Panini Girl

My obsessions-Italy and Cooking


July 22, 2012


Having My Way With Zucchini

My two zucchini plants are producing like crazy and I can barely keep up with ideas for cooking them. I could eat pasta every single day and so it seemed natural to make a pasta dish with zucchini. I originally thought that I would saute zucchini and throw in a little cream and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, […]

May 24, 2012


Trattoria Gigi Lucca

Located in a quiet piazza just around the corner from the Torre Guinigi, Trattoria Gigi is a little gem of a restaurant. There’s a small shaded patio and on a sunny day this is the perfect spot to dine. The trattoria always seems to be crowded with regulars and a few tourists thrown into the […]

March 1, 2012


Egg Pasta With Cabbage, Potato And Bacon

Talk about the perfect pasta dish for a stormy night-this is it. I couldn’t have asked for better weather for serving this pasta. It was raining, hailing and super windy and with a fire going in the fireplace, it was almost as if we were somewhere other than Southern California at the end of February. […]

November 7, 2011


Falling Around

It’s raining out for the second time in less than three days and I’m a happy person. I suppose you’re thinking “easy for her to say-she lives in sunny southern California”. Yes, it makes me happy to see it pouring out and I’m thrilled to light a fire in the hearth and cook something heartwarming. […]

October 24, 2011


Polenta Perfection

With the coming of cooler weather I’m happy to break out my fall favorites. I had a craving for chicken cacciatore and planned on making pasta to serve along side. As I was searching through the cupboard for the perfect shape, I suddenly remembered about the polenta that I had carried home from Italy and […]

October 20, 2011


Feed Me Tortelloni

Meat Filling for Tortelloni 1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 cup finely chopped onion 3 cloves garlic finely, chopped 1-1/3 pounds ground beef 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano 1/2 cup fine, dry bread crumbs 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 2 eggs Combine […]

October 19, 2011


Crespelle-The Italian Crepe

These may look like cannelloni or even manicotti, but they are the crespelle-the Italian version of a crepe. Crespelle are light and luscious and making them is a lot less time consuming than making homemade pasta. The batter can be whipped up in mere moments and the filling can be as easy or as complicated […]

September 20, 2011


Pancetta, Tomatoes And Cream-Wow!

Some time back I wrote about my disappointment with the demise of the weekly food section in most newspapers. Each and every week I looked forward to buying the paper and scouring the food section for ideas and recipes. Little by little the size of the food features dwindled and I no longer made it […]

September 2, 2011

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Identify This Vegetable

At first glance, you would probably identify this as a yellow pepper. ‘Tis the season for big peppers, perfect for stuffing, but this is no pepper. It’s a “stuffing tomato” that I bought yesterday at the mid-week farmers’ market. I apologize for not taking a photo when I first sliced the top and peered inside. […]