Saturday, June 1, 2013

Know your roots.

Unless you lived everywhere in the world, and have mastered the cuisine of every part of the globe, you owe your particular tastes to the place you spent your childhood.

Putting together a meal for me takes me back to Italy, this scene, for instance. An outdoor place, with big tables, many people, wine pouring freely, children running around and a few people in the kitchen or by the outdoor oven/grill searing the meat, and bringing platters of charred lamb riblets to the table.

What goes with grilled lamb riblets? Pasta with fava and artichokes and mint, and an assortment of crudites like fennel bulbs, radishes, carrots, etc...  and fresh bread with good olive oil for dipping.

Ingredients for the Vignarola sauce:

1 lb of fava beans, shelled and blanched (use peas if fava not available)
5 small artichockes cleaned, blanched and cut into small pieces
1 bunch of mint, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 C olive oil
1/2 C pasta water
salt and pepper to taste

Saute' the onion in the olive oil. Add the fava and and artichokes, lower the heat and simmer until the pasta is ready. Add 1/2 C or more of pasta water to make a light sauce. Add mint at the last minute.

Serve over pasta with pecorino cheese.


  1. This sounds wonderful! My roots in the cooking and eating department are boring. I wish I had the richness of your roots.

  2. Hello,

    Giardino degli Ulivi Resort is organizing italian cooking classes for at least 10-15 person groups that want to spend a very nice and relaxing vacation in the south of Italy.

    We are offering special discounts for cooking classes plus accomodation and guided visits to foodmarkets and oil, wheat, pasta and mozzarella production companies.
    You will discover the wonderful Italian cuisine by cooking typical apulian and italian dishes.
    You will learn to cook orecchiette, handmade pasta, focaccia and many other delicious apulian dishes.
    But we are very interested to host YOUR cooking class too. You only have to make the best choice for your needs.

    Giardino degli Ulivi

    For further informations:

    Web site:


    tel.: +39 0883630022
    +39 3337489777

  3. Your recipes and stories around the recipes are so inspiring! I'm trying to follow a vegetarian diet lately and pasta with root vegetables sounds outstanding! Thanks so much for the recipe!

  4. England is a bit of a melting pot of cuisines - and as a vegetarian, the classic British "meat & two veg" has little to recommend it. So I grew up on a hearty mixture of dishes, from Italian to Indian and everything in between. Lots and lots of veggies, though, and usually plenty of herbs and spices.

    I've never heard of this sauce but it looks wonderful and fresh :)