toni brancatisano

The term quinto quarto, “the fifth quarter,” refers to a type of cuisine born from poor, peasant kitchens, and the term itself originates from Rome.The fifth quarter refers to everything that is not included in the four quarters in which …

Christmas desserts in Italy are usually always associated with panettone and pandoro, and people usually have a firm favorite of the two.  I love panettone for example and I am quite capable of eating a whole one by myself….. in …

If there is one reason to be be excited that summer is ending, it’s the appearance of freshly baked schiacciata con l’uva in the windows of local bakeries in Tuscany. If you have visited Florence or the Chianti area of …

When you travel around Italy you will quickly notice that, in every single region, there are culinary traditions locals are not only proud of, but also genuinely consider the best, if one was to compare them with those of the …

With rain forecast for the next few days, and as 1st November is a public holiday here in Italy, why not spend some time in the kitchen making a traditional Tuscan slice known as castagnaccio. It is very easy to …

The word biscotti in Italy refers to what Americans know as “cookies.”  Many Italo-Americans use the word biscotti when they refer to a specific type of cookie, that is, those finger long cookies with almonds. These are known as Cantuccini …

Cotognata is a sweet jelly made from quince  and commonly known in English as quince paste. In Spain it is called membrillo. The quince is a special fruit, it is large and irregularly shaped and not eaten raw because of …

Baked anelletti pasta is a recipe traditional to Palermo, but it is a dish that holds a special place in the hearts of almost all Sicilians.  If you visit Palermo and you hear someone say “timballo,” then rest assured: they …

A traditional Sicilian pasta recipe which I absolutely adore is pasta con le sarde – pasta with sardines. If you have a keen eye though, you’ll notice that in my photos I used fresh anchovies instead of sardines. This was simply …

It’s coming up to Carnival time and bakeries in Italy have trays of ‘chiacchiere’ in their windows. Think a pastry that is thin, crispy, fried and covered in icing sugar….  I knew that would get your attention! We would have these …