The Boston Globe

Debra’s aticles appear in the Food and Travel Sections

Recipe for cocktail buckwheat blini

By Debra Samuels | GLOBE CORRESPONDENT   DECEMBER 24, 2013 Makes about 70 2-inch rounds The raised pancakes blini are traditionally dipped into butter but can also be eaten with a variety of toppings, from a humble spoonful of jam to glistening orbs of black or red caviar with all the trimmings. “Blini are one of the […]

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Arrivederci Salem Food Store

By Debra Samuels, Globe Correspondent WALTHAM — Paul Ursino, 65, is retiring after almost four decades running Salem Food Store on Moody Street. With its deli counter, freezers, and well- stocked Italian pantry items, Salem Food Store specialized in imported cheeses, cured meats, specialty pastas, coffee, Italian bread, and handmade ricotta and sausages, produced locally. […]

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In Rome, NPR’s Sylvia Poggioli covers crises and eats well

Sylvia Poggioli loves Rome’s food culture and cooking with vegetables.

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Chow from Roma: urban giardiniera

We arrived in Rome on March 1st after 6 months in Tokyo, for the second leg of my husband Dick’s sabbatical year. I hope to catch up with a photo log of our time there. I think I had a bit of writer’s block after the publication of  My Japanese Table in September, so I […]

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Love at First Bite? Not Exactly.

Whole-wheat spaghetti may be better for you, but will it go over well at home? Maybe with sauce. By Debra Samuels Globe Correspondent / February 9, 2011
Whole-wheat bread entered the mainstream long ago. Now brown rice has displaced white in many bowls, and whole-wheat pasta has become nightly fare in many households — even in Italy.

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Conza – Bean, Cauliflower and Fennel Soup

Boston Globe, March 31, 2010 Conza is a traditional Sicilian sauce/soup made with chickpeas, favas, kidney or cranberry beans, white beans, black-eyed peas, and lentils. You can add a handful of whatever dried legumes you have on hand; think of it as spring cleaning your pantry. Nina Groppo cooks each variety of bean separately the […]

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Preparation is half the fun for Feast of San Giuseppe

By Debra Samuels, Globe Correspondent March 31, 2010 GLOUCESTER — In the garage-cum-kitchen of Nina and Franco Groppo’s home here, more than 20 friends and extended family are preparing for the Feast of San Giuseppe. That means pasta making — lots of it — along with plenty of fun. Flour sifting through the air around […]

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How to Make Korean Scallion Pancakes

The flavors of Sicily, topped with tradition

Concetta checks the pizza sponge as Angela makes the sauce. Twice a month, Concetta Cucinotta and Angela Molinario spend the day making pizza for their family in the kitchen of Cucinotta’s home in Dedham. By Debra Samuels Globe Correspondent / August 12, 2009 DEDHAM – The old yellow plastic tub, covered with a soft, well-worn […]

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Feast day calls for a special sweet

Photo by: Debra Samuels Zeppole with vanilla cream and amarena cherries By Debra Samuels Globe Correspondent / March 18, 2009 In Italy tomorrow, men named Joseph and women named Josephine will hand out zeppole, a Neopolitan pastry of fried dough filled with cream, to family and friends to mark the feast of San Giuseppe. Closer […]

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Sweet and Sour Onions

These little onions make a wonderful condiment with roasted meat dishes, as part of an antipasto platter or served on their own as an appetizer served with drinks. Sweet and Sour Onions Ingredients: 1 1/2 pounds cipolline, Italian baby onions or yellow pearl onions 4 1/4 cups water 1 teaspoons salt 1/4 cup white wine […]

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Grilled Pizza

Making your own pizza dough is not the fuss you may think. In Italy pizza is served in individual size portions and fills an 8-inch plate. The crust is crispy and the toppings are exactly what you want! Don’t be afraid of the yeast. Kids will love watching the dough rise and punching it down. […]

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Giovanna’s Candied Orange Peels

I was offered these homemade candied orange rinds that Giovanna Catinella, brought as a gift for the hostess at a dinner party in Palermo, Italy. The slender matchsticks of bitter orange with their crunchy sugar coating, were passed around with the digestive Amaro, a dark, spicy, bitter liqueur. Ingredients: about 100 strips 5 large thick-skinned […]

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Aquacotta – “Cooked Water”

Somewhere between a soup and a savory bread pudding lies aquacotta “cooked water”- a traditional peasant dish from Tuscany that uses stale bread, tomatoes, onions and whatever vegetables are available. Its name reflects its origins– lean times for farmers. When things were better, perhaps each member of the family would add an egg atop the […]

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Escarole and meatball soup

Boston Globe, November 12, 2008 Escarole and meatball soup Serves 4 as a main course Often referred to as Italian wedding soup, this hearty bowl has been mistranslated for many years. The name, minestra maritata, really means “married soup,” which refers to the pleasing combination of vegetables and meatballs. Light but substantial, the soup contains escarole, […]

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Caponata

Boston Globe, March 26, 2008 Caponata Makes about 2 cups Caponata is the sweet, sour, and salty Sicilian eggplant appetizer that looks like a relish and often comes as one of the tastes in an antipasti course. The dish begins with sauteed eggplant cubes, which lend their deep purple color to the mixture, and is […]

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Spaghetti lasagna

Boston Globe, January 16, 2008 If there was ever a universal crowd pleaser, it’s lasagna. This dish is a variation on the layers of wide noodles and tomato sauce that usually go into the dish. Here spaghetti, tomato sauce, and mozzarella cheese are stacked in a dish, then baked until the top turns golden. Cut […]

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Strawberry napoleon, deconstructed

Boston Globe, June 13, 2007 Some desserts, like one I was served recently in Italy, are stunning on the plate. In this case, triangles of puff pastry were set into a pool of vanilla custard sauce. Tiny strawberries were strewn around the dish, which was decorated with zig zags of chocolate. In fact, this impressive confection […]

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Baked to perfectionAt Somerville’s La Contessa, the prized ricotta pies have a longstanding following

SOMERVILLE — Paper bunnies and decorated eggs adorn the picture windows at La Contessa Bakery Cafe here. Huge chocolate Easter eggs wrapped in colorful cellophane hang above the counter waiting for excited children. On a top shelf, along with a statue of St. Anthony, are boxes of sweet Italian bread baked in the shape of […]

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Here’s the flip side to holiday tradition

LEXINGTON — Bleary-eyed souls are making their way to the Battle Green. A shot rings out. The all-volunteer army is spurred into action. Ready, aim, flip! Did you think only the British were coming? The other great Patriots Day tradition in this historic town is pancake breakfasts. Next Monday, hungry hordes who waited for hours […]

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Pasta is full of carbs, but that doesn’t matter Tomatoes or cream?Here’s your guide

ROME — A nattily dressed gentleman, unlit cigar poised between his lips, studies the pastas in a soccer-field-length supermarket aisle. Signore Pino Magno is an Italian diplomat who loves to cook. He is choosing pasta to go with one of his sauces. After much consideration, Magno decides on a bag of casarecce, a delicately once-twisted, […]

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A little bit of everything goes a long way

Don’t pity the poor antipasto. According to Lynne Rosetto Kaspar, author of “The Italian Country Table” (Scribner), even though its origins are in peasant cuisine, many of the dishes, developed from leftovers, have now become antipasti, often translated as appetizers. The word “appetizer,” however, barely does justice to the long list of antipasti at restaurants […]

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Load up your plate with regional Italian delicacies at a ‘sagra’

MAGLIANO, Italy – There you are, dining al fresco on a warm summer’s eve in the Italian countryside. Plates of the ”gastronomia tipica” (local dish) are splayed out before you, and a pitcher of hearty wine is being passed your way. You are engulfed in a lively, informal atmosphere. The flow of food and conversation […]

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Aebleskiver, Denmark’s answer to the doughnut

COPENHAGEN — Ask any Dane or Danish-American about aebleskive, and you’ll be treated to broad smiles. Aebleskiver –literally ”apple slice” — is a pancake puffball that rarely contains the apple tidbit originally tucked into its center as a sweet surprise. But the name, pronounced ay-bla-skeever, has stuck. Gone in two bites, this traditional Danish dessert, […]

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In Italy, fine dining is done at home

You would think a trip to Italy for a food lover would send her scrambling for guides to the endless trattorias, ristorantes, and osterias. When cooking is your passion, however, what can be better than staying in a house with a kitchen? My family recently took a house in the small town of Magliano in […]

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