Ah, penne alla vodka. The classic dish is an iconic throwback to the Eighties, along with MTV and permed hair. At its best, the sauce is a perfect balance of tangy tomato, sweet cream and pasta. In other words, the ultimate recipe for comfort food. And I’m guessing we can all use an order of that right about now. [Read more…]
A while back (a long, long while…) I was paying a visit to California wine country. I was exploring the town of Yountville one afternoon, and wandered into a NapaStyle store. Right there in the middle of the place was Michael Chiarello himself, working the room like the smooth guy he is. He was wearing an immaculate lavender-colored oxford shirt, slim Italian-tailored trousers and his megawatt Food Network smile.
Feeling a tiny bit starstruck, I went over to say hello. I don’t remember what we chatted about, but I do remember him handing me a jar of hot chili pepper sauce, telling me it was from his family’s hometown in Calabria and that I couldn’t leave the store without it. Okay! He didn’t have to work that sales angle too hard. [Read more…]
This recipe for juicy brined pork chops is a variation on one I’ve been making for years. While I was in Tuscany during my DaVinci Storyteller experience earlier this fall, I soaked up the aura and sensory beauty of the place – it’s hard not to! Aromatic foliage grows wild everywhere, like bay laurel, lavender and rosemary, each of which happen to be classic and delicious seasonings for thick cut pork chops. [Read more…]