Greek & Italian  Recipes

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A Cooking Adventure with Thom


Greek & Italian Recipes

Thom's Recipe File



Greek food is a wonderful mix of oriental and European dishes, cooked using different methods, from frying to broiling to boiling. Food in Greece is both easy to make, as the following recipes show, and delightful.

Much of Greek food is seasonal and alot of it is prepared during different times of the year, mainly around dates of religious events, such as Easter, Christmas or New Year.

Greek food, uses much tomato paste in a liquid form. If you get a can of peeled tomatoes and mix them well, it will produce an appropriate paste.

In recent years, medical evidence has shown that eating a high quantity of tomatoes, results in lower cancer rates. Perhaps this is the reason why Greece as a country has low cancer rates. On the other hand, the incident rate of heart and stroke diseases increases every year.


Italian cuisine is extremely varied: the country of Italy was only officially unified in 1861, and its cuisines reflect the cultural variety of its regions and its diverse history (with culinary influences from Greek, Roman, Gallic, Germanic, Goth, Norman, Lombard, Frank, Turkish, Hebrew, Slavic, Arab and Chinese civilizations). Italian cuisine is imitated all over the world.

To a certain extent, there is really no such thing as Italian cuisine in the way that one usually understands national cuisines. Each area has its own proud specialties, primarily at regional level, but also even at provincial level. Italian cuisine is not only highly regionalized, it is very seasonal. The high priority placed on the use of fresh, seasonal produce distinguishes the cuisine of Italy from the imitations available in most other countries.

Regional differences

Roman cuisine, for example, uses a lot of pecorino (sheep milk cheese) and offal (frattaglie, frattaje in dialect), while Tuscan cooking features white beans, meat, and unsalted bread. Pizza also varies across the country, the crusts of pizzas in Rome are thin as crackers, while Neapolitan pizza and Sicilian pizza is thicker. The influence of Northern Italian cuisine can be seen in French and German cuisines. Piedmont and Lombardy each grow their own different kinds of rice, which are used to make risotto. The North of Italy is the home of polenta. Emilia-Romagna is known for lasagna and tortellini (stuffed pasta), mortadella, prosciutto, and Parmigianino. Naples (Napoli) is the home of pizza, mozzarella cheese and pastries (babà, sfogliatelle). Calabria's cuisine uses a lot of hot pepper for its distinctive salami (that are common, in several varieties, throughout the country) and uses capsicum. Sicily is the home of gelato (ice cream) and granita but its cuisine also has many influences from Arab cuisine (lemon, pistachio) and also includes fish (tuna, swordfish). Sardinia is famous for lamb and pecorino.

Northern versus Southern Italian cooking

Traditional Italian cuisine is very regional and does not follow strict North-South patterns. To most, northern and southern Italian cuisines are differentiated primarily by the north using more butter and creams and the south more tomato and olive oil. In general terms, however, there is a marked difference between regional use of cooking fat and traditional style of pasta. Inland northern and north-eastern regions tend to flavor more butter, cream, polenta, mascarpone, grana padano, and parmigiano cheeses, risotto, lasagna and fresh egg pasta. Coastal northern and central regions are somewhat of a bridge between north and south and often use tortellini, ravioli and are known for prosciutto. The southern regions are traditionally known for mozzarella, caciocavallo, and pecorino cheeses, olive oil, and dried pasta. Southern Italian cuisine also makes far greater use of the ubiquitous tomato.

American Versions


Most Americans have some favorite dishes from the Greek and Italian menu even if they are not Italian or Greek like my family.  My family and I regularly choose from the list of recipes in Thom's Recipe File to select a dish to prepare.  We have many favorite dishes, especially those that include pasta, that come from the Mediterranean region.  Here are some of our favorite recipes from this region.  Our very most favorite of all is the "Linguine with White Clam Sauce".  If you want spaghetti with meat sauce that is quick and very tasty then you will want "Thom's Quick Spaghetti with Meat Sauce".



• Alfredo Sauce
• Baked Angel Hair Spaghetti
• Baked Spaghetti
• Baked Ziti
• Basic Risotto
• Bolognese Sauce
• Bruschetta
• Caprese Salad
• Chicken Cacciatore
• Chicken Cacciatore Italian Style
• Cioppino
• Crockpot Cacciatore
• Donna's Beef Kabobs
• Greek Spinach Salad
• Green Pea Risotto with Vegetables
• How To Peel and Keep Garlic for Days
• How To Cook Pasta
• Lasagna Italian Style
• Linguine Alla Emiliana
• Linguine Island Fashion
• Linguine with White Clam Sauce
• Italian Salad
• Italian Salad Dressing
• Marinara Sauce
• Mushroom Risotto
• Sbarro Baked Ziti
• Pasta Alla Aglia
• Penne Alla Arrabbiata
• Prosciutto Fungi
• Risotto with Pancetta and Mushrooms
• Risotto with Tomato Sauce
• Risotto Milanese
• Salmon with Penne
• Shells Alla Caprese
• Shrimp Tomato Risotto
• Spaghetti Alla Mediterrania
• Spaghetti and Beef Casserole
• Spaghetti and Meat Balls
• Spaghetti Casserole Oven
• Spaghetti Sauce
• Spaghetti with Artichokes
• Spaghetti with Clams
• Spaghetti with Mushrooms
• Spaghetti with Shrimp
• Thom's Quick Spaghetti with Meat Sauce


Italian Menu

A traditional Italian menu consists of:

1. antipasto - hot or cold appetizer.

2. primo ("first course"), usually consists of a hot dish like pasta, risotto, gnocchi, polenta or soup. There are usually abundant vegetarian options.

3. Secondo ("second course"), the main dish, usually fish or meat (pasta is never the main course of a meal). Traditionally veal is the most commonly used meat, at least in the North, though beef has become more popular since World War II and wild game is very popular, particularly in Tuscany.

4. contorno ("side dish") may consist of a salad or vegetables. A traditional menu features salad after the main course.

5. dolce ("dessert")

6. caffè ("coffee") (espresso)

7. digestivo which is liquors/liqueurs (grappa, amaro, limoncello) sometimes referred to as ammazzacaffè ("Coffee killer") or

One notable and often surprising aspect of an Italian meal, especially if eaten in an Italian home, is that the primo, or first course, is usually the more filling dish, providing most of the meal's carbohydrates, and will consist of either risotto or pasta (both being excellent sources).

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