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Accademia Italiana della Cucina


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About the academy and its objectives 


A cultural institution of the Italian Republic since 2003, the Italian Academy of Cuisine was founded in Milan on July 29, 1953 by Orio Vergani along with a group of talented experts in the field of culture, industry and journalism. Its mission is to defend and protect traditional Italian cuisine, and to promote its diffusion and improvement in Italy and abroad. The Academy works with public officials, entities, associations and public and private institutions, and owing to its independence from any and all commercial interests, can authoritatively guarantee objectivity and neutrality in its judgments in the field of cuisine.


The headquarters of the Italian Academy of Cuisine is in Milan.


Through its Study Centers and its Delegations in Italy and abroad the Academy works to promote initiatives aimed at spreading a broader understanding of the values of traditional Italian cuisine. This constitutes the basis for all of its concrete innovations. Those persons with direct a commercial interest in the restaurant industry or culinary schools are not eligible for admission to the Academy.


The study center: fulcrum of ideas and initiatives 


The late President Franco Marenghi devised the study center that bears his name. Today it is the cultural magnet of the Academy, and is the driving force behind its activities. It is comprised of both Academicians and non-Academicians who, each according to their professional competence conducts research and analyses and provides consultation on historical, economic, sociological, gastronomic, nutritional and technical issues that regard Italian cuisine.


Members of the Study Center include university professors, noted gastronomic journalists, (including television) and authoritative writers of works on the culture of nutrition, all well known for their expertise. There are also more than 25 Regional Study Centers that carry out in a more detailed way, research on the gastronomic culture of every single territory. This prestigious team lends even greater substance to the Academy’s cultural role in society and also reinforces its visibility.


The academy library at the Bicocca university of Milan


The Academy Library, named in honor of the late President Giuseppe Dell’Osso contains more than 5,000 publications donated by Academicians and publishing houses. The works are housed at the Ateneo Library at the Bicocca University of Milan. This important bibliographic collection is available to the public


It is possible to consult the catalogue of Academy works directly from the Academy’s website


The academy online 


The Academy’s dynamic website is full of online information and is very user-friendly. (It has almost 15,000 visitors each month.) The website allows users to access news about the organization’s activities in Italy and abroad, as well as the most recent Academy publications. Through the many items on the menu, visitors can consult the National Recipe Collection from every region of Italy, the result of an extensive national “census” conducted by the Academy that includes over 2,000 traditional Italian recipes. It is also possible to access the Restaurant section, which contains reviews of 3,000 eating establishments all over Italy and in those countries where the Academy has Delegations. The latest issues of the magazine The Civilization of the Table can be downloaded in Italian with selections in English, as well as the volumes of the Cultural Gastronomic Itineraries and the major Academy Notebooks.


The newsletter


All Academicians now receive the new Academy Newsletter via email. It is a monthly publication with up-to-date news and information. The Newsletter is also available on the Academy’s website.


Prizes and certificates


The Academy conveys special recognition though prizes and certificates on those who have performed exceptional service in the protection and safeguarding of traditional cultural values, principles and quality.


The Orio Vergani prize

Awarded to those persons, entities and associations unrelated to the Academy whose work in a variety of fields has greatly benefited gastronomic culture and the Civilization of the Italian Table both in Italy and abroad.


The Giovanni Nuvoletti prize 

Reserved for those persons, restaurateurs and organizations that have made significant contributions to the awareness and appreciation of the good traditional foods and cuisine of their own territory.


The Dino Villani prize 

Conferred upon the owners of artisanal enterprises or small businesses whose consistent high quality has resulted in the valorization and enhancement of Italian food products.


The Massimo Alberini prize 

Awarded, in the name of the Academy, to those commercial ventures that have consistently maintained high standards by offering the public artisanal products that utilize high quality ingredients and processes that respect local and regional traditions.



Certificates for Excellent Cuisine and Good Cuisine may be awarded to restaurants in Italy and abroad that serve high quality traditional dishes.


The structure of the academy


The governing bodies of the Academy are:


The President’s Council, comprised of 9 members; The Academy Advisory Council, with 30 members; The Board of Auditors, composed of 3 members plus 2 alternates; and The Arbitration Board, also with 3 members plus 2 alternates.


The delegations around the world


The Academy pursues its objectives through the activities of its Governing Bodies and the regional and territorial Delegations, of which there are 219 in Italy and 78 abroad, with more than 7,500 members. The Academy’s research and studies regarding everything associated with the Civilization of the Table are also carried out through its convivial meetings that constitute opportunities for Academicians to exchange ideas. Once a year, these convivial meetings culminate on the third Thursday in October in an “ecumenical dinner” when all the Delegations worldwide gather around their respective tables to appreciate or rediscover a different food product. The activities of the Italian Delegations are overseen by Regional Coordinators.


Major publications


The cookbook of regional Italian cuisine 

This exhaustive compilation of typical recipes from Italian towns and cities, selected and tested by the Academy, is the fruit of the labor of the 27 Regional Coordinators from every region of Italy. With the help of members of local Delegations that have daily contact with the gastronomic reality of their territory it was possible to expand upon strictly local culinary traditions. They selected and evaluated traditional “home made” dishes that not only lived in the memories of the elderly but that are still eaten today. These are the recipes that we want to see preserved for future generations. The new updated and expanded edition of the Cookbook, published by Bolis now includes over 3,000 recipes (1,000 of which did not appear in the previous edition). They range from the classic and most famous recipes to lesser known, undiscovered dishes. This volume is an essential reference book covering the best of traditional Italian cuisine.


The restaurant guide 

Through the experienced Delegates’ continuous monitoring of the restaurants in their territories, the Restaurant Guide provides a comprehensive look at cuisine in Italy and around the world. Using a rating system of 1 to 4 “temples” the Guide lists and evaluates those restaurants that combine hospitality and professionalism. Updated in real time, the Guide can be accessed at the Academy’s website (over 100,000 users around the world have consulted it) and using the free App it can also be downloaded free of charge on mobile devices. Information can be searched using parameters from restaurant name to desired dish. Academicians provide input through a special menu, and after registering, general users may also leave comments.


The good traditional tables 

The print version of the Guide is published biannually. It is devoted to the preservation and defense of those restaurants the use authentic local products and recipes. The Guide only includes those establishments offering cuisine that respects local traditions (sometimes with a touch of innovation and imagination), use high quality ingredients (preferably locally produced), provide excellent service and offer a good price-quality ratio. The print version of the Guide is distributed exclusively to Academicians.


Other publications


The object of the Academy’s editorial activities is to document and spread awareness of Italian gastronomic culture through the publication of articles that authoritatively deal with the subject’s history, current situation and possible future scenarios. The Academy’s work in disseminating cultural studies on Italian cuisine, among other things, has proved useful to teachers, students, institutions and enthusiasts alike. Many of the publications can be downloaded free of charge from the Academy’s website.


The civilization of the table 

Civiltà della Tavola (The Civilization of the Table) is the Academy’s primary communications vehicle. Published monthly (11 issues annually), it presents articles and discussions on a variety of cultural and gastronomic themes. A pdf version of the magazine is available on the website in Italian and English. A copy of Civilità della Tavola is sent to all Academicians, to the restaurants that have been reviewed in that issue and to those with a subscription. But it also has an important non-Academic audience: Italian Embassies and Consulates, Italian cultural Institutes abroad, foreign trade institutes, mayors, state, regional and local cultural and tourism advisors from towns with more than 30,000 inhabitants, public libraries, cultural institutes and hospitality schools in Italy.


Food culture library (new) 

Biannual book series published by Bolis Edizioni, the Italian Academy of Cuisine shares the results of its research and studies not only with Academicians but also with the general public. The original contents present in the Cultural Gastronomic Itineraries series have been updated, integrated and supplemented with a wealth of elegant and visually remarkable images.


Cultural gastronomic itineraries 

Every year the Academy publishes a volume of the Cultural Gastronomic Itineraries devoted to a different gastronomic theme. These publications study a representative Italian food product and provide a variety of interpretations of regional cuisine.


The themed notebooks 

This important series of publications reports on the themes of the major conferences sponsored by the Delegations of the Academy. This editorial initiative provides an in-depth look at subjects and trends associated with the country’s civilization of the table and represents a great corpus of information on folklore and national culture.


The cultural gastronomic series 

The Academy also publishes a series on gastronomic culture that examines trends in the past and present culinary panorama and establishes guidelines for a balanced gastronomic path for the future.



[1]C. Benporat “Storia della gastronomia italiana” (translation: History of Italian Gastronomy), Ed Mursia, 1993, page 15 and following pages.

[2]Source: ISMEA-Qualivita Report, 2015.

[3]Source: Il Sole24ore, February 7, 2017.



History of Italy’s culinary arts: origins, influences, and evolution.


Describing the history of Italy's culinary arts in only a few pages is like condensing the entire "Divine Comedy" into only one canto: it's almost impossible and it may not do justice to the "complex beauty" of this immeasurable living artwork, which is our ever-evolving culinary culture. On this masterpiece, mother nature has ceaselessly worked for centuries, with the help of legions of friars, winemakers, farmers, grandmothers, restaurateurs, cattle farmers, and both small-time and legendary cooks.


Italy is a small country, but it's a unique treasure chest of diversities and, like a perfect mirror, the culinary arts reflect this mosaic of flavors, knowledge, love, and pride of one's birthplace, which are its very essence. There are 7,998 municipalities, many of which with less than a thousand residents and, inside them, small districts, neighborhoods, and hamlets, each protectively guarding a secret: maybe a dilapidated church, or an unknown museum, and certainly a recipe!


No other country has been subjected to the desires of foreign conquerors as much as Italy, each of whom, through the course of millennia, has left an indelible mark on the peninsula's enogastronomic heritage by importing cherished foods. Spices, fruits, vegetables, vine varieties, tubers, and animals have been welcomed in areas of varying topography, soils, and climate, creating thousands of local varieties, the products of which have been in turn shaped by patient hands, giving life to what is the real wealth of this country.


One hundred and fifty-six years have passed since Italian unification, a flawed recipe out of which we are still trying to create what it is to be ‘Italian’. We cannot talk of a national cuisine yet, but of regional ones, elements of our identity as much as, if not even more than, the many dialects which total over a hundred, still spoken to this day in the households and streets of the peninsula.


Even if the art of pork butchering was known since the time of the Sabines, and the patricians of ancient Rome organized luxurious banquets where they "ate till they vomited and vomited just to eat", if we attempt to pinpoint when Italian cuisine was born, we would have to agree with Claudio Benporat[1], who points to the period "after the end of the Middle Ages, when the pleasure of conviviality was considered sinful, when the Church considered mortification and deprivation essential for achieving eternal life".


Benporat mentions that the primary sources of information are two manuscripts: the ‘Libro del Cuoco’ (translation: The Cook's Book; anonymous author from Veneto, first half of the 14th century, 135 recipes) and the ‘Libro della Cocina’ (translation: The Book of the Kitchen; anonymous author from Tuscany-Emilia, end of the 14th century, 183 recipes). Then we have the “‘Libro de Arte Coquinaria’ (translation: The Art of Cooking), the first collection of recipes of the 15th century, written in the common language, not by an anonymous author, but by a talented professional, born in Como, who cooked for the Chamberlain and Patriarch of Aquileia in the Roman Curia ... the cuisine has naturally evolved, losing its medieval coarseness, both in its form and contents".


With regard to the influence of Italian culinary arts, history shows that "Italy held, until the dawn of 1600, first place in the art of cooking in Europe, that over the course of this century went to France, but not without some debts due to our country ... It's well known that when Catherine de' Medici married Dauphin Henry II, she brought Italian cuisine's achievements and the foundation of our culinary culture to France", reports Maria Luisa Minarelli.


Nowadays, despite countless attempts at imitation, from spaghetti with meatballs to the deplorable phenomenon of using Italian-sounding names, the gastronomic heritage of Italy is still inimitable, both in its identity and uniqueness, as the leading position of typical Italian products in Europe proves: 280 (164 PDO, 112 PGI, and 2 TSG) and 523 GCDO, DOC, and IGT[2] wines, and from the growing volumes of food product exports (a value of €38 billion, +3% in 2016)[3].


Last but not least, great Michelin-starred restaurants, family owned pizzerias, and catering businesses are establishing themselves abroad. This shows that Italian gastronomy is expanding but, at the same time, it is staying loyal to its identity, rather than influencing other cuisines.


What kind of evolution? If the objective of the Academy is keeping traditions alive and preventing them from being altered in a world that is now globalized, then we should keep a watchful eye on Italy's frail agricultural economy, which has little power on both a European and global level. It risks being crushed under Eurocentric regulations, and an agri-food market which is increasingly more aggressive and is governed by a speculative and profit-driven logic, going against the interest of small farmers and producers, the true champions of the excellence of Italy's food and wine.


Defending a traditional recipe doesn't only mean passing on its techniques but also preserving its ingredients' authenticity and typical characteristics and, at the same time, respecting natural, seasonal processes and the extensive cultural and human heritage that is Italy's art of cooking.



Emblematic recipes 


Lasagne verdi alla bolognese-green lasagne with meat sauce, emilia romagna 


  • ¾ lb spinach
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ½ medium onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • celery stalk, chopped
  • 6 oz. ground beef
  • 6 oz. ground pork
  • 4 oz. chicken livers
  • ½ cup tomato purée
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 recipe béchamel sauce
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, as needed
  • Salt and pepper



Wash the spinach and cook it in very little water just until wilted. Drain well, put through a food mill, and set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons butter and sauté the onion, carrot, and celery until softened, then add the meat and chicken livers and cook a few minutes longer. Add the tomato purée and salt and pepper to taste and set aside. Use the flour, eggs, and spinach to prepare a dough; add the spinach with the eggs Roll the dough into a fairly thin sheet and cut into strips no longer than the pan in which the lasagne will be baked. Cook the lasagne in lightly salted boiling water, drain, and set aside on a cloth. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter a rectangular baking pan. In the baking pan arrange alternating layers of lasagne, cheese, meat sauce, and béchamel, repeating the layers until the ingredients are used up. End with a final layer of béchamel and dot with the remaining butter. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the surface is golden brown.


Orecchiette con cime di rapa-orecchiette with turnip tops, puglia


  • 3 ¼ lbs. turnip greens
  • 1 lb. orecchiette (homemade if possible)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 diavolillo (hot chili pepper)
  • 4 salt-cured anchovy fillets, boned and crushed to a paste
  • Salt




If the turnip tops are tender, it is better to cook the orecchiette first or there is the risk that they will become mushy before the orecchiette are cooked.


Clean the turnip tops, using only the tender parts, and rinse in cold water. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; add the turnip tops, and after a few minutes the orecchiette. Drain when the pasta is still very al dente. Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the garlic; add the chili pepper, then the anchovies. Then add the orecchiette mixture. Toss to blend well (if needed, add more extra-virgin olive oil). Serve.


Pasta alla norma spaghetti with eggplant and ricotta salata, Sicilia

This dish was named in honor of the opera Norma, written by Vincenzo Bellini, born in Catania. Garlic can be used in place of the onion



  • 1 ¼ lbs. eggplant
  • 2 lbs. tomato purée
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • 4 oz. ricotta salata
  • 1 bunch basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper




Peel the eggplant, slice, sprinkle with salt, and leave in a colander or under a weight for one hour to let the bitter taste drain out. Combine the tomato puree, ¼ cup olive oil, salt, pepper, and onion in a pan and cook until the mixture has reduced in volume by one-third. Heat 1 inch of olive oil in a pan and fry the eggplant until golden. Cook the spaghetti, drain well, and put in a bowl. Toss with half the ricotta salata, add the tomato sauce, basil, and more pepper and blend well. Transfer the pasta to individual bowls, and add slices of eggplant and the remaining ricotta salata. Decorate with basil leaves.


Risotto alla milanese risotto alla milanese (saffron risotto with mushrooms), Lombardia

From time immemorial the origin of this recipe, typical of Rome, has been the subject of heated debate. This flavorful dish, which many believe originated in Amatrice, a pleasant town in the Abruzzi in the Alta Valle del Tronto, is, on the contrary, a creation of Rome. It came into being about a century ago from the imagination of a cook from Amatrice living in Rome who designed a sauce composed of guanciale and certain local tomatoes grown only in the suburbs of Rome that give the sauce the special sweet-sour flavor that is its essential characteristic. Its inventor called it “alla Amatriciana,” but this name was later reworked into “alla matriciana.” Thus, the dish has nothing to do with spaghetti “in the style of Amatrice,” but rather spaghetti “in the style of a cook from Amatrice.” In Amatrice itself spaghetti are cooked in a different way, using guanciale and pecorino, but without the tomatoes casalino and are called Spaghetti alla gricia. The recipe is the source of other disputes, such as whether or not to use the onion and if it is acceptable to perfume the sauce with a dash of wine.



  • ½ cup pan juices from cooking meat
  • 1 oz. bone marrow (double this amount if you have no pan juices), chopped
  • 5 tbsps. unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely sliced
  • 2 cups rice (Carnaroli, Arborio, or Vialone nano)
  • 4 cups meat broth (preferably not from a bouillon cube)
  • 2 tsps. saffron threads, soaked in warm broth and drained
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 cup dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in warm water, drained, and chopped



  • Put the pan juices, bone marrow, 4 tablespoons butter, and onion in a saucepan over low heat; cook slowly until the onion takes on a golden hue.
  • Add the rice and stir well to make it absorb the flavors.
  • Turn up the heat and cook.
  • Add saffron threads to the rice about two-thirds of the way through the cooking time (about 12 minutes).
  • Add the mushrooms.
  • Last add the remaining butter and cheese. The rice should be all’onda, not dry, with the grains visibly separate but joined by a creamy mixture.


Spaghetti all’amatriciana, Lazio

From time immemorial the origin of this recipe, typical of Rome, has been the subject of heated debate. This flavorful dish, which many believe originated in Amatrice, a pleasant town in the Abruzzi in the Alta Valle del Tronto, is, on the contrary, a creation of Rome. It came into being about a century ago from the imagination of a cook from Amatrice living in Rome who designed a sauce composed of guanciale and certain local tomatoes grown only in the suburbs of Rome that give the sauce the special sweet-sour flavor that is its essential characteristic. Its inventor called it “alla Amatriciana,” but this name was later reworked into “alla matriciana.” Thus, the dish has nothing to do with spaghetti “in the style of Amatrice,” but rather spaghetti “in the style of a cook from Amatrice.” In Amatrice itself spaghetti are cooked in a different way, using guanciale and pecorino, but without the tomatoes casalino and are called Spaghetti alla gricia. The recipe is the source of other disputes, such as whether or not to use the onion and if it is acceptable to perfume the sauce with a dash of wine.



  • 2 tbsps. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • chili pepper flakes to taste
  • 3 oz. guanciale
  • 1 ½ cups tomato purée
  • Bucatini
  • Grated pecorino Romano
  • Salt



  • Heat the olive oil in a pan and cook the onion and chili pepper. Cut the guanciale in slices then crosswise to make small rectangles and add to the pan.
  • When the guanciale is well browned remove it and the chili pepper and onion and set them aside.
  • Add the tomato purée to the pan juices and add salt.
  • Cook this sauce for 10 minutes then return the guanciale mixture, stir well, and turn off the heat.
  • Cook the bucatini in lightly salted boiling water until al dente, drain, and pour them into the sauce, quickly placing it back over heat and flavoring with pecorino. Serve hot.


Spaghetti alla carbonara, Lazio

Is spaghetti alla carbonara an authentic Italian dish? One school of thought traces it back to a Neapolitan recipe that supposedly (no details survive) called for cheese and beaten eggs. Another school attributes the recipe to the presence of American GIs in Italy at the end of World War II. These soldiers were in the habit of taking their daily rations to local restaurants, where the cooks combined them with Italian foods to create hearty “American-style” meals.



  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • 2 tbsps. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 3 oz. guanciale (or pancetta), cut in strips
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino (or a combination of both)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper



  • Cook the spaghetti in lightly salted boiling water.
  • Meanwhile in a large pan heat the olive oil and cook the garlic. Add the guanciale; when it is well browned remove and discard the garlic and lower the heat.
  • Season the eggs with salt and 2 tablespoons pecorino.
  • When the pasta is cooked, drain and put it in the pan with the guanciale, lower the heat, and add the eggs.
  • Mix for a few seconds then remove from the heat, combine with the remaining cheese, mix again, and serve hot.


Tortelli di erbette - herb tortelli, Emilia-Romagna

This dish is typical of Parma.




For the filling

  • 1 bunch erbette (beet greens)
  • 1 ½ lbs. ricotta
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 tbsps. unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • Pinch grated nutmeg


For the pasta

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 2 large eggs
  • For the sauce
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Salt



  • Clean the erbette, cutting away stalks, and boil them just until bright green.
  • Remove them from the water, squeeze them dry, and leave to drain.
  • Combine the ricotta with the Parmigiano-Reggiano and butter.
  • Chop the boiled erbette and work together with the cheese mixture along with the egg, a pinch of salt, and a little nutmeg.
  • Use the flour and eggs to prepare a dough as in recipe 18, then roll out the dough to make the thinnest sheet possible
  • Arrange small amounts of the filling in rows along the sheet.
  • Fold over the sheet and cut in rectangles, closing the edges and pressing them with the tines of a fork.
  • Cook the tortelli in lightly salted boiling water for about 15 minutes until they float, then drain thoroughly.
  • Combine the melted butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Arrange some of them in a single layer in a deep pan. Spoon over some of the sauce and repeat the layers, using all of the tortelli.


Trenette con il pesto - trenette with pesto sauce, Liguria


  • 2 bunches of small basil leaves, cleaned and dried
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. grated pecorino, plus more for serving
  • 1lb. trenette or linguine
  • Coarse salt




Grind a little coarse salt in a mortar with the basil leaves, garlic, and pine nuts to form a dry paste. Still mixing, drizzle in the olive oil. When this forms a creamy paste mix in the cheeses, which will bind it. Cook the pasta until al dente in lightly salted boiling water, drain well (reserve ¼ cup of cooking water), and transfer to a bowl. Toss with the pesto and, if it seems too dry, dilute with some of the pasta cooking water. Add cheese and serve immediately.


Bistecca alla fiorentina - steak florentine, Toscana

This dish is typical of Florence. Have your butcher cut the at least 1 ½ to 2 inches thick. The porterhouse is similar to a T-bone, but includes a large section of tenderloin.



  • 1 porterhouse steak (preferably from a Chiana cow), weighing at least 2 Lbs.
  • Salt



  • Heat a grill to hot. Add the steaks and cook 5 minutes then turn and cook 5 minutes on the other side.
  • Then turn it again, salt, and serve. Do not add olive oil, do not add lemon juice.


Costoletta alla milanese - breaded veal chops, Lombardia

Meat of the very best quality is absolutely essential for this dish. Each chop must have a bone, with the meat forming a "flag" on it.



  • 4 veal chops (cut to the thickness of the bone)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 lb. (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • Salt



  • Score the chops to prevent them from curling during cooking and pound them a little with a meat pounder.
  • Add no salt at this point, since doing so would effect the tenderness of the meat; the time to salt is later, when the meat is on the serving plate.
  • Immerse the chops (but not the bone “handle”) one at a time in the eggs, then dip them in the breadcrumbs (which should be prepared only a few minutes before beginning the recipe using dry bread free of all stale odors).
  • Press your hand against each one to make the breadcrumbs adhere well and thus keep them from coming off during cooking.
  • Using a large pan melt (do not fry!) the butter over low heat and arrange a single layer of chops in the pan, raising the heat a little and maintaining the pale color of the butter.
  • Cook 7 to 8 minutes on each side (the meat should be medium and the coating slightly golden), put them in a serving plate, salt, and garnish with lemon slices. These are also excellent eaten cold.


Ossobuco alla milanese - veal shanks milan-style, Lombardia



For the veal shanks

  • 4 tbsps. unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 4 veal shanks weighing ¾ lb. each
  • All-purpose flour for dredging
  • ½ cup broth
  • 1 small plum tomato, peeled and chopped


For the gremolata 

  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsps. grated parsley
  • 1 small piece of garlic clove, minced
  • 1 salt-cured anchovy, boned and finely chopped
  • Salt



Serve with risotto alla Milanese. 

  • Heat the oven to 300°F. In a large casserole heat the butter and sauté the onion.
  • Dredge the shanks lightly in the flour then add them to the casserole; brown them on both sides without piercing them.
  • Add a little broth, tomato, and salt, and cover the pan.
  • Roast for about 1 ½ hours.
  • Remove from the oven and let stand while preparing the gremolata. Mix the lemon zest, parsley, garlic, and anchovy until blended.
  • Serve the shanks with the sauce.


Crostata con la ricotta, ricotta crostata, Lazio

This recipe is typical of Upper Lazio. Once upon a time lard was used in place of butter.




For the pastry:

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg plus 2 yolks
  • ¼ lb. (1 stick) plus 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Grated zest of ½ lemon
  • Salt


For the filling:

  • 1 lb. fresh ricotta
  • ½ cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, 2 separated
  • Grated zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • 2 oz. (2 squares) bittersweet
  • Chocolate, grated
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup rum
  • Diced candied fruit
  • Confectioners' sugar




Use the flour and whole egg to prepare a dough, adding the egg yolks, butter, sugar, pinch of salt, and lemon zest with the whole egg. Work these ingredients together to form a smooth dough, adding flour as needed. Spread out the dough with the palms of your hands, fold it over on itself, then repeat. Let the dough rest for about 1 hour in the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Butter a pie pan. In a bowl combine the ricotta, sugar, 2 egg yolks (reserve the whites), 1 whole egg, orange and lemon zest, chocolate, cinnamon, rum, and candied fruit until mixed. Divide the pastry dough in two parts, one slightly larger than the other. Roll out the larger portion to form a circle about 11 inches in diameter and use it to line the pie pan. Cover this with the ricotta mixture. Roll out tire remaining portion of pastry dough and cut it into 1-inch-thick strips. Arrange some of the strips over the ricotta to form a lattice, using other strips to create a border. Beat the egg whites until frothy and brush the pastry strips with them. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the pastry strips are golden brown. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until cold. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.


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