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Swordfish with tomatoes, olives, pine nuts and raisins (Pesce spada alla siciliana)

Pesce spada alla siciliana (photo by ©Francesca Bruzzese)

Though I love to cook and am always up for trying out new recipes – whether it be homemade gelato or pizza from scratch – I’ve realized that I generally gravitate towards pasta, risotto, and dessert. As a result, I make an awesome ragù, a great risotto with peas and pancetta, and all sorts of cake and ice cream from scratch. While my repertoire of carbohydrate based dishes is ever expanding, this tendency has left me slightly unbalanced as a cook. The few secondi that I know how to make are meat based – I can probably count on one ...

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No hassle summer recipe: Basil pesto

Basil pesto (photo by ©Francesca Bruzzese)

As you can probably all gather by now, I derive great joy from cooking. Almost nothing gets in the way of my reveling in the preparation a good meal, whether it be an unusually small kitchen, a dinner for picky eaters (I like the challenge!) or, most difficult of all, a –gasp–vegan. Note however that I used the word almost. This is because I find on a yearly basis that my desire to cook begins to wane with the arrival of summer, or rather, the unbearably hot weather in Rome. My apartment has no air conditioning (most apartments here in ...

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Fiorella’s To Celebrate Fifteenth Anniversary

Image courtesy of http://www.fiorellasnewton.com/

Fiorella’s in Newtonville is celebrating its fifteenth anniversary in August. Throughout the month, it will be offering delicious dishes for $15. The dishes will vary and rotate daily. Some of the meals they are offering are Lobster Ravioli Florentine, Chicken Limoncello, Pork Chop Madeira, and etc. If that isn’t incentive enough, they are offering another appetizing offer. In August, every $100 gift certificate purchased will be rewarded with a $15. You can purchase the certificates in store or online and they are accepted at the restaurant and the three express locations.

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Andiamo Restaurant To Open Second Location In Chelmsford, MA

Image Courtesy of andiamo-restaurant.com

Chef and owner of Andiamo Restaurant in Newburyport, MA, James Rogers, will be opening a second location in Chelmsford, MA. The new location will be at 18 Boston Post Road, in a new building called “Chelmsford Town Center.” Construction will start in September. Rogers excitedly revealed that he gets to build a custom restaurant. It will feature an open concept kitchen, with a wood fire oven. The restaurant will have 160 seats inside and 40 seats for “al fresco” dining. He also gets to custom-build the menu. Diners can expect carefully perfected signature dishes as well as traditional Italian dishes. ...

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Escaping the summer heat: Rice Salad (Insalata di Riso)

Insalata di riso (photo by &copyFrancesca Bruzzese)

In keeping with the theme of my past few recipes, I’m sharing another summer friendly dish that takes minimum effort and heat to prepare. Insalata di riso — or rice salad — is a dish that I came across for the first time while living in Bologna. It was June, and the heat was already at its peak. My go-to favorites, tagliatelle al ragù and piadina with prosciutto and mozzarella, suddenly seemed too heavy to eat when the weather was so hot, and tortellini in brodo was completely out of the question. The hearty Bolognese cuisine that I had grown ...

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Aquitaine Group To Open La Motta’s Italian Specialties in South End

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The vacant building at 1357 Washington Street in the South End, will now be occupied. The Aquitaine Group, which closed the building’s last vendor, Union Bar & Grille, over a decade ago, is opening a new Italian restaurant this summer. The group will open La Motta’s Italian Specialties late this summer. La Motta’s is described as “Italian-American,” and “Bronx-Style.” La Motta is Aquitaine’s founder Seth Woods’ family name. You can probably expect it to have an old-style, Italian-American, family feel. You can expect the menu to have the classics, such as: chicken parmesan, meatballs, lasagna, and etc. Aquitaine’s release of ...

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Salvatore’s Restaurant To Host “Chef’s Playground”

Salvatore's Restaurant

Salvatore’s Restaurant, which has five locations around the Greater Boston area, will be hosting its first ever “Chef’s Playground.” And no, it does not involve chefs playing on the monkey bars. However, it does involve chefs digging deep into their creativity to prepare delicious dishes!  There are no limitations on what the chef can create, so be ready to take your taste buds for a ride! Each of the five locations will have various dishes, based on the chef’s culinary background, neighborhood demands for specific dishes, or seasonal menus. What makes this experience the most exciting is not knowing which ...

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Pauli’s North End To Host “Lobsta’ Challenge”

Pauli's North End Logo

Owner Paul Barker will be hosting Pauli’s first ever “Lobsta’ Challenge.” From June 1 to September 30, 2015, you can stop by Pauli’s to vote for your favorite style lobster roll. The restaurant has a “lobsta’jar” on the front counter where anyone-whether you’re a local, tourist, or just passing by- can drop they’re vote. Each “lobsta’ ballot” will be entered to win a “lobsta’cation” that was coordinated by Barker. Your “lobsta’cation” is a one-night stay for two in Ogunquit, Maine. Once chosen, the winner will stop by Pauli’s to claim their prize, and pick up a gas card and two ...

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Bringing back memories of Bologna: Piadina

Piadina (photo by ©Francesca Bruzzese)

One of the things I love so much about food – beyond the preparing, eating, and sharing of it – is the nostalgic value it often holds. For example, the smell of olive oil heating up in a pan immediately transports me back to my grandfather’s house in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, where he was always cooking up something delicious; my sister is reminded of our childhood summers anytime she has a hot fudge sundae; a friend of mine from Mexico taught me how to make avocados stuffed with tuna, tomatoes, and jalapenos, a dish his mom made him when he ...

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The comeback of the mighty polenta

Polenta (photo by ©Francesca Bruzzese)

Anyone who knows me will tell you I am a list maker. It’s a great way to organize my thoughts and keep track of things I might otherwise forget, not to mention there is a great sense of accomplishment when crossing an item off of said list. My lists are everywhere: on post-its in my office, on the backs of receipts, or saved on my cell phone. While I have many practical lists (weekend to-do list! Work to-do list!) I have many more that are, perhaps not surprisingly, culinary. There is my “recipe to try” list, my “restaurants to try” ...

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South End Roman Trattoria To Open Patio Bar Expansion

Cinquecento Outdoor Patio Bar made of recycled ship container.

Boston restaurant, Cinquecento, expanded its South End location by adding an outdoor patio bar. The patio bar is a 12-seat full-service outdoor bar, made completely of recycled shipping container. Sponsored by The Aquitaine Group, they created and built the patio in 32 days! Pretty Amazing! Seth Woods, a representative of The Aquitaine Group, said: “It’s our job as restaurateurs to create reasons for people to choose our restaurants. Everything from the food we put on the plate, to the spaces we create all have an emotional response and are all part of the dining experience. With every space we create ...

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Terramia Ristorante Hosting Multi-Course Tuscan Wine Dinner

Terramia Ristorante

Located on Salem Street in Boston’s North End, Terramia Ristorante will be hosting a Tuscan wine dinner on Monday, June 29, 2015. The dinner will be celebrating the Frescobaldi family’s 700 years in the winemaking business. The Frescobaldi family is dedicated to serving only the finest quality Tuscan wines to their customers. The family’s history dates back to the 1300’s, where they served dedicated clients, including Renaissance artists and Papal Courts. They were the first family in Tuscany to offer Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Nero, and Chardonnay. In modern day, they are constantly finding new ways to change the wine ...

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