Soba noodles are classically made with 100 percent buckwheat flour, and those are the ones I seek out whenever possible.
From the court of the Bentivoglio family in Bologna during the 1600s comes this recipe for hot chocolate. Their cook, Giuseppe Lamma, was responding to the fashion of the day in writing a recipe for processing the cocoa bean along with his own rendition of the drink, chocolate (the candy was still far off). Some historians claim Italians taught the art of chocolate making to the French and English in the 1700s. Another logical explanation is all the Spanish connections with those countries through diplomacy, noble marriages and alliances. After all, it was the Spanish who brought chocolate to Europe from the Americas, and they adopted chocolate drinking with great enthusiasm.
This is a simple preparation, but because the butter and lemon enrich the sauce, it’s satisfying during the cold, winter months.
Cabbage and carrots add the crunch, lardons provide some lip-smacking saltiness, and, for heat, I've used freshly grated horseradish.
This salad is best served when the chickpeas are slightly warm or at room temperature.
A lush, yet light dessert that's much better if made a day ahead.
I've made this dish as a quick supper and as an elegant dinner party first course. It goes both ways, which is key to its charm and longevity in my cooking repertoire.
Despite the inclusion of red chile, this is not a hot and spicy soup, unless, of course, you use a lot of it. The sweetness of squash naturally tempers the heat of the chile, as do the cinnamon and mint. I prefer to puree this soup, but you can leave it chunky. Either way, it is not taxing to make and it can be prepared the day before you plan to serve it -- or even an hour before.
This soup has the big flavors and full body that are perfect for a winter dinner. It is finished in the oven like French onion soup, but in this case, instead of melted cheese, there is an egg poached on the surface.
Our wine-making pal, Nan Bailey, is the local Tom Sawyer. At harvest time at her Alexis Bailey Vineyard we are all invited to lunch, but first we have to pick. Kids and bees are everywhere, and appetites build to farmhand stature by noon.