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10 Favourite Hubpages on the Subject of Italian Cuisine - A Greensleeves Review
Italy has given us one of the world's great cuisines, a cuisine which seems almost universally popular, perhaps because so many of the dishes tend to be comparatively easy to make and mild in taste. Of course, popularity has led to a proliferation of Italian style restaurants or Italian style fast food joints around the world. This is fine, and I have no problems with such places (and use them myself), but no doubt there is an appeal to freshly preparing a recipe to suit one's own palate. And given the simplicity of many of the recipes, there is no reason not to do so. This page will review some of the very best Italian recipes on the HubPages website and my reasons for selecting them.
This is the second of a series of articles I will be publishing reviewing some of the best 'hubs' (web pages) on particular subjects at the HubPages site. The home page for these reviews and a list of published reviews can be found at:
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REVIEW AND SELECTION CRITERIA
All of these recipes are to be found under 'Italian Cuisine', a HubPages subcategory within the broader topic of 'Southern European Cuisine', which in turn is to be found under the heading of 'World Cuisines'. There are many other hub pages in various subcategories such as 'Quick and Easy Recipes' or 'Cooking for Smaller Numbers' which also deal with Italian cookery, but I found plenty just within this one subcategory to review. This second article in my series of hub reviews was a pleasure to write, albeit a time consuming exercise.
It was a pleasure to write because:
- The quality of articles was so high. The majority of the hubs in this category seem to be so well written by people who know what they are talking about and who know how to entice with attractive photographs, descriptions and instructions for recipe preparation. I suspect the standard has also been raised by the introduction in 2012 of a new HubPage template to facilitate presentation of recipes, and a HubPage recipe competition.
It was a time consuming exercise because:
- The quality of articles was so high! If one can limit the selection to 15 and then eliminate 5, then this is easier to do. If one has 50 or 100 great hubs to select from, then some inevitably have to be discarded, and it became a shame to do so. However, it is my policy to only select one hub from each author (though others will receive links) so I could quickly eliminate some hubs which might otherwise have been under consideration. Perhaps I should say therefore, that the ten chosen are a representative selection - there are many more good pages in this category deserving of your attention.
Criteria for selection were principally attractive photographs of dishes prepared, and clear, lucid step-by-step recipes preferably explaining or avoiding terminology which is not common to all English speakers (I live in the UK, and terminology is not always the same as in America). As far as the photographs are concerned, I had to almost immediately discard most recipes which lacked photographs, because there are so many others which feature good images or videos. A bonus to be found with many articles is background information on the region or the history of the cuisine being described. Also maps or other interesting information relating to the creation of a particular cuisine will have helped some hubs to score more highly than others which are just as effectively presented in terms of the actual food preparation.
MY TEN SELECTED PAGES
In some of these series of HubPage reviews, the problem will be what to include. In some, the problem will be what to leave out. This review was a prime example of the latter. So many of the hubs on 'Italian Cuisine' are well written with clear instructions and first rate illustrations, I could easily have included at least a couple of dozen more recommendations. However, apart from the policy of only featuring one hub from each author, I also wanted to include a range of recipes to include different courses - antipasto, main course, and a dessert, as well as a few sauces - so this requirement helped me to decide on the final selection.
A few mentions first for authors who contributed several excellent hubs which almost made the final selection. If you have an interest in Italian cooking I would recommend you visit the HubPage Profiles of Bear N Mom and chefsref and from there, locate the Italian recipes they have provided.
Antipasti Recipe Ideas - Antipasto Recipe Ideas
Well it makes sense to start with an antipasto I suppose, or in this case, nine antipasti. That's one for every day of the week plus a couple left over! Moonbun has put together nine sets of ingredients and instructions with an accompanying photograph for each - which all goes to make this perhaps the simplest and best guide to antiipasti on HubPages. The page has only received one comment previously, and it seems moonbun hasn't published a hub for 8 months, which is a shame. Maybe there will be more in the future.
Antipasti Recipe Ideas - Antipasto Recipe Ideas by moonbun
- SADLY THIS HUB IS CURRENTLY OFFLINE. HOPEFULLY THIS IS A TEMPORARY SITUATION BEFORE REPUBLICATION IN DUE COURSE
How to Cook an Authentic Italian Fritatta
There is just one recipe on this page, and only one photograph. However this recipe has one of the most clear sets of instructions of any hub to accompany it, and an equally clearly narrated video to make the whole process straightforward to follow. As such, it is difficult to fault.
How to Cook an Authentic Italian Fritatta by peoplepower73
How to Make Pesto: Cheesy Basily Goodness In Minutes
Author 'Endgamer' describes this as 'an extraordinarily easy recipe, barely worthy of the name'. Certainly it is. Written in the lightest of styles with very clear instructions and plenty of photographs which show the basics of the ingredients, nobody could fail to get this one right, and equally nobody could lose interest before they reach the end of this brief guide. 'Endgamer' points out the many uses of pesto, and so this recipe or a variation on it offers all sorts of possibilities. Particularly useful is the idea of creating frozen ice cube pesto for later use. A page which is well worth checking out. This is another hubber who no longer seems to be active; hopefully he was not discouraged by a lack of support.
Italian Cuisine Basics, Recipes And More
Sauces seem to me to be the most useful of all recipes. Learn how to make a few different sauces and the same basic recipe ingredients, or leftover ingredients from other preparations, can be given an entirely new taste. There are many good recipes for sauces in this category including the excellent pesto recipe above; I chose this one because it includes instructions for pesto, arrabbiata, marinara and garlic bread spread. In addition to this, there is also a meatball recipe.
Italian Cuisine Basics, Recipes And More by crazyhorsesghost
- SADLY THIS HUB IS CURRENTLY OFFLINE. HOPEFULLY THIS IS A TEMPORARY SITUATION BEFORE REPUBLICATION IN DUE COURSE
Spaghetti with shrimp
Angelo di Fluno is an Italian who specialises in his native cuisine, and as a resident of Romagna, he knows exactly what he is talking about when it comes to food. He has written many hubs on Italian cookery which have not received as much attention they deserve. Angelo freely admits on his profile page that his English is 'not perfect', but it is clear enough to make his recipes easy to follow. Spaghetti with shrimp is charmingly described, straightforward to prepare, and nicely illustrated with many photos which represent each stage of the process. It's not his only good hub either. I would also recommend looking at his Salad with Artichokes and truffles.
Spaghetti with shrimp by Angelo di Fluno
How To Make Gnocchi: A Step By Step Guide With You Tube Videos
This is one of several good hubs in this category by Audrey Kirchner. Others include recipes for Marinara Sauce, Vegetable Lasagne, and Chicken Florentine Lasagna. The appeal of this hub is that it describes the many variations on a gnocchi theme, a recipe with video for making sweet potato gnocchi, a recipe and accompanying video for a dish of gnocchi with pesto, asparagus and shrimp, and two more videos for ricotta gnocchi and spinach gnocchi. Photographs and a long list of links to other recipes by Audrey complete the hub.
Authentic Spaghetti Carbonara Pasta Recipe
How could I not include this recipe when one looks at the gorgeous photo on the right!? A fairly simple hub about a simple dish with an exotic twist as the yolk of an egg is served to the diners in its shell and added to the pasta on the plate. The hub is not very long, but it is well presented, and contains links to others, including one for Spaghetti Bolognaise. According to the author Mark Knowles, the recipe on this page is 'the best carbonara recipe ever.' I cannot vouch for that as yet, but I think I'll have to give it a shot and find out! Among Mark's other hubs is a Meat and Macaroni Pie recipe which may also appeal to readers.
Authentic Spaghetti Carbonara Pasta Recipe by Mark Knowles
Italian Beef Broth, In a Giant Yorkshire Pudding
This nice recipe offers a unique and enticing looking combination of an Italian beef broth encased in a large Yorkshire pudding. It's a well written recipe with good instructions and photographs, coupled with a map and a little information about the Tuscany city of Milan, and all presented in a friendly welcoming style. Another of Tony Mead's efforts - a recipe for Smoked Salmon and Caviar Bruschetta - is also worth looking at. Dedicated to Derdriu (see below) it's a welcome variation on the usual bruschetta ingredients.
Italian Beef Broth, In a Giant Yorkshire Pudding by tonymead60
Italian Food - Veal Scaloppine, Veal Marsala and Chicken Piccata
A beautifully simple way of cooking veal or chicken, creating not one, but three recipes. The preparation of each dish is described clearly and concisely and each is illustrated by one photo (Shown opposite is chicken picatta). A number of other hubs in this category have been written by rjsadowski, including a very practical recipe for Leftover Spaghetti which is quick, easy and also appealing.
Balsamic-Glazed Fresh Fruit: Drizzled Strawberries and Pineapples with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
This is a very simple recipe, but with options for variations on the theme. There is also a link to a video recipe for Panna Cotta, and another link to a recipe for Strawberry Balsamic Thyme Jam. As is the norm with Derdriu, there are several side topics which also get an airing - in this case a short discourse on Balsam, both the tree and the healing compound, and two further sections briefly detailing the key points of interest in the cities of Modena and Reggio Emilia - home of balsamic vinegar. All this, and just look at the gorgeous photos!! I had difficulty deciding which of Derdriu's recipes to include. This one is chosen largely for the highly attractive presentation, and because I wanted to include a couple of desserts. She has several other recipes in the 'Italian Recipes' category which are a little more complex in terms of the ingredients and preparation including a great page about Bruschetta, a recipe for Minestrone, with variants for different tastes, and hubs on Fennel Salad, Tagliatelle, Olive and Tomato Salad, and Zucchini with Pine Nuts.
Balsamic-Glazed Fresh Fruit: Drizzled Strawberries and Pineapples with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream by Derdriu
- SADLY DERDRIU'S HUBS ARE CURRENTLY OFFLINE. HOPEFULLY THIS IS A TEMPORARY SITUATION BEFORE REPUBLICATION IN DUE COURSE
A NOTE ON COPYRIGHT
In order to make this page attractive and well presented, and to give a much better indication as to the reviewed hubs' content, I feel it is necessary to include one photo from each hub. Usually these will be public domain images. If they are copyright work, I will inform the author, and seek permission. Although my intention is only to increase visits to the hubs, if authors do not wish me to use the photos, I will of course, happily remove any copyright pics, or would be happy to use an agreed alternative image if requested.
THE LIST OF MY HUBPAGE REVIEWS
LINK TO ALL MY OTHER PAGES
- Greensleeves Hubs on HubPages
I write my own hub pages on a wide range of subjects including astronomy and linguistics, as well as travel guides and film reviews. A full list can be found at the above address.