Red endive salad with chili vinaigrette

We entered the grocery store for staples: bread, cheese, eggs. The plan was get in get out.

Then I spotted the shelled peas which unleashed a desire for Spring vegetables, and I stuffed the basket with the peas, pretty red endive, a bunch of ruby red radishes, a zucchini, a couple heavy glossy lemons, and a wedge of Parmesan.

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Yellow puttanesca

I went with Kristin to Winterfeldplatz market with an idea in my head to make arrabiata or puttanesca from scratch this weekend. All I needed was olives. I intended to pick up a can of tomatoes at the convenience store next to my apartment if it turned out I was out.

I saw then, at the fresh pasta stand, premium canned tomatoes in very handsome cans. I considered them and then rhetorically and dismissively said, “How much better can those expensive canned tomatoes really be?”

“Very?” offered Kristin.

“Thanks for talking me out of it,” I said facetiously. I bought the tomatoes.

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Sauce al Leftovers From Making Bolognese for 10. Serves 1.

Last night I and seven guests enjoyed the traditional recipe for bolognese. It was pretty good, and I recommend it.

The “dinner party” itself was also a success, in that I provided pasta with sauce, but salad, wine, bread and dessert magically presented themselves by way of guests. My investment in food and time was repaid in fine company and leftover wine, which is what we all hope for in a successful dinner party.
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Kristin and I went to Rome for a few days before Christmas a year ago. One of the never-ending joys of living in central Europe is such kinds of trips, partly for the joy of seeing these places but moreover for being able to casually say, “I went for Rome for a couple days.” Last year I also weekended in Amsterdam and London, and spent afternoons in Dresden and Słubice, Poland. I have a ticket to Zurich for a weekend later this month.

Neither of us had been to Rome, and while I had no specific desire to visit, Rome offers several landmarks and the allure of Real Italian Food.

Kristin at the Vatican
Kristin at the Vatican

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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Bolognese and More

I just wanted to share the Virtual Group of Italian Chefs (GVCI) site I ran across today. According to the site, “The GVCI, Virtual Group of Italian Chefs is currently a network of over 900 Italian professionals in cuisine, mainly chefs, working in 70 countries in the world,” and one aspect of its mission is to “preserve and improve the standard of quality and authenticity of Italian gastronomy in the world.” Continue reading “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Bolognese and More”