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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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Luca Mignogna: The ultimate mozzarella artisan

Luca Mignogna of Wolf Meadow Farms

Every day — even before the actual ‘day’ technically starts — Luca Mignogna drives about five miles on gorgeous country roads in Northeastern Massachusetts, winding around a charming pond nestled in thick woods, to what he considers a magical source. “You see, yesterday ‘this’ was not even on this earth, it was somewhere in the universe,” he says as he connects a pump from the container in his trunk to a larger tank in a barn by which he parks, “and tonight it will be on somebody’s table.” Obviously, the native of Campobasso – an actor’s face on a somehow ...

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Piccola Napoletana: A real Neapolitan pizzeria in the heart of Beverly

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Sculpting, painting, and architecture are some of the most notable art forms that come to mind when we reflect on Italia’s expansive history and the nation’s role in artistic developments. Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Brunelleschi will, undoubtedly, forever remain implanted in our minds as being the Italian “greats” of art. But sculpting and painting are not the only artistic expressions that are noteworthy; Italians have a way of transforming seemingly simple tasks into grandiose art forms, even when it comes to making pizza. The Neapolitan preparation of pizza is often the most highly regarded, and for good reason. It boasts a ...

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PA Italian Ice Company To Open In Boston

Rita's Italian Ice

Trevose, PA-based company, Rita’s Italian Ice, announced recently that it will be opening locations in the Boston area. Including Boston, New York, Connecticut, and its Pennsylvania locations, Rita’s currently has thirty operations. Rita’s first Boston location is expected to open in spring 2016. Rita’s expansion into the Commonwealth will create about one hundred jobs for the economy. The company is also looking to expand along the east coast and internationally. Rita’s first international location is in Shenzhen, China, where the company signed a large franchise agreement with Shenzhen XingFeHeng Trade Co. Ltd. Last year it signed a large franchise agreement ...

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Not quite summer yet: Risotto with peas and pancetta

Risotto with peas and pancetta (photo ©Francesca Bruzzese)

While the Spanish have paella, the Chinese have fried rice and the Mexicans arroz con leche, risotto is rice done the Italian way.

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