joseph becci

Sicilian stewed octopus

Polpo in Umido alla Siciliana (Sicilian Stewed Octopus)

It would be difficult to overstate how important seafood culture is to Sicily. On a brief trip there from Calabria in 2007, my family and I...
The fresh spinach frittata

Learn The Art of Frittata

When we were growing up, my mother tried to convince my sister and me that a frittata was a good use of leftover spaghetti. At the time, we would...
Crescia, Easter, Italian food, Italian culture, Italian heritage, Italian american, Italian news, Italian traditions

Crescia: It’s not for just Easter anymore

Since a very young age, I can remember eating Crescia at Easter time. It’s one of my earliest food memories. The aroma of this cheese bread with a...
Lentil, golden beet, hazelnut gremolata, Italian culture, Italian heritage, Italian american, Italian news, Italian traditions

Lentil and golden beet salad with hazelnut gremolata

It’s the dead of winter, when one’s tastes go to deep earthy root vegetables such as beets and lentils. Never mind that it’s 70 degrees in Los...
Pasta alla Norcina, Umbria, Italian food, Italian culture, Italian heritage, Italian american, Italian news, Italian traditions

Pasta alla Norcina

When we visited Umbria this fall, I expected the region to be a mere stepchild to Tuscany and its cosmopolitan, touristy vibe. Instead, we found a...
Panna cotta, Italian food, Italian culture, Italian heritage, Italian american, Italian news, Italian traditions

Panna cotta with peach compote and pistachio shortbread cookies

OK, first off I have to admit that I totally ripped off the idea of serving this panna cotta in little flip-top jars from my favorite LA Italian...
Duck and risotto, Italian cuisine, Italian food, Italian culture, Italian heritage, Italian american, Italian news, Italian traditions

Duck and risotto: a perfect combination

Risotto—rice cooked with broth to a creamy consistency—is a blank canvas, perfect for creating a dish that has your unique fingerprints. But with all...
Eggplant Parmigiana, Italian Food, Italian culture, Italian heritage, Italian american, Italian news, Italian traditions

Eggplant Parmigiana warfare

I hated eggplant as a kid. So did my sister, Michele. And my Mom’s attempts to get us to eat it were met with fierce resistance. Wartime-style...
Pork Loin Roast, Italian American food, Italian culture, Italian heritage, Italian american, Italian news, Italian traditions

The Poor and Lowly Pork Loin Roast

The pork loin roast is generally a sad thing. Often dry and tasteless because of its lack of fat, the lowly loin is generally left to be cut into...
Zucchini blossom, Ricotta agnolotti, Agnolotti di fiore di zucca, italian culture, italian heritage, italian american, italian news, italian traditions

Zucchini blossom and ricotta agnolotti (Agnolotti di fiore di zucca e ricotta)

Summer is here! We’ve had an early start here in LA. I recently went to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market looking for something summery! I made...