Articles by " Carol Malzone"
2 Nov

ANTIPASTO: The Opening Act

Designing the menu for my cooking classes is part of the fun. Like selecting an outfit for the grand ball, it all has to go together, you don’t want to be too fussy or complicated, and at the end, you want to look spectacular.

And so for an antipasto, I go back to a simple recipe I learned from a chef and restaurant owner in Rome several years ago.

Praline di Caprino e Noci con Miele

Praline di Caprino e Noci con Miele

Praline di caprino e noci con miele (little goat cheese balls adorned with walnuts, honey, parmigiana-reggiano, and balsamico) have been the starter for many meals in my home since then.

The best part is how easy  and foolproof they are to make, and how wonderfully they complement a glass of prosecco, an important part of the overall design.

29 Oct


I’m often asked about Halloween in Italy.  Do they celebrate it? Well, sort of.  Do the kids dress up?  Many do in mostly sweet costumes -not many ghosts and ghoulies walking around.  Do adults dress up like the walking dead and decorate their homes with cobwebs? Not as far as I know.

ZUCCA: the pumpkins of Italy

ZUCCA: the pumpkins of Italy

Italy has its own customs though going back long before anyone ever took a knife to carve a pumpkin face, and, not surprisingly, many involve food.

Click below for the story.


22 Oct


Gustiamo - Imported foods from Italy

Gustiamo: Imported foods from Italy

It’s a problem. You go to Italy and fall in love with the food. Then you come back home, and you don’t know where to start.  That’s when you have to think like an Italian:  ingredients and simplicity.

Recipes are easy to find on the internet, on TV, or in cookbooks. But mine are all from chefs and home cooks, those mentors in Italy who opened up their homes and kitchens to me and changed my life through food, one dish at a  time.  Now that I’m more often at home in the US rather than in Rome, I like to pay it forward by bringing what I’ve learned over the past 25 years of eating my way through Italy—with unabashed gusto and shameless greed!—to others.

Rigatoni All'Amatriciana

Rigatoni All’Amatriciana

Flavors of Rome’s first in a series of cooking classes and presentations featuring the products of Gustiamo is scheduled for November 12 here in South Florida.  In deference to the millions of you who won’t be able to attend, I offer one of the recipes we’ll use in the class, and my favorite of all the classic Roman pasta dishes—Rigatoni All’Amatriciana. Read more >>

23 Jun


Romans love their pasta e ceci so much they’ve figured out a way to make this cold weather comfort food work for them in the heat of the summer.  They call it pasta e ceci freddo, the same dish served, well, not exactly cold, but at room temperature.

With that in mind, one 90-plus degree day here in Florida, I decided to cook up a pot of this classic Roman soup using the bag of Umbrian chickpeas I had just ordered from Gustiamo, my go-to purveyor of Italian imported foods.
Pasta e CeciAt the end though I couldn’t wait for the cool down and ate it steaming hot.
Like many soups, pasta e ceci gets better as it sits, and so the next day I just took the chill off in the microwave, topped with a dollop of EVOO and grated parmigiano-reggiano and went at it like a Roman. The flavors were even more intense and satisfying in this “cold” state.

Call them ceci, chickpeas, or garbanzos, if you look at these little legumes (or pulses) closely, you’ll see that they resemble little ram heads which is how they got their Latin name, cicer arietinum, from aries, meaning ram.