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Recipe: Pisarei e Fasò

Pisarei e faso’ is the most traditional dish of the Piacenza cuisine: small gnocchi in a sauce of beans and lard. Nutritious and very tasty, this recipe is quite simple. We will give you instructions to prepare pisarei from scratch, with water and flour, which does require some time, but you can also buy pisarei and only make the sauce.

TIME REQUIRED: an hour and a half

Flour ( this recipe proposes wholewheat flour ) 400 grams
Breadcrumbs 150 grams
Warm water 350 – 400 ml aprox..
Pinch of salt
1 Onion
Piece of butter
Lard 80 grams
White cannellini beans or borlotti beans 500 grams
Tomato sauce 200 ml.
Grated parmigiano reggiano: as much as required
Extravirgin olive oil: a spoonful


Begin with the preparation of pisarei:

1. Place the wholewheat in a large glass bowl.

2. Add breadcrumbs and mix well.

3. Make a hole at the center of the flour and pour in warm water a bit at a time until a soft mixture is obtained. If it is too sticky, add flour.

4. Add salt ( without exaggerating ) cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest for an hour.

5. At this point work the dough and make cylinders with half a centimetre diameter. Slice the cylinders into small pieces to obtain small gnocchi and make a small hole in the middle of each with your finger.

6. Now prepare the sauce. Finely mince the onion.

7. Cut the lard into small cubes.

8. Slowly saute’ the onion in butter and olive oil for a few minutes and then add the lard cubes and mix.

9. When these ingredients have mixed well and the onion has reached the right blond color, add the tomato sauce, mix well and add the beans.

10. Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add the pisarei one by one making sure they do not stick to each other. When they float to the top they are ready. Take them out of the pot with a skimmer and place them in the pan with the sauce and beans. Saute’ for a few minutes. Serve with parmigiano reggiano and olive oil.

11. We suggest you match this typical Piacenza dish with a wine of the area: our Gutturnio Frizzante DOC Podere Casale.

Italian Family Cooking

Anne Casale invites you into her kitchen to share the special secrets behind hundreds of home-style recipes that have been part of her family’s heritage for years and years.

A second-generation Italian American and the head of her own cooking school, she takes you by the hand and shows you how to make her father’s succulent veal roast, her Nonna Louisa’s very own homemade pasta, savory soups based on her mother’s perfect broth, sumptuous desserts from her pastry-chef father-in-law, and scores of her own wonderful originals. Best of all, she explains the recipes so carefully and clearly that you are sure to start your own new tradition of delicious

Italian Family Cooking
— Clam-Stuffed Mushrooms
— Melt-in-Your-Mouth Fried Mozzarella
— Linguine with Tomato-Garlic Sauce
— Penne with Mushrooms and Prosciutto
— Delectable Five Layer Pasta Pie
— Pan-Fried Lamb Chops with Lemon Juice
— Chicken Legs Stuffed with Sausage and Scallions
— Fillets of Sole Florentine
— Mussels with Hot Tomato Sauce
— Zucchini with Roasted Peppers
— Fluffy Potato Pie
— Ricotta Mousse with Raspberry Sauce
— Espresso Cream Tart
— Sicilian Cassata with Chocolate Frosting …and many more!

For beginners and experts alike, here’s a cookbook full of old-fashioned warmth, wisdom, and goodness — updated for you and your kitchen.

About Italian Family Cooking

Anne Casale invites you into her kitchen to share the special secrets behind hundreds of home-style recipes that have been part of her family’s heritage for years and years.

A second-generation Italian American and the head of her own cooking school, she takes you by the hand and shows you how to make her father’s succulent veal roast, her Nonna Louisa’s very own homemade pasta, savory soups based on her mother’s perfect broth, sumptuous desserts from her pastry-chef father-in-law, and scores of her own wonderful originals. Best of all, she explains the recipes so carefully and clearly that you are sure to start your own new tradition of delicious

Italian Family Cooking
— Clam-Stuffed Mushrooms
— Melt-in-Your-Mouth Fried Mozzarella
— Linguine with Tomato-Garlic Sauce
— Penne with Mushrooms and Prosciutto
— Delectable Five Layer Pasta Pie
— Pan-Fried Lamb Chops with Lemon Juice
— Chicken Legs Stuffed with Sausage and Scallions
— Fillets of Sole Florentine
— Mussels with Hot Tomato Sauce
— Zucchini with Roasted Peppers
— Fluffy Potato Pie
— Ricotta Mousse with Raspberry Sauce
— Espresso Cream Tart
— Sicilian Cassata with Chocolate Frosting …and many more!

For beginners and experts alike, here’s a cookbook full of old-fashioned warmth, wisdom, and goodness — updated for you and your kitchen.


280g very fine yellow flour
280g butter
200g white flour
160g caster sugar
4 eggs
1 sachet of vanillin.

Making it

Mix together the two types of flour, sugar and the vanillin.

This mixture should be further mixed with 4 egg yolks and the butter, then worked to form a decent dough in the shape of a ball.

Allow the ball to rest for 30 mins wrapped inside greaseproof paper.

Next, divide the dough into two pieces. Pull into a sausage shape, the place inside a piping bag with a star shaped nozzle.

Lightly flour and butter an oven tray before artfully creating the 10cm long 'canelli' or 'sticks'.

Even more artfully, when all the dough has been used up, form the 'canelli' into half moon shapes 'appena accennata'.

How to Enjoy Krumiri

The following are all suitable to enjoy with a plate of Krumiri biscuits.

- Sweet wines from the territory of Monferrato
- Liqueurs, perhaps chocolate is best
- Catalan Cream, opposites attract
- Zabaglione, memories of Nonna
- A Cup of Tea, the finest Ceylon

Revealing The New Il Casale di Mele Website

I am sure everyone who has visited this blog before knows that we are fortunate to live in Umbria six months a year and during that period we rent out a farmhouse, Il Casale di Mele to guests. I have been working with Lindsay of Purr Design over the past month to give our farmhouse website a new up to date look and I’m thrilled with the finished product and just wanted to share it with everyone. Lindsay also was the one who gave Italian Food Forever a new look last fall, and I just love working with her.

Although I love the whole design, I really think the photos show off the property much better on the new site, giving everyone a better feeling of what it is like here in Umbria, our little piece of paradise. The cute little apple tree (Mele means “apples”) at the top of each page was created for me personally by Laura Heron of Etsy. Laura also created the sunflowers for me on IFF and is another very talented lady!

Have a look at the new Il Casale di Mele site, I think you’ll find it very user friendly, and hopefully looking over the photos you will be encouraged to consider visiting our lovely region of Umbria on your next trip to Italy!

Casale - Recipes

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Find the experience that's right for you

Ten provinces compose Tuscany, each one with hundreds of traditional dishes. This is a tasty tour through all these provinces in order to discover the traditional and representative cake or dessert of each area. Enjoy and forget about calories for a while!

The Buccellato of Lucca is the cake of this city. It is simple but very tasty, dark brown coloured and shiny for the brushing of sugar and eggs on its surface. It can have the shape of a donut or it can be oval. Buccelato is made of a sweet and soft pastry, with a lot of raisins and aniseed. It is sold fresh daily.

In the province of Massa Carrara, there is a cake made with eggs, rice, milk and liquor called “torta di riso” or rice cake. The finished product is a circular or rectangular cake, depending on the baking sheet, composed by a layer of rice as a base and a layer of a cream-type pudding. The surface has a caramel-brown colour, inside it is creamy yellow, and the smell is delicate and pleasantly flavoured.

The " bischeri " of the cake have different meanings, but for sure is referred to the “pricks” obtained by shaping the pastry around the edges, forming a circle of cones. The base of the cake is a pastry-like and the filling is prepared with rice, cocoa, chocolate, eggs, sugar, pine nuts from the Pisa area, as well as with candies, raisins and enriched with some spices, such as nutmeg and “Strega” liqueur. The “Torta co’ bischeri” is originally from Pontasserchio, near Pisa, and it was first made around the beginning of the sixteenth century as an offering to the pilgrims who visited the town every April 28th for the feast of SS. Crucifix of Miracles.

Schiaccia briaca is a kind of sweet flat bread topped with pine nuts, raisins and dried fruit, which has an Oriental flavour. Since the nineteenth century, Aleatico red wine has also been added to the bread. A little of the liqueur Alkermes may also be added to deepen the red colour of this bread.

Schiacciata alla Fiorentina is a delicious spongy cake widely consumed during Carnival. It is covered with icing sugar and with a “Giglio” (lily) of Florence in cocoa at the centre. You can find it plain or filled with whipped cream, chocolate, cream and jam. It's great eaten warm.

The “Brigidini of Lamporecchio” are thin, crispy and fragrant waffles, rounded and curled, gold-orange in colour, with a diameter of about 7 cm. They are made with eggs, sugar, anise or fennel seeds, and very little water and flour. They are traditionally sold in the streets during fairs and festivals, cooked directly by vendors with the help of a special machine, before being packed in transparent, long and narrow bags.

Pesche di Prato are rounded brioches soaked in alkermes liqueur and paired with custard, then covered with sugar, resembling the shape and skin of natural peaches. It’s said they were first made at the end of March in 1861 during a huge dinner party in Prato’s Piazza del Duomo celebrating Italian unification.

Among the traditional cakes of Arezzo, we can count the “baldino” and the “gattò”, but there is one even more known as “panina”, that can be “gialla” (yellow) or (oily). There are two versions: one that is called “unta” (greasy) and is enriched with Tuscan bacon the second one, called “gialla” (yellow), it's slightly sweet and contains raisins and saffron, which gives the classic mixture a golden hue. In Arezzo, the tradition is that you have to eat a slice of hard-boiled egg with panina (blessed by the priest for the believers) and slices of salami.

The “sfratto” (meaning “eviction” in English) is a sweet from an old Jewish tradition, adopted by the cuisine of the Maremma area, in particular in Pitigliano and Sorano, located in the province of Grosseto. The origin of the “sfratto” is related to the decision of Cosimo II Medici, in the early 1600s, to bring together all the Jews of Pitigliano in a single neighbourhood. The Jews were evicted from their homes and the notice of eviction was carried out by beating with a stick on the door of the house. To prevent the recurrence of similar events, local Jews turned into sweetness things that in the past had caused bitterness, creating sweets in the form of sticks, the same ones with which they were expelled. Their mixture, consisting of honey, orange peel, nuts, seeds of anise and nutmeg, is enclosed in a thin wafer, with a golden colour and modelled into the shape of a stick.

The Recipe: Krumiri Royal Biscuits (Our Version)


1 cup fine cornmeal
5 ½ oz. softened unsalted butter
⅔ cup powdered sugar
⅔ cup all-purpose flour
2 large egg yolks
½ vanilla pod

Mix the butter with the powdered sugar and egg yolks, then add the flour and cornmeal, a pinch of salt and the seeds scraped from the vanilla pod. Blend into a stiff dough. Let rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Remove the dough from the fridge and place in a pastry bag with a 1/2” serrated tip.

Squeeze ridged tubes at least 2”-3” long directly onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then bend them slightly into the traditional shape.

Put the baking sheet in the refrigerator for around 10 minutes to cool.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 325°F then bake for 15-16 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Recipe J. Nederlandts / Ph R. Lettieri / Styling B. Prada
Article originally published on La Cucina Italiana print magazine #2

Casale’s Halfway Club

Left to right: Haley Stempeck, Cierra Stempeck, Jerry Casale, Inez Stempeck, Georgina Casale, Beverly Casale, Tony Stempeck

The night “Mama” Inez Casale Stempeck was born at her family’s dairy on the outskirts of Reno, her father, John Casale, also welcomed 11 cows.

“He was more excited about the cows,” Inez jokes.

Inez is the longtime proprietor of Reno’s iconic Casale’s Halfway Club, the oldest continuously family-owned and operated restaurant in Reno. Four years later, her brother Jerry came along.

“I tried to sell him for a quarter,” teases Inez. She changed her mind about the sale mid-transaction but still got to keep the money.

Decades-old tales and tidbits like these are a dime a dozen at Casale’s Halfway Club, celebrating 80 years as a family-run business in Reno this fall. On any given day at the Italian eatery, you could come face to face with family members, and even customers, spanning four of five generations. Jerry and Inez were among the second generation to take the reins at the restaurant. With Inez turning 90 earlier this year, it’s the fourth generation’s turn to step in and help keep the family tradition alive.


Casale’s Halfway Club stands at its original location on East 4th Street, once considered the halfway point between Sparks and Reno. Up close, the vintage exterior begs for its moment on Insta- gram, though the road is temporarily rife with construction. Inside, the equally picturesque restaurant oozes authenticity and charm, with countless signatures of customers in black pen on the roof and wall. As Frank Sinatra croons over the speakers, flavorful Italian scents and friendly laughter fill the air.

On this particular day, a handful of family members covering three generations— Mama Inez, Jerry, Bev Cassale, Tony Stem- peck, Haley Stempeck, and Cierra Stem- peck—sit in the back of the dining room at a table with a white and red-checkered tablecloth. They sort through decades-old family photographs—newly discovered— and debate particulars of the family’s history details, which they admit, vary from person to person. Still, there’s always one recurring factor: the restaurant.

“This is where my sister re-met her fiancé after they had graduated high school,” says granddaughter Cierra. “This is where my boyfriend met my dad and my grandma and my sister for the first time. This is where everything important happens.”

“I met my wife here,” agrees her dad, Tony. “It’s the first place I brought my daughters on their way home after they were born.”

Bev adds, “This is where I met him” as she points to Jerry, her husband.

“Everything happens here,” says granddaughter Haley. “It’s not just a restaurant, it’s a home.”

The restaurant actually was the family home up until 1980 and serves as a touchstone for all in the large family. Even if they’ve gone off to do their own thing at some point, “they always come back to their roots,” says Cierra.

“I hated it when I was little, and I swore I would never come into this business. But I was always here,” agrees Inez.

“It’s like ‘The Godfather,’” says Tony. “Every time you try to get out, it sucks you back in.”

Casale’s Halfway Club started with the Great Depression. The Casale’s dairy went broke in 1929 but the Italian-American family persevered by opening a fruit stand outside their home. It later grew to include a deli with salami and take-out raviolis. By 1947, the home had transformed into a full-fledged restaurant with seating (1937 is considered the official establishing year). Many family members would continue to live on property until around 1980.

Inez stepped up to the stove when her husband, Casimir “Steamboat” Stempeck, passed away unexpectedly in 1969. Steamboat (as he’s still affectionately called) was partner in the business with his brother-in-law Jerry. Inez had six children with Steamboat, and Jerry had six children with Bev. Now there are grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


Affectionately considered “the boss” by everyone in the family, Inez broke her hip three years ago and is confined to a wheelchair. Still, her granddaughters say she keeps just as busy as before.

“She’s not up at the stove, but she’s doing everything else,” says Cierra. “She makes all the doughs and the garlic bread.”

Haley serves as restaurant manager and Cierra as kitchen manager. Jerry and Bev stop in every Tuesday to help make the week’s meatballs, hand mixing 50 pounds of beef and hand grinding the veggies.

“We have so many family members who just drop in and help out,” says Haley. “We couldn’t do it without them.”

Apart from the growing family, not much else has changed at Casale’s Halfway Club. Even the dishwasher, a 1957 Hobart, was only recently replaced. The intimate dining room was recently painted and only has 10 tables. Meal pay is cash only (an ATM is available, just in case). Jerry and Bev have won first place for their pesto in Reno’s Italian Festival, but you won’t find that on the menu. Instead, the offerings are simple with basic Italian foods like spaghetti, lasagna, and ravioli with red sauce, all hand-rolled, hand-mixed, and hand-made on site. Only the loaves for the garlic bread come from outside.

“We legitimately only cook what we know,” says Haley, stressing that she’s not a chef. She cooks the same food her family was raised on.

“Our goal is to keep going another 80 years,” adds Haley. “There’s a secret ingredient,” admits a playful Jerry. “Love.”

Though love is all fine and good, the family realized five years ago, for the sake of consistency, they would need to document the restaurant’s recipes. Up to that point, the recipes (which Jer- ry says are “taste by committee” and must be “I’ll have another” good) existed only inside Inez’ head.

“It took us months and months to get the spices down because mom always worked with handfuls,” explains Tony.

“If she knew we were watching she got nervous, she would actually start shaking,” adds Haley.

“Finally, I came in the middle of the night, weighed all the spices, let her do whatever she was doing and then weighed them again when she was done,” says Tony.

Looking at Inez and smiling, Haley teases, “We tricked ya’.”


Speaking of tricks, here’s another family tidbit. If Inez ever gives you a recipe from her menu of Italian delicacies, don’t trust it—it’s probably not the real one.

“The last time somebody asked her for a recipe to publish she gave them this recipe we’ve never seen in our lives,” says Cierra as Inez sits beside her, innocently sipping her coffee. “I was like ‘Grandma, that’s not it,’ and she said ‘I know.’”

Truth be told, Cierra and Haley say their grandmother would run the place for another 50 years if she could. In an age where family businesses rarely go two generations, she is the glue that has kept it all together.

“She understands that family that cooks together stays together,” Jerry says.

That’s the hazard of being a grandma, the family says, keeping the family and—in this case the community—fed and happy over the years.

Casale's matriarch dies at 93. Here's the story behind her famous ravioli at the Halfway Club


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At Reno's oldest restaurant, the ravioli will go on.

On Sept. 26, Inez Casale Stempeck, owner and chief ravioli maker of Casale's Halfway Club, died at 93, surrounded by three generations of her family.

Casale Stempeck knew from ravioli.

Friends and family gather at Casale's Halfway Club Sept. 30, 2020 to remember Mama Inez Casale Stempeck just a few days after she passed away at age 93. Reno Gazette Journal

She learned to make them in childhood at the family home on East Fourth Street where a fruit stand (with to-go ravioli) debuted in 1937. By 1940, a sit-down restaurant that became the Casale's we know today had opened on the property.

Casale Stempeck continued to roll, fill and slice ravioli during the 1940s, when she and her new husband, Casimir Stempeck, helped her parents run the restaurant, and in the 1950s, when the couple took over from the founders.

2012: Inez Stempeck cooks in the kitchen of Casale's Halfway Club on East Fourth Street in Reno on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012, her 85th birthday. (Photo: Marilyn Newton/RGJ File)

Casale Stempeck remained on ravioli duty, sealing and boiling and saucing and plating the pasta pillows, even after Casimir Stempeck died suddenly in 1969, leaving her with six children at home, including an 18-month-old.

The ravioli (and the decades) ensued.

The matriarch began using a wheelchair six years before her death, but even as she slowed a bit, there was never any doubt who was in charge of the restaurant's signature dish.

"She was working right up until the pandemic hit and cooking sauces and doughs and the ravioli and overseeing everything and definitely letting us know she was still the boss," said Cierra Marin, a granddaughter.

2020: Casale's Halfway Club on Sept. 28, 2020. The Reno restaurant has operated since 1937 in a number of formats, having been known as Casale's Market, the Halfway Club and, finally, Casale's Halfway Club. (Photo: Chelcey Adami/RGJ)

In the past year, mainstays like Harrah's Steak House, the Santa Fe Basque restaurant and the Little Nugget Diner have closed permanently, but the family owners of Casale's Halfway Club are vowing to keep showcasing their ravioli, through pandemic and beyond.

"We've been raised to take the restaurant over," said Tony Stempeck, a son of Casale Stempeck. "There was never any question we would take over from Mom. I think we offer something important for people to experience. It's a part of keeping Old Reno alive."

From pinches and handfuls to written recipes

Like many talented cooks, especially cooks of her generation, Casale Stempeck cooked by feel: a smidge, a large pinch, a handful, a handful and a skosh more.

2013: The famed handmade ravioli at Casale's Halfway Club on East Fourth Street in Reno. (Photo: Guy Clifton/RGJ)

About a decade ago, as family members looked to the future, they wanted to codify Casale's recipes for ravioli and other dishes. But there was a piece of gristle in the plan.

"It was difficult for my grandmother to communicate how much went into things" like ravioli sauce and filling, Marin said.

The family tried filming Casale Stempeck cooking, but she was camera shy. They tried taking notes on ingredients, but that wasn't accurate enough, as batches that tasted off testified.

Finally, "I think I know what to do," Tony Stempeck realized early one morning before his mother had begun making her sauce (used with ravioli, lasagna and spaghetti) for the day.

"I went down to the restaurant, weighed every canister of spice in the kitchen, she made the sauce, I reweighed the canisters, and then we knew. We broke down everything into grams so we know the recipes will always come out the same."

Today, the meat ravioli at Casale's Halfway Club are plumped with ground tri-tip and vegetables there's very little bread filler, Stempeck said.

"We mainly use it to clean the bowls of all the sauces and spices that want to sit on the sides and bottom and make sure they make it into the final product."

Ravioli chores making them for gas money

John and Elvira Casale, the parents of Inez Casale Stempeck, arrived in the U.S. from Italy in the early 20th century, met in Reno and married, according to research by Nevada historian Alicia Barber for the Historic Reno Preservation Society.

Elvira Casale brought with her from Italy the rolling pins, cutters and presses the family still uses to make ravioli a century later, with some members of each generation being inducted into the pasta arts.

Who, among current family, is the finest ravioli crafter?

"That's a contested title," Marin said. "I would say it's me. My dad Tony would say it's him."

2017: Inez Casale Stempeck and son Tony Stempeck with his daughters, from left, Haley Kramer and Cierra Marin. (Photo: Asa Gilmore/Provided to RGJ Media)

If nothing else, Tony Stempeck, at 63 to his daughter's 26, has been at it longer, starting at 10 or 11, "when I was old enough to get up to the (cutting) board," he said. "As soon as you could reach across the board and cut the ravioli to where they didn't fall apart."

Ravioli making "was one of our household chores," he continued. "I asked my mom, 'Why do we have to work seven days a week?' She said, 'Well, you eat seven days a week, don't you?'"

When he and his siblings were older, they made ravioli for gas money, Stempeck said. The ravioli sauce, on the other hand, was something Stempeck never developed feelings for.

"When we were little, we used to have to grind tomatoes for the sauce, and you got acid on your arms. It's why I don't like tomatoes."

Sept. 30 is Casale's Halfway Club Day

Casale's Halfway Club has been closed since Casale Stempeck died Sept. 26. On Wednesday, Sept. 30, the restaurant will reopen for normal ravioli service (and lasagna, pizzas, and spaghetti and meatballs).

"We can think of no better way to honor her than to open back up on Wednesday," said Marin, who added her father Tony, her sister Haley Kramer and her aunt Maria Rogers would now form the core team running the restaurant.

"We’re encouraging people to drive by and honk and share their support."

2005: Casale's Halfway Club, a fixture on East Fourth Street in Reno, was once home to its founders, the Casale family. (Photo: David B. Parker/RGJ File)

That support has also ranged, in recent days, from hundreds of comments on the Facebook post announcing Casale Stempeck's death to Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve proclaiming Sept. 30 as Casale's Halfway Club Day.

And in the archives of the Reno Gazette Journal, scores of obituaries, notices and announcements mention Casale's as a favorite place to celebrate the passages of life: new babies, birthdays, graduations, promotions, engagements, marriages, anniversaries and lives well lived.

Nervous to lead but taking comfort in the clan

2013: Inez Casale Stempeck accepts a Lifetime Achievement Award from Gov. Brian Sandoval during the Governor's Conference on Small Business at Grand Sierra Resort and Casino on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013. (Photo: Marilyn Newton/RGJ File)

Tony Stempeck acknowledged he was nervous as Casale's offers its menu for the first time in 83 years without the presence of Inez Casale Stempeck.

"You realize the magnitude of the shoes you're going to fill. My mother had an intuition about people. She knew the difference between a bar stool sliding out and someone leaving, and a bar stool sliding out and there's a problem.

"I feel like a safety net has been pulled out from under me."

Even as he grieved, Stempeck said he took comfort from the gathering of generations that had always been a hallmark of Casale's Halfway Club: generations of customers, generations of his family.

Some of Inez Casale Stempeck's great-grandchildren will soon be old enough to help out at the restaurant. More hands for ravioli.

Keep current on food and drink news through alerts, unlimited access to content and more with a Reno Gazette Journal digital subscription.

Subscribe to The Reno Taste free newsletter right here.

Johnathan L. Wright is the food and drink editor of RGJ Media, part of the USA Today Network. Join @RGJTaste on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

I love authentic cassoulet. I have invested much expense into the perfection of this dish. I am on the "no bread crumbs on a cassoulet" side of the fence, so I was a dissenter from the beginning. This is a good solid recipe that will give delicious results, but it is not for me. I did purchase the cassole from ClayCoyote a couple years ago--that is how serious I am about a magnificent cassoulet. I think mine easily outshines this one thus, we carry tradition forward holding steadfast that there is only one truly acceptable version of the cassoulet, which is, of course, the one that I am currently loving.

I've followed this recipe for the past 4-5 years, and it was delicious. This year, as I started to prepare to make it again, I bought some duck confit, garlic sausage, pork shoulder. and then I lost my job. I have carrots, celerly, garlic, and all the spices. Wishing to make Cassoulet, I will improvise. I have several dried beans. black eyed peas, some 15 bean mixture, and some dried baby lima beans. I totally 'get' the idea that I can make an authentic cassoulet, but as I understand, authentic varies. I'm pretty sure my mixed bean 'Cassoulet' will be delicious, and I'll follow up with a review.

What are "fresh ham hocks" Very confusing: are they smoked? Ham hocks? Or just fresh pork hocks?

where are the 1025 reviews?

I have to agree with Douglas. Living in a location that could be a "fancy food desert" i had to improvise and order ingredients online. Thankfully i am good at improvisation. But i am sure that affected some of the nuanced flavor of this dish. However, this recipe would properly take three days to make. In my case, i cut it down to 2, but the finished version (while delicious) felt like a huge time sink and expense for the flavor. Unless this labor of love is one you plan to follow to a "t" and have the extremely rare palate to appreciate the nuance of the multiple types of pork, this recipe could be simplified significantly. Overall delicious, but would not make this version again. It did serve me well to help me figure out a few variations that would be less time consuming and i think i could even figure out a vegetarian version of this as a result of the experience. Here are some of the variations i had to make due to availability: French sausages were local unsmoked / non spiced pork sausages Could not obtain pork skin so used some thick cut local bacon My duck confit legs came from a can However i was able to get true cassoulet beans from California's Rancho Gordo. Good luck if you choose to make it. Thankfully this recipe is so full of comfort food items that even big variations will likely leave you with a tasty morsel.

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