There’s no better companion on a bright, sunny day than a sweet scoop of ice cream or perhaps gelato depending on where you live. Our recent Italian adventures got us thinking about these two great treats. They’re so similar, yet so different. Is there really a difference between gelato and ice cream? Or did we just fall hard for gelato because we were so romanced by Italy as a whole?
We love meeting new and inspiring creative people. We also love food (who doesn’t?!) and are constantly searching for creative ways to share recipes with our Studio Tea readers. Needless to say, when Lauren K. Stein, reached out to us we were thrilled to learn more about her latest cookbook Fresh Made Simple featuring beautifully illustrated, original recipes. Lauren graciously offered to share her recipe for a delicious Italian Cacio e Pepe pasta dish and here she dives into the story behind her work with a little Q&A.
Lemons – like olives and grapes – are an iconic Italian crop. Travel through the Amalfi coast and you’ll see lemons everywhere. From lemons at fruit stands to painted lemons hidden in beautiful ceramic pottery, they seem to be everywhere you turn. Italy is the world’s largest lemon producer and this fragrant, sour fruit plays a big role in the countries cuisine. From limoncello – a lemon liqueur mainly produced in the South of Italy – to salad dressings, marinades, seafood dishes and even desserts, this do-it-all fruit can be found in much of Italy’s famous cuisine.
On our trip to Italy, our Editorial Art Director Alexis and her family enjoyed a meal together to celebrate reuniting with their extended family. One of the dishes they fell in love with was a grilled vegetable antipasto. The word antipasto means “before the meal” in Italian. The tradition of an antipasto stretches back to medieval times in Italy, when diners used to mingle over finger foods, both sweet and savory, before sitting down to eat. Early recipes include everything from sugared nuts to clotted cream to spiced ham. Now, antipasti platters can have anything from olives, roasted red peppers, marinated artichokes and mushrooms and pepperoncini, chunks of Parmesan, fresh mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, sauteed zucchini, broccoli rabe, nuts, salami, fresh ricotta and bread on the side. We think there is no better way to start a meal, than with an abundant antipasto platter, artfully arranged with layers of meat, cheeses, vegetables and more. Get our recipe for the antipasto we enjoyed in Savona!
If asked what their favorite meal is, how many of your little citizens would say pizza? We know the majority of ours would (us included!). In a world of delicious, deliverable food right at your fingertips, it can be hard not to fall into the trap of ordering delivery instead of cooking. With a little extra energy and a few helping hands, you can take the next Friday family pizza night to a whole new level with our easy homemade pizza and a salad recipes!
Dinners aren’t always easy. In our house, the more veggies we introduce, the more blank stares we receive. Always a winner for us? Pasta. Sometimes we can’t fight it and I reach for the box. Seeing Stella make pasta with her family in Italy made it us think… Is this something we could actually do as a family in our own home? Turns out it is! The entire family had a ton of fun and the results were absolutely delicious. Give it a try and let us know what you think.
Every family has at least one recipe that has been passed down and perfected through generations. It’s the whole family’s favorite meal…just the smell of it brings back memories, and the first bite always feels like home. For Stella, that dish is Nonna’s pasta sauce. Stella, her mom (Alexis), dad (Rob) and brother (Marcel) traveled to Italy to learn more about their heritage and meet their extended family. While they were there, Nonna made her famous sauce with Stella, and shared the secret recipe with us.