La Tavola della mia Famiglia: Italian Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe

Sunday, February 20, 2011

ricotta-cheesecake-3

I’ll let you in on a little secret.  Even though I grew up in an Italian family where more than half of my relatives, including my father and grandparents, were actually from Italy, I had never heard of mascarpone until I was an adult and discovered it for myself.  Shocking, isn’t it?  But, it’s true.  For some reason none of the cooks in my family ever used the stuff.  How could this be?  Well, the only answer that I can come up with is that none of them were big bakers, and mascarpone is more commonly used in sweet dishes.   Also, since my family came from the southern half of the boot, most of the food out of their kitchens was tomato and olive oil based.  Except for ricotta and fresh mozzarella, very little of anything creamy was ever used in cooking.

My grandmother was diabetic, so she really never served much in the way of desserts outside of fresh fruit platters and some sfogliatelle or cannoli picked up from one of the neighborhood pastry shops.   I guess she figured why make luscious desserts that she couldn’t enjoy herself, especially when there were so many excellent bakeries within walking distance.  And, because she didn’t bake or make lots of sweets, none of her four daughters ever did either.  They bought their cakes, tiramisu and pastries too.  I guess you could say that our entire family did its part to keep the local bakeries in business.   Heck, I’d probably do the same thing if I had access to all of those wonderful Italian treats!  Sadly, here in my neck of the woods that is not an option.  If I want to enjoy authentic, mouthwatering Italian delights, I have two options.  The first is to buy them at the one and decidedly “meh” Italian bakery in town.  The second is to make them myself.  Sometimes, I choose option one, but most of the time I go the DIY route.  read more >>

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When I was a little girl, my grandfather worked as a longshoreman for the New York Port Authority.   For most of his career, he worked the night shift.  This meant that from Monday through Friday, he was rarely ever around at dinner time.  As a result, my Nonna  usually …

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As a little girl, I perceived my mother’s kitchen as a mysterious and intriguing place where sights and smells and sounds converged to become yummy things for me to eat.    Of course, I understood nothing about the art and science of cooking.   I only knew that after the swooshing …

La Tavola della mia Famiglia:  Brutti ma Buoni

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One of the things I love about native Italians is that they say what they mean, and they don’t mince words.  Take these cookies, for instance.  They’re called Brutti ma Buoni, which means “ugly, but good”.  Don’t you love it?  These unassuming, delicate little puffs of meringue studded with …

La Tavola della mia Famiglia: Pasta con Broccoli

Sunday, August 22, 201027 Comments

Pasta con Broccoli, or Pasta with Broccoli has been a staple meal in my family for as long as I can remember. My grandmother made it. My aunts all make it. My mother makes it, and I do too.  It’s not only because it is an incredibly quick …

La Tavola della mia Famiglia: Fettuccine al Sugo di Pollo e Funghi

Sunday, August 15, 201019 Comments

Every family has its own unique set of traditions.  These traditions are the glue that binds one generation to another.  Those revolving around food are often the ones that seem to stand out the most.  It’s no wonder. Food nourishes not only our bodies but our souls as …

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Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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