film & videos

  food & wine
  italian american

  free email
  link directory

new york
events, links, forum

events, links, forum

events, links, forum

events, links, forum

san francisco
events, links, forum

los angeles
events, links, forum

about us

you can help us!
We're an all volunteer website and need your help to keep going. Here are five ways you can contribute:
1 Donate
2 Buy something
3 Submit a story
4 Volunteer
5 Advertise

get in gear!
New in the gift shop, logo wear and use items!
  PLEASE NOTE: We are experiencing unexpected technical difficulties caused by our web host. We apologize for the inconvenience. During your visit you may experience service and page interruptions - we are in the process of fixing everything and hope to be fully back on our feet soon.
Gourmet Pastas and Sauces on-line

a tavola - the cuisine of campania
(return to food)

I have chosen to concentrate specifically on the cuisine of Naples because it is one of my favorite cities. Naples is the most vibrant and alive place anyone could imagine. The food everywhere is delicious.

Everyone has some knowledge of Neopolitan cuisine because it has been so diffused around the World. Just think of pizza! But there are also many other recipes we all know which originated in Naples. There are recipes for Struffoli and Zeppole in the dessert section. These recipes are the most frequently requested.

I am indebted to Italian Food for the best Neopolitan recipes available - some of which are below.

* Campania Region
* Campania Guide
* Mt. Vesuvius and I
* Campania Cooking School
* Shap out if it!
* Capri Cafes
* Miracle in Naples
* Pompeii
* Neopolitan Cuisine
* What do you know about Campania?
* More Italian regions...


Antipasto is not normally served in Neopolitan meals but it is becoming more prevelant.

Pomodori ripieni - Stuffed tomatos
This dish can be served warm or cold and it will serve as an antipasto or as a vegetable side dish.

12 round, large tomatoes
3/4 cup rice
1 clove garlic
5 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano
Salt & pepper to taste
1 cup dry white wine
Fresh shredded basil or oregano

Wash and dry the tomatoes, then cut around their caps and scoop out the pulp with a spoon, being careful not to puncture the tomatoes. Do the scooping over a bowl so as to catch all the liquid that drips from the tomatoes as well, and when you are done blend the pulp and juice. Then combine the blended tomato pulp with the remaining ingredients except the wine. Preheat your oven to 375 F.

Stuff the tomatoes with the filling without tamping down too hard, replace the caps, and put them in a lightly oiled oven proof dish. Pour the wine into the dish and bake the tomatoes until done, about 45 minutes. Serve either hot or cool.

Serves 6.



Zuppa di Lenticchie - Lentil Soup
1 pound dried green lentils
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
Minced parsley
4 tomatoes, blanched, peeled and seeded
Salt and pepper to taste

Put the lentils in a pot with enough water to cover them to a depth of 3-4 fingers, and simmer them covered over a low flame for about 2 hours; keep more hot water handy should the lentils absorb all the cooking water. When they're close to being done, add the remaining ingredients. Cook for another half hour and serve.

Serves 4.


Lasagne alla Ricotta
1 1/4 pounds store-bought lasagne

For the b�chamel sauce:
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
4/5 quart milk
Salt to taste

For the sauce:
1 1/4 pound Neapolitan mild sausages
2 ounces prosciutto
2 ounces smoked pancetta (in its absence use unsmoked pancetta, not bacon)
1 medium-sized onion, minced
1 small carrot, minced
Parsley, thyme and marjoram, minced (to taste; figure about a tablespoon of parsley and a teaspoon each of the other two, then adjust until you reach what you like)
A few leaves rosemary
1/4 cup butter
1 cup dry white wine
Meat or vegetable broth
Salt to taste

For the filling:
1 1/4 pounds fresh ricotta
3 cups grated Parmigiano (about 1/3 pound)
1 pint milk
Salt and pepper
A rectangular pan, 9 by 12 inches, and 3 inches deep

Make a moderately thick b�chamel sauce and let it cool. (See ingredients above)

Skin and crumble the sausages, and mince them with the prosciutto, pancetta, onion, carrot, parsley, thyme, marjoram, and just a little rosemary. Work the butter into the mixture, then saut� everything over a low flame, adding the wine a little bit at a time, and then broth; let all the liquid evaporate between additions. When done, the sauce will be rich, moderately browned, and not dry.

Mix the ricotta and a bit more than half the Parmigiano together, season with salt and pepper to taste, then beat enough milk into the mixture to turn it creamy and light. In the meantime a pot of bring lightly salted water to boil; sprinkle a tablespoon of oil into it and cook the lasagne until they're barely al dente, then run them under cool water and set them to drain on a cloth.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Meanwhile, take your rectangular pan, and spread some b�chamel sauce over the bottom, then a third of the lasagne (overlap the sheets of pasta slightly). Sprinkle the pasta with Parmigiano, then a third of the sausage sauce, and finally a third of the ricotta. Repeat the procedure twice more, and bake the lasagne for 35-45 minutes; let the top brown lightly and then cover it with a sheet of aluminum foil if need be. Once they are done and removed from the oven, let them sit for five minutes before serving them.

Serves 8.



Vitello alla Pizzaiola - Veal Pizzaiola
2 pounds veal scallops
1 pound drained canned, or fresh tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine

Clean the slices of meat, trimming away gristle and nicking the membranes. Lay them out in a large skillet, salt them lightly, and cover them with the tomatoes (quartered if fresh, halved if canned). Add the remaining ingredients, cover, and cook over a moderate flame for about an hour, checking every now and then and adding a little more liquid if things are drying out.

As a variation,you could begin by saut�ing the garlic in the oil; when it has browned remove and discard it, and fry the cutlets, arranging them on a platter when they're done. Next, cook the tomatoes and the other ingredients in the skillet to make the sauce, adding the wine last, and when it has evaporated, return the meat to the pan to heat it through.

Serves 4.


Capitone, Arrosto o Fritto -- Eel, Grilled or Fried
Eel meat is oilier than that of many fish, and is consequently ideally suited to the grill. This recipe is drawn from Car�la Francesconi's La Cucina Napoletana, and is an indispensable part of the Christmas Eve dinner.

If you plan to grill it:
2 1/2 pounds eel
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/2 a bay leaf per piece eel

If you plan to fry it:
The above
A pot of oil for frying

Cut the eel into pieces about 3 inches long, wash them, dry them, and rub them with the garlic. Slip them onto skewers, alternating them with bay leaves. Season them with salt and pepper and drizzle the oil and vinegar over them; let them sit in the marinade for at least an hour.

To make grilled eel:
Grill the pieces over a medium flame for about a half hour, turning them frequently and basting them with olive oil.

To make fried eel:
Do not skewer the pieces, but rather sprinkle them with oil and dot them with pieces of bay leaf. Once they have marinated roll the fish in flour and fry the pieces in moderately hot oil until they are browned and crunchy on the outside. Drain them well on absorbent paper and salt them.

Serves 6.

Source: Italian Cuisine


Asparagi in Cassuola - Neapolitan Pan-Saut�ed Asparagus
4 1/2 pounds asparagus
1/4 pound finely sliced prosciutto
Freshly picked mint leaves
1/2 cup unsalted butter or olive oil
Salt & freshly ground pepper

Wash the asparagus and cook them in bunches, upright in lightly salted boiling water sufficient to reach up to where the stalks shift from white to green, so the bases will be boiled while the tips are steamed.

While the asparagus is cooking prepare the remainder: Saut� the prosciutto in the butter or oil with the mint leaves, and when it is cooked keep it warm. When they are cooked (5-8 minutes, or until the tips begin to droop), cut away and discard the white parts, and heat the asparagus through well in the sauce, turning the spears gently to coat them thoroughly.

Serves 6.

Broccoli Rapa Strascinati - Stir-fried Broccoli Rabe
2 1/4 pounds cleaned broccoli rabe (wash well, trim roots, and coarsely chop leaves)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Hot pepper, if you like it
2 anchovies, boned and minced (optional)

Drain the broccoli well and cook them until half done in lightly salted boiling water (3-5 minutes from when the water resumes boiling after you add them to the pot). Drain them well, and squeeze them to force out the bitter juices.

Saut� the garlic in the oil, and when it is golden, add the broccoli. Cook over a brisk flame, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes. Season with the hot pepper, if you are using it, half way through the cooking, and the anchovies, if you are using them, at the end. Before serving check seasoning.

Serves 6.

Melanzane al Forno Con le Olive - Baked Eggplant with Olives
2 medium sized oval eggplants
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon salted capers, minced.
4 ounces pitted sweet black olives
1 bunch parsley
4 anchovy fillets
2 ounces crust-free bread, crumbled and soaked in a few drops of milk
1/2 cup thick tomato sauce or canned tomato pulp, and a finely sliced plum
tomato, if it's in season
A pinch of oregano
Pepper to taste

Halve the eggplants, score them diagonally, salt them, and let them sit for an hour. Preheat the oven to 360 degrees F. Meanwhile, wash and pat dry the eggplant halves and put them in an oven-proof dish.

Blend the garlic, capers, parsley, olives, anchovies, and bread until they become a fairly smooth paste. Spread the paste over eggplant halves, then sprinkle them with the tomato, and garnish them with the tomato slices. Season with pepper and the origano to taste and bake until done, about an hour.

Serves 4.


Migliaccio is a classic Neapolitan specialty. Please read the whole recipe for all the ingredients.

prepare a pastry cream
3/4 cup whole milk
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup potato or corn starch

Bring the milk to a boil. While it's heating, whip the yolks with the sugar until the mixture is pale yellow and foamy, then sift the starch into the mixture, stirring constantly to keep lumps from forming. Stir in the hot milk, a few drops at a time, then heat everything over a very low flame, stirring gently, until it thickens somewhat -- about 10 minutes. Don't let the cream come to a boil. Then heat another 3/4 cup of milk with a pinch of salt, stir in barely 1/2 cup of semolina a cup of sugar, and cook for about 5 minutes.

Afterwards, you simply have to combine this mixture with a little more than 3/4 of a pound of fresh ricotta, a flacon of acqua di fiori d'arancio (orange blossom water, use orange extract if need be, to taste), two more yolks, and the pastry cream. Done. Butter and flour a mold, and bake the mixture in it at 360 F until it done. (It should set; it will take about 45 minutes but check it at 30). Open the oven and let the migliaccio cool without removing it, to make sure it's completely dry, and dust it well with confectioner's sugar.

Struffoli - Neopolitan Fried Cookies with Honey
5 1/4 cups flour
10 eggs
sugar salt
1 1/2 cup honey
grated rind of 3 orange
1 3/4 cups candied orange peel
1 3/4 cups candied citron peel
1/2 lemon lard or extra-virgin olive oil

These delicious sweets from Naples are prepared especially for Christmas. Some recipes suggest the addition of 1 tbsp of pure alcohol to the pastry. Some cover them with hundreds of thousands to add a festive touch. On a cold clean kitchen surface place the flour, a pinch of salt, a tbsp of sugar and the grated rind of 1/2 a lemon, and mix together. Form a mound shape and make a well in the middle, in which you will break the 8 eggs and 2 yolks and 2 tbsp of lard or olive oil. Moving your fingers from the outside inwards mix all the ingredients and knead the dough. Roll out into long thin rolls and cut small 1/2 inch rolls. Fry them, a few at a time, in lard or olive oil, taking care not to burn them, and drain off the excess fat on kitchen paper. Heat the honey in a pan ch of salt, a tbsp of sugar and the grated rind of 1/2 a lemon, and mix together. Form a mound shape and make a well in the middle, in which you will break the 8 eggs and 2 yolks and 2 tbsp of lard or olive oil. Moving your fingers from the outside inwards mix all the ingredients and knead the dough. Roll out into long thin rolls and cut small 1/2 inch rolls. Fry them, a few at a time, in lard or olive oil, taking care not to burn them, and drain off the excess fat on kitchen paper. Heat the honey in a pan ch of salt, a tbsp of sugar and the grated rind of 1/2 a lemon, and mix together. Form a mound shape and make a well in the middle, in which you will break the 8 eggs and 2 yolks and 2 tbsp of lard or olive oil. Moving your fingers from the outside inwards mix all the ingredients and knead the dough. Roll out into long thin rolls and cut small 1/2 inch rolls. Fry them, a few at a time, in lard or olive oil, taking care not to burn them, and drain off the excess fat on kitchen paper. Heat the honey in a pan and when it has melted remove it from the heat source and add the grated rind of three oranges. Stir well then add the chopped up candied orange and citron and then mix in the "struffoli". Take care not to crush the "struffoli". When these have absorbed all the honey, place them on a large serving dish and shape them into a large cone or ring. Wet your hand with water so that they do not stick to the honey. Allow to rest a few hours before serving. You can also sprinkle the struffoli with hundreds of thousands.

For the dough:
2 1/2 cups (250 g) flour, sifted
An equal volume of water
A pinch of salt
A pot of olive oil for frying (you can use other oils if need be)
1/2 cup (about 125 ml) white wine

For the dredging:
3 teaspoons powdered cinnamon mixed with
1 cup (200 g) sugar

Set the water and wine to heat, and when bubbles form on the bottom of the pot (it's shouldn't come to a full boil) add the flour in one fell swoop and stir constantly with a wooden spoon. When the dough comes out of the pot in a single piece remove it from the fire to a lightly oiled marble work surface and work it, pounding it with a rolling pin, for about 10 minutes so as to make it smooth and homogeneous. Roll the dough into snakes about as thick as your little finger, cut them into 8-inch (20 cm) lengths, and pinch the ends together to make rings.

Heat the oil and fry the zeppole a few at a time, pricking them with a skewer as they fry, so the dough will bubble out and they'll become crunchier and more golden. Drain them on an absorbent paper and dredge them in the cinnamon-and-sugar mixture. They're good hot or cold. If you choose to dip them in a honey mixture, forgo the sugar and cinnamon mentioned above.

Prepare instead:
3/4 cup (250 g) honey
2/3 cup (125 g) sugar
1 pinch powdered cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons water
Diavolilli (colored candy bits; she calls for 50 g, or 2 ounces by weight)
Make the zeppole and keep them warm

Mix the honey, water and sugar, and cook the syrup until the fine thread stage (squeeze a drop between thumb and forefinger, then separate them; fine threads that break easily should form).

Lower the flame to an absolute minimum, stir in the cinnamon and the vanilla, and dip the zeppole 2 or 3 at a time, removing them with a fork and laying them on the serving dish. When you have finished dipping, sprinkle the zeppole with diavolilli, pour the remaining syrup over them, and serve hot.

Adapted from Italian Food


© 1998-2005 by unless otherwise noted