Tag Archives: potato

New potatoes with glassa, curry, and rosemary

New potatoes with glassa, curry and rosemary

I was inspired to make these after tasting something similiar at a food truck event not too long ago. New potatoes, boiled until tender, is then cooked with glassa, or balsamic glaze. The whole lot is seasoned with curry powder and finely chopped rosemary. It goes great with autumn beers.

New potatoes, glassa, and curry

I used 2 kinds of new potatoes because I had them on hand. Three pounds should be enough for 4 servings.

1. Boil the potatoes in lightly salted water until tender; drain.
2. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large nonstick pan; add potatoes and cook over medium heat, tossing to coat.
3. Add a half cup (or more if desired) of balsamic glaze, and continue to cook and stir so that potatoes are evenly coated.
4. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of curry powder and 1 tablespoon of finely chopped rosemary over the potatoes. Stir and cook until fragrant. Taste and add more curry if desired.
5. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

NOTE: I have no idea if and/or what brands of balsamic glaze are available across the pond, but I am confident that Trader Joe’s has something!


Comfort food from Valtellina: il Taròz


Yesterday 10°C and sunny – today 3°C and snow! I’m actually okay with this Jeckyll and Hyde weather because it means that we still get to chow down on simple fare like this: taròz. Made with ingredients most anyone can find in their pantry or freezer, I can’t get over the fact that in a decade of living here, this dish never crossed my palate until recently.

The word taròz is patois derived from “tarare”, or more accurately, girare or mescolare (to turn or mix). Boiled potatoes and beans (still hot) are mixed together until they form a somewhat mashed texture. Cubes of cheese are stirred in until melted into the mix. Lastly, chopped onions cooked in a generous amount of butter are added and the whole lot is seasoned with ground pepper and nutmeg. In other versions, some cooks also like to add chopped pancetta in with the onions. View this youtube clip to see how it’s made.


There aren’t exact measurements for this recipe. Judge amounts according to the number of servings that you need. For 2 people, I cut up and boiled 3 large potatoes and 3 handfuls of frozen beans (added a few minutes to the salted water before the potatoes were completely cooked through). I estimate about a cup of cheese (use a semi-soft cows milk type) and a half cup for onions (chopped or sliced). As for the BUTTER – using a lot of it way back then was probably necessary to sustain families through harsh winters. The original creators would most likely make fun of my couple of tablespoons plus an equal amount of olive oil.


Mix, mix, mix! And mix again.


Mix in the cheese (cut into small pieces or cubes) until melted. Add the onions cooked in butter. Season with ground black pepper and ground nutmeg. Serve with freshly grated or thinly shaved parmigiano.

Top 10 favorite italian dishes to eat in winter

Bagna Caud-iamo!
Bagna cauda

The unusually lower temperatures Italy is experiencing right now is being compared to the kind we normally see in January. If it continues on like this, I may end up with way more than 10 favorites for the cold months. Cheese, potatoes, beans, and cabbage play such a big role in so many great-tasting seasonal recipes that it just isn’t a winter without them. And if by divine miracle the temps go up next month, we’re still going to eat every single one of these dishes for the sake of tradition.

Beginning from the top – garlic & anchovy (left dish) and a vegan-friendly garlic & sunchoke (right) Bagna Cauda. As we experienced for ourselves last month, numerous food festivals in Piemonte are created around la bagna caöda so I think it merits being at the #1 spot. The list proceeds in no particular order and includes the rib-sticking sustenance of northern italian cuisine. Of course a list isn’t complete without something for the sweet tooths, and that’s why panettone (my favorite) and pandoro (MotH’s) are side-by-side at the end.

Fonduta valdostana
La Fonduta – aka fondue. Served valdostana-style like this or in a larger fondue pot with bread cubes and accompanying vegetables.

La trippa
Trippa – a soup/stew of tender strips of tripe, beans, pancetta and a hint of tomato; topped with parmigiano.

Cassoeula – a rich and filling mix of pork sausage, pork skin and ribs, and a lot of cabbage. It tastes even better the next day after flavors have had time to come together, and red wine (Barbera or Bonarda) is a must with this.

Pizzoccheri – there are two faces to pizzoccheri: the above Valchiavenna-style cheese and flour dumplings (also called gnocchetti bianchi) or Valtellina’s buckwheat flour pasta with potatoes, cabbage and cheese as shown below.

Jota – a thick soup of beans, sauerkraut, potatoes and smoked pork. This specialty is popular in Friuli (we first tried this in Gorizia) and was so common in Trieste that old folks used to say “sempre jota, sempre jota, e mai polenta e latte” – always jota, always jota, and never polenta and milk. Pronounced like yoh-tah.

Polenta and beans – separately they are basic dietery items, but put them together with crumbled bits of fried pork rinds and enjoy a dish from Emilia Romagna. It actually has a name – calzagatti – and a story behind it.

bollito misto
Bollito Misto – mixed boiled meats that must include beef tongue and calf’s head – testina – to be authentic. Served with a variety of flavorful sauces, and don’t fret about the head part because you’ll never actually see eyeballs staring up at you.

Panettone and pandoro
Panettone and Pandoro – the first, a specialty from Milan and the second from Verona. No wonder we can’t be bothered with cookies and other holiday desserts. The breads come in sizes meant to serve a large family which is why it takes forever to get through the stash that we receive as gifts. Can you come up with a Top 10 pick of winter meals where you live?