Toni Lydecker's Tavola Talk Blog

Tale of a Black Truffle

Fresh truffles are usually available only to chefs, ¬†but I can get them just by walking two blocks to my local farmer’s market. Every Saturday at Fidel Gamboa’s stand, fresh truffles–black or white or both, depending on the season–are displayed in a case like the edible jewels they are. These truffles, from Alba in Italy’s [...]

Share this post with:
Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

more... »

Fri, February 21 2014 » Eggs and Cheese, Pasta, Piemonte, Tampa Bay, travel, Uncategorized » 4 Comments

Variations on Pasta with Uncooked Tomato Sauce

I remember the “Aha!” moment back in the ’80s when I discovered the brilliant Italian idea of featuring summer’s superb tomatoes in an uncooked pasta sauce. For years I made this dish the way I’d learned: marinating the peeled, seeded and diced tomato cubes for several hours with olive oil and ¬†fresh garlic slivers, basil, [...]

Share this post with:
Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

more... »

Mon, August 5 2013 » Italian food, Italian ingredients, Pasta, Uncategorized » No Comments

Hog Wild over Pancetta and Guanciale

There’s nothing like pork fat to give a delicious push to soups, sauces, pasta, beans, or whatever else you’re making. In Italian cooking that comes most commonly from pancetta, unsmoked pork belly (the same cut used for bacon) typically seasoned with spices such as black pepper and cloves, then rolled into a cylindrical shape and [...]

Share this post with:
Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

more... »

Sat, October 20 2012 » Meat, Pasta » No Comments

Pici with Tuscan Kale Pesto

Florida happens to grow leafy greens really well and I’m partial to Tuscan kale, also known as lacinato or cavolo nero (“black cabbage”). So, when I spotted a large luxuriant bouquet topped by greenish-black fronds at my farmers market, I snatched it up. No plan in mind, until I came across a bag of pici, [...]

Share this post with:
Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

more... »

Tue, February 28 2012 » Fruits and Vegetables, Pasta, Tampa Bay » No Comments

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

For years a small oval platter celebrating “La Spaghettata” has languished in one of our kitchen cupboards. Acquired at a church attic sale for a couple of dollars, it has an unknown provenance. Pulling it out occasionally to serve crostini, I’ve always wondered how good the platter’s recipe for spaghetti alla puttanesca might be. You’ve [...]

Share this post with:
Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

more... »

Tue, December 27 2011 » Italian food, Italian lifestyle, Pasta » No Comments