Archive for the ‘la buona cucina americana’ Category

La Buona Cucina America: Apple Pie – Torta di Mele

We couldn’t possibly compile a collection of American recipes without including apple pie–and here is my mom’s version (and yes, her hands feature in the photos below).

This is of course my all-time favorite apple pie, but I realize that everyone has their own tricks and secrets as to what makes a delicious apple pie, so please share your thoughts in the comments!

Apple Pie


  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 c shortening/lard
  • 5-7 tablespoons cold water


  • 8 tart apples
  • 1 c sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons flour (more if apples are moist)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter

1. Chop together flour, salt, and shortening until pieces of dough are the size of peas. Add water slowly, mixing with hands and being sure dough isn’t too moist or too dry.

2.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and put it in refrigerator for about twenty minutes.

3. In the meantime, peel, core, and cut apples into thin slices.

4. Mix apples, sugar, flour, and cinnamon together.

5. Remove dough from refrigerator and cut in half.

6. Roll one half of the dough between two sheets of wax paper until 1/8″ thick, and use the rolling pin to transfer to pie pan.

7.  Fill shell with apple filling, and put butter in pieces on top (as shown).

8. Roll other half of dough until 1/8″ thick and transfer it to cover the pie.

9. Seal edges by pinching dough around the edges as shown.

10. Put small slices in top crust to prevent it from overflowing, and sprinkle top with sugar.

11. Bake in 400°F oven for 15 minutes, and then turn oven down to 350° and let bake for about another half hour. The apples inside will be soft when the pie is ready.

12. Let cool before cutting.

Torta di Mele


  • 280 g farina
  • un pizzico di sale
  • 75 g lardo
  • 5-7 cucchiai di acqua fredda


  • 8 mele aspre
  • 200 g zucchero
  • 3-4 cucchiai farina (di più se le mele sono umide)
  • 1 cucchiaino cannella
  • 28 g burro

1. Mescolate la farina, il sale e il lardo finché i pezzi della pasta sono la misura dei piselli. Agguingete l’acqua lentamente, mescolando con le mani assicurando che la pasta non è troppo umida ne troppo secca.

2. Mettete la pasta nella pellicola e mettetela in frigo per circa venti minuti.

3. Nel frattempo, sbucciate, togliete il torsolo e affettate le mele a fette fine.

4. Mescolate insieme le mele, lo zucchero, la farina e la cannella.

5. Togliete la pasta dal frigo e tagliatela a metà.

6. Stendete una metà della pasta tra due foglie di carta oleata finché la pasta stesa è circa 3 mm. Usate il matterello per trasferire la pasta stesa alla teglia.

7. Riempite la teglia con il ripieno, e aggiungete burro a pezzi (come è mostrato sopra).

8. Stendete l’altra metà della pasta anche di 3 mm e coprite la torta con la pasta stesa.

9. Chiudete il bordo come è mostrato sopra.

10. Fate piccoli tagli nella pasta stesa sopra e spargetela con un po’ di zucchero.

11. Mettete la torta al forno a 200°C e fate cuocere per quindici minuti. Quindi abbassate la temperatura a 175°C e fate cuocere per un’altra mezz’ora. Quando la torta è pronta le mele dentro sarà morbide.

12. Lasciatela raffreddare prima di tagliare.

Buon appetito!

Autumn in Southern Italy Means Pomegranates

Do you like pomegranates?

Do you remember the first time you struggled with the intricate webbing and seeds?

The first time the juice ran all over the place, staining everything in its path–the tablecloth, your chin, your fingers?

I don’t remember it either, but luckily every October brings another chance for me to relive it.

No matter how many pomegranates I’ve eaten, the first one of the season always takes me back to being a child, just trying to figure out how to eat the thing without making a huge mess in the process.

I still haven’t mastered it, but that’s OK. It sure is fun trying.

Please share your pomegranate tales (and recipes)!

Buon weekend!

la buona cucina americana: insalata di patate della mamma

One of my favorite “Made by Mom” dishes is potato salad.

Indeed, I love all kinds of potato salad, including the one that Mary of The Flavors of Abruzzo posted two weeks ago. But my mom’s, well, it’s just my all-time favorite. It’s great for a summer picnic, but we also have it as a side dish for Thanksgiving, and even at Christmas and Easter time to go along with baked ham.

Needless to say, it’s a delicious taste of home, and it’s this week’s La Buona Cucina Americana recipe.

You see, when my mom was here over the summer, I specifically requested potato salad, but I didn’t realize at the time that it would be perfect for the O Foods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month (potatO salad, get it?). So here it is.

By the way, remember to get in your recipes and entries for the O Foods Contest–details here!

Two notes on this potato salad: do play with the measurements until you get the exact taste you want. Also, onions go great in this, but be careful not to add too much as they will overpower the other flavors.

Mom’s Potato Salad

  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 2 eggs, hard-boiled
  • 2 ribs of celery, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp vinegar (distilled or cider)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Hard boil the eggs. Remove from water and set aside. When cool, peel and cut into cubes.

2. Boil potatoes in salted water until just tender. Remove from water and set aside. When cool, peel and cut into cubes.

3. Prepare celery.

4. In a bowl, mix together mayonnaise, vinegar, and mustard, and add potatoes, eggs, and celery. Mix well.

5. Taste for salt and pepper.

6. Put potato salad in the refrigerator to chill for about a half hour before serving.

Insalata di patate della Mamma

  • 3 patate medie
  • 2 uova bollite
  • 2 gambe di sedano tritate
  • 1 bicchiere di maionese
  • 1 cucchiaio di aceto di mele
  • 1 cucchiaino di zucchero
  • 1/4 cucchiaino di senape
  • sale e pepe qb

1. Fate bollire le uova, lasciatele raffreddare, sgusciatele e tagliatele a pezzi non troppo grande.

2. Fate bollire le patate in acqua salata (non devono essere troppo morbide), lasciatele raffreddare, sgusciatele e tagliatele a pezzi di circa 3 cm.

3. Tritate il sedano non troppo sottile.

4. Mettete le uova, le patate e il sedano in una ciotola e aggiungete il maionese, l’aceto, e il senape. Mescolate bene.

5. Aggiungete sale e pepe a piacere.

6.  Mettete l’insalata nel frigorifero per circa 30 minuti prima di servire.

Buon appetito e buon weekend!

four things to do this friday

I. Enter Alex’s La Cucina Italiana Contest
(for which I will be a recipe tester):

II. American cooking is back!
Check out Mary’s Potato Salad at Flavors of Abruzzo:

III. Celebrate Susan’s One-Year Blogiversary at
Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy:

IV. Tell me about all the fabulous things you will or won’t do this weekend!


After a very full work week, I plan on reading, writing (old NaNo novel!),
and generally relaxing with P and the pooches.

Buon weekend!

la buona cucina americana: macaroni and cheese

Mom is here, and I’m happy to report that things are going swimmingly (although no, we haven’t been to the beach yet). Even though it’s been four years since we’ve been in the same room, it feels like no time has passed at all. Don’t you just love that?

We’re off today for some market action and then to see Cherrye in Catanzaro, but not before I share a recipe with you.

La Buona Cucina AmericanaParticularly since my mom is certainly one of my biggest cucina influences, it’s rather fitting that for this round of La Buona Cucina Americana, I’m lucky to have her here helping.

I knew we’d have to make one of my very favorite dishes that remind me of home aka L’America, and that, amici miei, is Macaroni and Cheese. Mac ‘n Cheese. Whatever you like to call it, my mom’s has just six steps and six ingredients: pasta, cheese, milk, butter, salt and love.

I swear to you I could eat this every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

And if that doesn’t convince you how good this is, get this: even picky (read: non-American-food-eating) P loves it! Yeah!

There is an infinite number of variations on this–I’ve been known to spice this up with pancetta and onions, put sliced tomatoes on top and then bake it–but what I’m giving you here is the way my mom makes it, the easy stove top version, ready in just minutes.

And *of course* you can play with the cheese(s), but it may surprise you just how good this version is with plain old “white American” slices (either Kraft or fresh sliced for those of you in America).

Also, happy 3xth birthday to my brother from all of us on this side of the pond–no cake, but, um, you’re welcome to some macaroni and cheese!

Macaroni and Cheese
(serves 4 as main course; many more as side dish)

Mac and cheese on Flickr

  • 4 cups fusilli or penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 4-5 slices of white American cheese, Kraft for example
  • salt to taste
  • lots o’ love

1. Prepare pasta in salted boiling water and remove when rather al dente.

2. In the meantime, in a pot big enough to hold all the pasta, melt butter and then stir in milk and cheese torn into pieces on low heat.

3. Drain pasta and add to milk mixture, stirring well to coat.

Look at that technique of La Mamma!

4. At this point, adjust for all the ingredients and salt (and love!).

5. It is ready when the cheese has melted completely.

6. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for three to five minutes before serving.

Maccherroni con sottilette
(per 4 persone come primo piatto; di più come contorno)

  • 250 g fusilli o penne
  • 28 g burro
  • 125 ml latte
  • 4-5 fette di sottilette
  • sale q.b.
  • tanto amore

1. Mettete al fuoco alto la pentola con l’acqua salata e portatela a ebollizione; quindi buttate la pasta e fatela cuocere piuttosto al dente.

2. Nel frattempo fate squagliare il burro in una pentola abbastanza grande per tutta la pasta al fuoco lento. Agguingete il latte e le sottilette a pezzi.

3. Scolate la pasta e rovesciatela nel recipiente del latte, mescolando bene.

4. A questo punto controllate per tutti gli ingredienti e sale (ed amore!).

5. Il piatto è pronto quando le sottilette sono completamente squagliate.

6. Togliete dal fuoco e portate in tavola ben caldo nello stesso recipiente di cottura. Copritela e fate riposarla per circa 5 minuti prima di servirla.

Buon appetito e buon weekend!

Michelle FabioMichelle Fabio is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer living in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy and savoring simplicity one sip at a time. 

Subscribe to Bleeding Espresso by email:

Calabria Guidebook

Calabria travel guide by Michelle Fabio

Badolato Rentals

Badolato rentals

Badolato Properties For Sale

Properties for Sale, Badolato, Calabria, Italy

Photo Guide to Badolato On Sale!

Photographic Guide for Badolato, Calabria



Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins
Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
Oatmeal Banana Craisin Muffins
Prosciutto wrapped watermelon with bel paese cheese
Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
Ricotta Pound Cake