What’s the Bigoli Deal?

Oftentimes when I have a specific ingredient I want to cook, I’ll have a vague recollection of a wonderful dish I had once, read about or made myself that uses said ingredient. And then I’ll set out — sometimes successfully, sometimes not — to remember what it was and find it.

Venetian bigoli in salsa

That was what was happening on a lazy Sunday afternoon as I contemplated what I was going to make for dinner. I felt like Italian, and moving jars, bags and boxes around in the pantry, I discovered a forgotten bag of whole wheat spaghetti. More

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Cicchetti

The most wonderful thing about Venice is you can get completely lost, and yet never be completely lost. The city is essentially a big round island of canals and narrow pedestrian streets that all fold in on one another, leading nowhere and everywhere at once. And if you wander long enough, you’ll eventually wind up someplace you recognize — sometimes even back at the place where you started.

I remember wandering like that once through a maze of alleyways on an eerily quiet and foggy March afternoon in Venice with my sister, trying to find our way back to our penzione. Eventually frustrated in our efforts, we tucked into one of the city’s ubiquitous bàcari wine bars for refueling — a welcome glass of wine and a few plates of blissful cecchitti. More

That Blank Stare

You would think everyone at my house would be living a life of culinary bliss, eagerly anticipating the next plate placed before them. But it ain’t always so…

Polpo diavolo

Everything is grand when I serve breaded chicken cutlets, hamburgers or pizza. Unless I try to slip some anchovies on top. But certain dishes elicit a blank stare from the kids — even from the wife on occasion — that says: “You expect me to eat that??” More