I rarely eat bagels anymore. It’s not that I don’t like them, on the contrary. Rather, authentic bagels are simply not available in Chicago. However, last year, I was in Philadelphia visiting family, and made a special trip to the Bagel Hole (a quintessential “hole-in-the-wall”) in Park Slope, Brooklyn, to get a dozen bagels to … Continue Reading

When native Italians celebrate, they typically do not go out to eat. Instead, they head into the kitchen and prepare a feast, a sign of pride in the family’s cooking prowess. Recipes are passed down from generation to generation, many of which arguably taste better than what one would find in a restaurant. The key, … Continue Reading

At first glance, this may look like an ordinary penne bolognese. However, there is neither¬†tomato sauce nor meat in it. Don’t despair, this dish is extremely flavorful. In place of the traditional bolognese sauce is a harissa-based pesto that is sure to entice even the most die-hard carnivore. I’ve made red penne harissa many times, … Continue Reading

A crostata is an Italian pastry. The dough for the pastry is referred to as pasta frolla (a close relative of shortbread) and is usually filled with seasonal fruit or any number of homemade jams, sometimes even chocolate. Since it’s February in Chicago, and there’s no local fruit to be found, and because I love … Continue Reading

No need to hand over your hard-earned money to the large food manufacturers that attempt to convince you (through massive amounts of advertising) that froot loops and fruity pebbles are part of a well-balanced breakfast. Instead, with just a few ingredients, you can make your own, much healthier and tastier (in my opinion), breakfast cereal … Continue Reading