Real Italian Food Recipes

Stracciatella Gelato (Recipe)

Stracciatella Gelato is a wonderful creamy Vanilla Italian Ice cream with chopped semisweet chocolate.

It is one of the top Gelato flavors enjoyed in Italy! You will notice it on display with its distinctive drizzle of chocolate on top!


Stracciatella Gelato

Makes 4 serving, but who am I kidding more like 1 for me! :)

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk (not low fat)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tahitian vanilla bean split from end to end

Mix the cream milk and sugar into a suitable sized sauce pan. Using medium heat, cook the mixture until the sugar has dissolved into the cream.


Continue cooking until it begins to form bubbles around the edges of the pan. Do not boil!

Remove from heat, scrape the vanilla bean seeds and add them to the heated mix and drop in the bean pod. This will infuse the vanilla into the cream.

Let the vanilla steep into the mix for 35 minutes. Cover and refrigerate a minimum of 2 hours preferably overnight if possible.

Time to make Stracciatella Gelato!

Remove your mix from the refrigerator, remove the vanilla pod and mix in your chopped semisweet chocolate.

Transfer to your gelato maker, freeze using the instructions provided.

Panino Sandwiches - Panini (Recipes)


Panini are wonderful, simple to make Italian sandwiches!


Panini (small bread In Italian) may be made with sliced artisan bread or a individual roll.  If you ever had a grilled cheese you had a type of Panini!

 My first experience with Panini sandwiches would be in America but the true experience was when I first visited Italy! 

As I walked the streets of Rome I witnessed carts that sold these wonderful yet simple sandwiches which celebrated the local ingredients.


No need for lots of layers of unnecessary ingredients, they were full flavored due to the quality of the breads, cheeses and meats which were chosen!

That is what I love about Italian cooking, keeping it simple, using the best ingredients and preparing the food to bring out the natural taste.


Recently I visited my friends at the Turano Baking Company who gave me a loaf of their artisan Pane Turano.

When I returned home I just had to make a panini on my new panini grill!

Here is what I did to create a very simple but delicious Panini Caprese! 

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Risotto with Sweet Peas - Risi e Bisi (Recipe)

Risotto with Sweet Peas


For many Risotto has a reputation of complexity that may discourage them from making it.

I encourage you to take some time to make this easy and satisfying Risotto recipe.   I chose Risotto with sweet peas because I felt it was a great Risotto dish to start with.  There are a few versions of Risi e Bisi out there, some with pancetta and others with the peas pureed.

I have to omit, growing up the closest we had to a Risotto was a dish my Mom made for us which we called "Rice and Gravy" which we just LOVED!  Simply rice with her Sunday gravy mixed in and poured over topped with Parmesan cheese!  Yum....

Back to the recipe...

Here is one version of Risi e Bisi that I created very quickly, simple and great!

I plan on making others as well in future posts, but in the meantime here it is Risi e Bisi!

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San Marzano Tomato Marinara Sauce Recipe


San Marzano tomatoes are recognized for their fleshier pulp and low seed content. 

The flavor of these tomatoes are preferred to many for Italian cooking due to, what I feel, is their clean full sweet tomato flavor.

Many commercially available tomato products in cans are packed with salt and citric acid.  Citric acid and salt gives a higher tomato flavor perception which, for many American palates is preferred.

True San Marzano tomatoes are only found grown in the soils of the Agro Sarnese Nocerino region of Italy near Mount Vesuvius.  It is that volcanic soil combined with the genetics of the plant that produce this world renowned tomato.

Some tomato product you will find say they are from domestic sources made from San Marzano seed. True San Marzano tomatoes will have the DOP seal. DOP stands for 'Denominazione d'Origine Protetta' . In English, that's 'Denomination of Protected Origin' .

DOP is guaranteed by the European Union and was created to promote the authenticity and genuine characteristics of certain food and agricultural products across the continent.


Marinara (alla marinara ‘sailor-style’) Named so for its ease in preparation by the sailors at sea.  This great sauce is not limited to seafood and you will see it more often used as dips, on pizzas, as well as in pasta dishes.


This Marinara sauce recipe is a great base sauce for all your Italian cooking needs.  Think of it as a mother sauce.

  I will refer to this recipe in future posts.  Different than the Bolognese and Naples style ragu, it has no meat which make it perfect for vegetarian entrees like Eggplant Parmigiana.

Try this recipe simply with pasta and then explore more versions by adding a spoon full of Pesto or cream creating a Sauce Rosa!

So many possibilities once you have this mother of Italian sauces in your cooking repertoire!

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