Caprese salad with basil oil and balsamic syrup

The case for Caprese

Originally appeared in the July 7, 2011 edition of The Southside Times.

My reticence in featuring a Caprese salad was rooted in my unflinching suspicion that it’d been overdone—that readers would glance at the recipe’s title only to supply an uninspired mental shrug.  Currently, the Caprese salad is a pervasive staple on restaurant menus.  But sadly, many of these interpretations are poorly executed, doing little justice to such a renowned and refreshing pairing.  Yet, properly prepared, the effects are culinarily indelible.  Read the rest after the jump: (more…)

Turkey meatballs with spinach strozzapreti

Ready for turkey and strozzapreti?

Originally appeared in the June 23, 2011 edition of The Southside Times.

Ah, the humble meatball—steadfast in its penchant to please.  Meatballs have an enduring dossier:   easily identifiable, satisfying, and unpretentious.  It’s a technique that cuts across all culinary boundaries.  But during the summer, you may not be associating this ubiquitous comfort-food with warmer climes.  No worries.  Substituting turkey is a delicious (and leaner) deviation from the traditional trio of beef, veal, and pork.  Read more after the jump: (more…)

Cavatelli with Sardinian meat sauce

On the radar:  cavatelli

Originally appeared in the February 03, 2011 edition of the Southside Times.

As I write this, local meteorologists are forecasting the potential arrival of a record-breaking snow-and-ice storm.  If the Doppler-radar prophets of doom are correct, then we may all be thawing out from a few days of vicious precipitation.  But no worries.  This recipe, cavatelli with Sardinian meat sauce, will help knock-off the chill.  More after the jump: (more…)