italian boy

italian boy

Monday, November 17, 2014



by Giacomo Abruzzi, special to Edible DC
Chestnut season is here! These make a great and healthy addition to your dessert or snack menu around the holidays, and, of course, are perfect in stuffing for a Thanksgiving turkey.
Fresh chestnuts can be found this time of year in farmers markets and area grocery stores, and they are fairly easy to prepare. Once you roast and peel them, you can munch on them whole (I like to sprinkle a little sea salt on them), or chop or purée them for many different recipes.
First, on the rounder side of the chestnut, slice through that hard brown skin down one side; try not to cut too deeply into the meat of the nut. In my family we usually cut an “X”; I don’t know why we do it that way, that just what my grandparents did.
Once you have your chestnuts prepped you have two choices:
Put them under the coals of your fireplace or fire pit for 10 minutes
Roast them in the broiler, turning them occasionally for 15 minutes or until the shell starts to char and peel.
That’s it. Let them cool, peel back the skin and enjoy!
Pro tip 1: Try using a slightly dull paring knife or steak knife. Anything sharper can slice through the chestnut and cut yourself. Either way, be careful!
Pro tip 2: Placing a towel under the chestnuts as you cut through the skin can help keep them from slipping.
Pro tip 3: Putting the hot chestnuts in a paper bag or covering them with a towel so they steam as they cool will make them even easier to peel.

Friday, November 14, 2014



An autumn meal that’s hearty, healthy, packed with vitamins, protein, and fiber
by Giacomo Abrusci, special to Edible DC: @giacDC on Twitter
We’re heading into turkey season, so I picked up Ayrshire Farms frozen turkey wings from theArcadia Mobile Market the other day and made something so simple — and delicious. First, I partially defrosted my turkey wings in a warm water bath then threw them in a stock pot with some chopped carrots, celery, ginger, onions, a habanero pepper, some dried oregano from my garden, and salt. I filled the pot with water then left it to simmer over medium heat for two or three hours while I was doing chores, drinking wine, and checking my Facebook. When the meat was falling off the bone, I strained out the broth, skimmed off any fat, removed the bones and skin and returned the liquid and meat to the stock pot. Reducing the heat to low, I then added a cup and a half of red lentils — add some more water* if the stock is getting low — and let that simmer for about twenty minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender. A little garnish and that’s it — fabulous for a blustery fall day!
* Editor’s note: we love this recipe and had some conversation about it over the Edible DC water cooler — our publisher Susan would add some white wine with the lentils, to add a bright punch of acidity, while our editor Kristen would add some red wine, for a warm earthy note. Either way, it’s all delicious!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 SPAGHETTI AI GRANCHI


by Giacomo Abrusci
It’s crab season here in the Chesapeake Bay region, where we cover our tables with sheets of butcher’s paper and Old Bay is king all summer long. Whether you pick your crabs up from the waterfront fish markets in southwest DC or jump right into the Bay like my father and me, here’s a recipe to have seafood lovers licking their lips all day long: Spaghetti ai Granchi, or spaghetti with crab.
First clean the fresh uncooked crabs by removing the shells and washing them thoroughly — you’ll do this when they are really cold (either by storing them on ice or refrigerating them), which makes them dormant and easier to work with — then set them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to get to business.  I like leaving the tomalley— that’s the greenish goo, otherwise known as the crab’s liver and considered a delicacy, that you’ll find on the inside of the crab once you remove the shells — but this is not everyone’s style.
Start a basic marinara sauce with some olive oil, chopped onion, maybe some hot pepper, a mouthful of white wine, and some fresh crushed tomatoes. When the sauce is simmering nicely, add the crabs and let that cook uncovered on low heat for at least thirty to forty-five minutes.  Add a little more water or wine if the sauce is starting to get too thick and then add salt and pepper to taste.  Once you’re ready, move the crabs to a serving platter and cook your spaghetti until it is just al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to your sauce with a fistful of fresh parsley and serve with the crabs or as two separate courses.
A delicious alternative to our usual Old Bay steamers!  Click here to learn more about crabbing and fishing in our area.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 Italy in a Glass


Italy in a glass: Make-your-own Pesche al Vino Rosso After a Pick-Your-Own Trip to Homestead Farm
by Giacomo Abrusci
I just rolled back from Homestead Farm in Poolesville, MD, a mere 45 minutes from downtown DC, where every variety of peach is now at its peak. Even if you didn’t make it to Puglia, Italy this summer, you can still drink like you are there when you have a freshly-picked peck of peaches. While it’s true that southern Italy is not famous for wine-based sangria, the fruit is literally dripping off the trees there during the summer months, perfect for soaking in your favorite red wine.
My uncle Giovanni will exclusively use nectarines, while my sister Angela will usually choose the juiciest peach in the house. So grab some delicious fresh summer tree fruit and follow my lead tonight: before you start to prepare dinner, roughly chop two to three ripe pitted peaches or nectarines, drown them in a pitcher of red wine, and throw it into the fridge. Thirty minutes to an hour later — or whenever you’re ready to eat, because this fruity concoction only gets better with time — pull out your chilled wine and pour yourself a heavy glass.
Settle in and enjoy your dinner while nursing your peach-infused wine and finish off the evening with a few pieces of drunken fruit for dessert. Give it a try now while the trees are still loaded with ripe fruit, bursting with flavor!
You can visit Homestead Farm several months out of the year to pick your own produce, from spring berries to pumpkins.

Friday, February 14, 2014

jalapeno and lime chicken soup

This is a killer soup and super healthy too.  Perfect reminder that spring is just around the corner!  In a deep pan with olive oil and salt, lightly brown a chopped onion, two sliced jalapenos, and some fresh ginger.  Add 4-5 skinless chicken legs and brown over medium heat.  Degalze with half a bottle of light beer then cover with water and let simmer for the next ~45 minutes or until the meat easily falls off the bone.  Just before plating squeeze in the juice of 2-3 limes and serve with a hard boiled egg, half an avocado, and spring onions. 


get that cannoli in my mouth!

If there's one thing that this Italian boy loves more than his sausage, it might be his cannoli.  My favorite treat, hands down

Thursday, February 13, 2014

cuban sandwich and shitty beer

Not gonna lie, there are few things I'm craving more right now than eating a Cuban sandwich with shitty beer- on the beach, that it. So I'm about 45 seconds away from booking a ticket to Miami. Till I board I'm gonna make one of these bitches, turn the heat up, and sit in my bedroom streaming the Perez Family.  
To make your own:
Get a nice piece of bread. If you can't find Cuban, a Portuguese roll or a mini baguette will do. Butter or brush the crust with olive oil.  Yellow mustard is a must, then roast pork (if you don't have that on hand, not the end of the world), sliced ham, Swiss cheese, and a couple sandwich slices of dill pickles. panini press that beast or put it in a skillet over medium heat while you crush it with a smaller pot lid. 
Next, a paper cup, shitty beer, and a lemon wedge. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

QUICK TIP: frozen berries and champagne

Keeping a bag or two of mixed berries in your freezer is always a good idea whether you make smoothies or not.  Bump up a regular glass of champagne with a couple berries and not only will it add a sweet tang but it might even keep your glass cooler (if you magically let it sit around long enough to get warm) 

orecchiette with chorizo and swiss chard

My mother would faint at the idea of using chorizo but this recipe is begging for it in the winter.  Chorizo is much like any other pork sausage only lends a heartier flavor from smoked paprika.  The version I grabbed from Whole Foods even uses a touch of cinnamon and allspice- all the better for a crisp winter night.  Now this is truly a 20 minute meal- put your salted pot of water to boil and gently sautee a chopped small onion with hot pepper.  As soon as the onion starts to soften add a pound to a pound-and-a-half of chorizo meat with the casing removed. Break the meat apart and mix evenly as it cooks over medium heat.  At the same time wash and chop about a pound of swiss chard into one inch pieces.  When the meat is cooked add half a cup of white wine and the swiss chard to your pan, cover and lower the heat.  At the same time when the water comes to a boil, add a pound of orecchiette and cook until they're just al dente.  Drain the water and in the same pot fold in the meat-chard mixture, stir over high heat for 30 or so seconds then remove from from the stove, plate, and serve with some fresh parmigiano and a heavy red wine. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

pickled green tomatoes

In case your stressing about what to do with your end-of-season harvest: 1.) pick the last green tomatoes 2.) wash 3.) slice and salt 4.) stack 24 hours 5.) vinegar 24 hours 6.) drain and pack with hot pepper, garlic, and basil.

About Me

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Hi there, my name is Giacomo and I enjoy things delicious. Long story short, my parents moved from Italy to NJ where I grew up (and loved it) but found myself in Washington, DC fourteen years ago and haven’t yet found an excuse to leave. Food has always been a huge part of my day and life… from happy times, sad times, holidays, drunken escapades and all the rest in between, I’ve usually spent a good portion of that time putting something in my mouth. I guess I started this blog a little while ago to keep track of what I was cooking and places I’d eat-- simply because my friends were always asking “how do you make this” or “where do you get that” but surprisingly over time I guess real people started reading too. SO, take a look around and let me know what you think. You’ll see that the backbone of lots of my food is Italian but I manage to cover most bases. Thanks for stopping by. BUON APPETITO!

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