Feast of San Gennaro

Nonna’s Meatballs

Among big immigrant groups who contributed the most to the making of modern America, Italians stand out. Escaping first from war and then from desperate rural poverty, Italians flocked to the United States in astonishing numbers. The years between 1880 and 1920 alone saw more than four million Italians becoming new Americans, the majority coming… Continue reading Nonna’s Meatballs

St. Stephen's Day

Grill-Roasted Paprika Chicken

  Don’t be fooled: Hungary’s St. Stephen’s Day on August 20 is not the winter holiday celebrated (and caroled about) as “The Feast of Steven.” Instead, it commemorates King Stephen, who founded Hungary and was canonized in 1083 by Pope Gregory VII. Unlike some holidays, where pomp or religion come first and food is secondary,… Continue reading Grill-Roasted Paprika Chicken


Ricotta Gnocchi with Guanciale, Peas and Leeks

Many Italian towns celebrate a “Gnoccata,” which translates—delightfully—into “Dumpling Festival.” The Gnoccata of Liguria, a northwestern province of Italy famous for its picturesque coastline and the five coastal villages known as the Cinque Terre, falls on the second Sunday in August. Gnocchi, the festival’s namesake dumplings, come in many forms, including a pillowy potato variety… Continue reading Ricotta Gnocchi with Guanciale, Peas and Leeks


Semolina Cake with Roasted Strawberries

Most religious practices incorporate fasts of one kind or another, but surely the most demanding must be Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Observant Muslims abstain from food and water every day until sunset for 30 days, to commemorate the revelation of the first book of the Quran to the Prophet Mohammed in 610… Continue reading Semolina Cake with Roasted Strawberries

Sardinia Day

Fregola with Clams

Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean, after Cyprus, and one of the most ancient pieces of land in the world. Occupied by people since prehistoric times, it’s a gorgeous island with dramatic cliffs, beautiful rocky beaches, crystal waters and impressive ruins. Like many European locales, it has been occupied over the centuries by… Continue reading Fregola with Clams

Peanut Butter & Jelly Day

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

For those of us who grew up in the 1980s, the peanut butter and jelly sandwich was ubiquitous. It wasn’t just the default lunch option, but also the fall-back snack, playdate and birthday-party meal, so if you didn’t like it, you were badly out of luck. Zanthe is still haunted by the ghosts of all the PB&J sandwiches that defeated her with… Continue reading Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies


Crispy Turmeric Halibut with Herbed Rice & Cucumber, Radish Salad

There’s a gap between the terms “Persian” and “Iranian” in our country. For most Americans, “Iran” is inextricable from a host of politically fraught issues, whether it’s the hostage crisis of the 1970s, George W. Bush naming it as part of the “Axis of Evil” or our current administration’s attempts to bar its citizens from… Continue reading Crispy Turmeric Halibut with Herbed Rice & Cucumber, Radish Salad