit Beach

Dinner on a Moonlit Beach

Pack up these salads, bruschetta and a bottle of wine.

Athens Grilled Chicken

Athens Grilled Chicken

I enjoyed making and eating the St. Rocco Braciole so much I decided to improvise and create a similar dish using chicken and my Greek sensibilities. The dish is easy to make and is perfect during the hot summer when you’d rather fire up the […]

Corn, the Way Mario Makes It

Corn, the Way Mario Makes It

Mario Batali is very clever. In his new book, “Italian Grill,” he offers a recipe called “Corn, as Italians would eat it.” He never says this is a recipe he got in Italy or this is an Italian recipe, passed down from generation to generation. […]

Grilled Braciole Fit For a Saint

Grilled Braciole Fit For a Saint

No need to sweat in a hot kitchen for this one. This braciole is cooked outside on the grill and with outstanding results. “San Rocco Braciole” is a specialty of the St. Rocco Feast in Malden, Mass. and was created by Malden City Controller Domenic Fermano. […]

Asian Shrimp Salad

Asian Shrimp Salad

Trish has been making this favorite appetizer for more than 20 years.

Quick Appetizers in a Pinch

Quick Appetizers in a Pinch

When it’s hot and you don’t feel like cooking, try these poolside.

Prized Recipe: Chicken with Polenta

Prized Recipe: Chicken with Polenta

(Special thanks to professional food photographer Russell French for photographing this meal. His photos appear courtesy of Russell French Studio.) This is one of my prized recipes. My grandmother, Bruna, used to make this and it was my favorite dish when I was a little […]

A Shot of Bourbon, Extra Figs, Please

A Shot of Bourbon, Extra Figs, Please

Liquor and fruit? To most Americans, that’s as crazy as wheat germ with a side of fries. However, Europeans often pair the healthy with the good stuff. Think of crepe suzette or zabaglione. I remember my father eating a bowl of strawberries, red wine and […]

Italian Fried (not really) Chicken

Italian Fried (not really) Chicken

I call this dish, Italian Fried Chicken, which is a misnomer because there is no frying involved. But the end result — with it’s moist, breaded, and savory crust — is reminiscent of that traditional American favorite. I got the basic recipe for this dish […]

Best Coffee and Spice, and at a Reasonable Price

Best Coffee and Spice, and at a Reasonable Price

When you walk into Polcari’s Coffee store in Boston’s North End it’s like walking back in time: a very fragrant time. The scent of more than 40 different types of coffee beans mingles with the scent of a 100 different freshly ground spices to create […]

In Search of a Good Rose

In Search of a Good Rose

There’s a lot of talk in the wine world these days about roses. These pale pink concoctions used to be snubbed by many because of the bad rep they got from cheap, jug versions that were often bubble-gum sweet and left you with a pucker […]

What’s On Your Summer Checklist?

What’s On Your Summer Checklist?

So here it is mid-July. You’re probably stuck, toiling away at work somewhere. Before the summer slips away, it’s time to take stock. What are your favorite things to do in the summer? Make a list now, before it’s too late. And make sure you do […]

A Must-Have Wild Italian

A Must-Have Wild Italian

Nepitella completes the trifecta of Italian herbs that are a must-have in any Tuscan kitchen. You know about oregano and basil, but what is nepitella? It’s an herb like no other and one I wouldn’t dream of living without. Some describe it as a cross […]

The Perfect Burger

The Perfect Burger

Happy Fourth of July Weekend. And if it ever stops raining (in Boston, it’s been raining almost every day since the beginning of June) you may have a chance to cook out on the holiday. Hamburgers are best kept simple. They’re the easiest thing to […]

A True Roots Woman

A True Roots Woman

Now, here is someone you need to check out: Musician and culinary school-trained chef Jen Kearney. I saw her and her band, “The Lost Onion,” at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, Mass. last year and was blown away. Her band –six pieces including trumpet, sax, and […]

Lenten Spaghetti

Lenten Spaghetti

This is a little different, but very good, simple and easy to make.  Pellegrino Artusi, in his famous 1891 cookbook, said that some might exclaim, “What a ridiculous dish!” But we both like it. It’s Romagnan and a little sweet. Ingredients 2 1/2 ounces of […]

Grilled Pork Chops with Peppers and Capers

Grilled Pork Chops with Peppers and Capers

This was the first recipe I made out of my newest cookbook, Mario Batali Italian Grill, and the results were amazing. My wife Trish commented that she had a hundred flavors mingling in her mouth while she ate this. And although the recipe says it […]

Mmm. Mmm. Memphis

Mmm. Mmm. Memphis

Neely’s Barbecue Chicken I promised I’d try to reproduce some of the recipes of the wonderful food we ate during our trip to Memphis (audio slideshow) in April.  And this chicken recipe was easy to duplicate, since I found the recipe on the Food Network, […]

Italian Cheeseburgers and Fries

Italian Cheeseburgers and Fries

OK, so I know cheeseburgers and fries are an American staple: one that would be hard — if not sacrilegious — to try to improve. But looking through the Artusi (a classic Italian cookbook written in the late 1800s), I found two recipes that are […]

This is the Best Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

This is the Best Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

This is a french recipe for adult macaroni and cheese (but the kids will love it too).

Recipe for Roasted Vegetable Napoleons

Recipe for Roasted Vegetable Napoleons

Recipe is courtesy of Gourmet Magazine, January, 1996.