Fusilli Pasta

Probably the two words that best describe fusilli are “spirals” and “springs.” However, as it happens when Italian words are put under the microscope of translation, something else always shows up. So, for example, in the region of Calabria, fusilli are known as fischietti, or “little whistles.” Other variations include spinach fusilli and, one of my favorites,More »

Eggplant Parmigiana Pizza

Gourmet toppings for pizza? Where do I begin? I suppose I could start by recounting something I read recently about a pizzeria in New York City that is big on seasonal gourmet toppings such as brussel sprout leaves, shaved porcini, black truffles and exotic cheeses. If that’s not gourmet, I don’t know what is. IMore »

Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese (also known as mac ‘n’ cheese) is the quintessential American comfort food. Yes, American –– American to the core because it was a creation of our third president, Thomas Jefferson (Jefferson was really big on food and wine, a real gourmand). How popular is macaroni and cheese? Consider that Kraft Foods sellsMore »

Fried Artichoke & Zucchini

The appetizer section of menus has been taking a beating in the many Chicago restaurants I visit every day in my role as chief restaurant critic for the Chicago Sun-Times. I see customers moving away from expensive appetizers (and, believe me, the price of apps have gone through the roof) and moving directly to an entreeMore »