Toni Lydecker's Tavola Talk Blog

Spring Greens and Rice Soup

In the Piemonte region of northern Italy where Margherita Aloi grew up, this potful of spring greens in broth, thickened by fat rice kernels and potatoes, is known as a “cleansing soup”…especially for women. I’ve never been altogether sure what “cleansing” means, but it likely has something to do with the greens, rich in digestion-enhancing [...]

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Mon, April 8 2013 » Italian food, Italian ingredients, Italian lifestyle, Soups and Stews, Uncategorized » No Comments

Best New Italian Cookbooks

Everybody grabs recipes off the Internet (me included) but let’s agree that, when gift giving time comes around, most of us would rather receive a cookbook than a pile of printouts. The fact that I’m a cookbook author influences my point of view, of course, but right now I’m here to talk about other Italian [...]

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Sun, December 16 2012 » Italian food, Italian lifestyle, Soups and Stews, travel, Uncategorized » No Comments

Bravo, Brodo! Making Broth the Italian Way.

The other day I braised a chicken from a local farm. Delicious, but what I relished just as much as the meat on the plate was the chance–the obligation, really– to make brodo from the trimmings. Once I’d cut up the chicken, my pile of broth makings included the wing tips and back, plus the [...]

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Fri, September 28 2012 » Italian food, Meat, Seafood, Soups and Stews » No Comments

A Worthy Chicken, Braised with Sweet Peppers

Walking along country roads in the Arno Valley south of Florence, I’ve seen chickens scuttling here and there in the vineyards, pecking for insects. For farmer-served feed, they’re free to return to the chicken pen. Many are small and russet in color, and are usually in the company of a few imposingly large white chickens [...]

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Tue, January 31 2012 » Italian food, Italian lifestyle, Meat, Soups and Stews » No Comments

Lobster Soup, a Holiday Indulgence

I love the fact that the Italian obsession with seafood during the holidays coincides with the time when lobsters from the New England coast are at their succulent best. One of the best ways to enjoy this crustacean is in a soup–because the making of the broth extracts every ounce of flavor. Lobster soup with [...]

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Wed, December 14 2011 » Seafood, Soups and Stews » No Comments