4 family recipes from Lidia Bastianich's new cookbook

Lidia Bastianich's new cookbook, Lidia's From Our Family Table to Yours is full of passed-down recipes and family favourites. Here, Bastianich shares four recipes.

Lidia Bastianich's Tomato Soup with Fregola and Clams

"Sharing food brings out the best in people,” says Lidia Matticchio Bastianich in the introduction to her new book of recipes, Lidia's From Our Family Table to Yours. Clearly, Bastianich hasn’t seen us lunge for the last of the potatoes at a Thanksgiving gathering — but we take her point. Breaking bread (and pasta, chicken and cake) with family is perhaps the purest way to tell people that we love them.

Lidia's From Our Family Table to Yours

This sharing-is-caring ethos anchors the Italian-American celebrity chef’s new recipe collection. From Our Family Table to Yours is the first cookbook Bastianich has written since her mother, known to fans as Nonna, passed away, so it feels like a fitting tribute to family. The passed-down family recipes begin with a heartfelt story and invite us to think about food as more of a memory than a meal.

Bastianich shares the secrets behind the beloved meals she makes for her family members, weaving in anecdotes about their origin and their place at the table today. “There is not one person in my family who does not adore clams,” says Bastianich when prefacing her Tomato Soup with Fregola and Clams. She remembers going to the sea to collect clams as a young girl. Her Kale Salad with Avocados and Pistachios, once a best-selling dish at her restaurant Felidia, is now a favourite among her grandkids.

So invite your chosen family, make too much food and dig into these gorgeous recipes — and above all, don’t forget to share.

In Association with St. Lawrence Market

St. Lawrence Market isn't just buzzing with shopping activity. The market, which has been part of the beating heart of Toronto's community since 1803, also vibrates with the history and stories of its vendors, whose passion and talent make up its rich tapestry.

Where else in Toronto would you find artisanal cheesemakers, sustainable fishmongers, expert pasta producers and a first-generation maple syrup business under the same roof?

Last year, St. Lawrence Market extended its opening hours, giving lovers of local, lovingly grown produce more opportunities to saunter through its aisles and pick up essentials. For the first time ever, the market launched Sunday hours, and extended its opening hours until 7 p.m. from Tuesday to Friday.

Plus, St. Lawrence has scheduled live music, cooking demos and more to keep folks entertained. Grocery shopping has never looked so fun.

Lidia Bastianich's Kale Salad with Avocado and Pistachios

Once a favourite dish at Bastianich's restaurant Felidia, this satisfying salad now makes for a crowd-pleasing side or starter at any dinner party or gathering.

Serves 4–6

Preparation time 20 minutes


  • 2 large eggs, hard-boiled
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed and peeled Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large bunch curly kale, leaves stripped from the stems, washed, spun dry and cut into thin ribbons
  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled and sliced
  • ½ cup pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped


  1. Halve the eggs. Coarsely chop the whites and set them aside. Put the yolks in a mini–food processor and add the vinegar, mustard, garlic and ½ tsp salt. Pulse to make a paste. With the processor running, add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream to make a smooth, thick dressing.
  2. Put the kale in a large serving bowl. Drizzle it with a couple Tbsp of the dressing, season with ½ tsp salt and massage with your hands for a minute or so to wilt the leaves slightly.
  3. Let the kale rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the egg whites, avocados and pistachios. Toss well and serve.

Lidia Bastianich's Tomato Soup with Fregola and Clams

Fresh clams and a pasta often referred to as Sardinian couscous combine in this hearty soup.

Serves 4–6

Preparation time 20 minutes

Cooking time 45 minutes


  • 6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled, plus 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 can (28 oz) whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp peperoncino flakes
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 lbs Manila or small littleneck clams
  • 1 lb fregola
  • ¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped


  1. Heat 3 Tbsp of the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the crushed garlic and thyme, and cook until the garlic is sizzling, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and 2 quarts of water.
  2. Season with 2 tsp salt and the peperoncino. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat another Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the remaining 3 Tbsp olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the sliced garlic, let it sizzle for a minute, and then pour in the white wine. Bring it to a simmer and add the clams.
  4. Cover and cook until the clams open, about 5 minutes. Discard any that do not. Remove the clams and put in a large bowl with a spider strainer, then strain the cooking liquid over the top. Let it cool. Pluck the clams from their shells and leave them in the liquid, discarding the shells.
  5. Once the tomato mixture has thickened, add the fregola and cook until it’s al dente, about 20 minutes. Stir in the clams and their liquid, plus the parsley. Simmer to heat the clams through and bring all the flavours together, about 2 minutes. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.

Lidia Bastianich's Pork Chops with Mushrooms and Pickled Peperoncini

We love a one-pot dish, and these pan juices only add to the yummy flavours of pork, mushroom and chili pepper.

Serves 4

Preparation time 15 minutes

Cooking time 30 minutes


  • 4 bone-in pork rib chops, 1-inch thick
  • Kosher salt
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 pickled Tuscan peperoncini, plus 2 Tbsp brine from the jar
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 8 wedges, left attached at the root end
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 lb mixed mushrooms (such as cremini, shiitake or button), thickly sliced or quartered
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • ¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped


  1. Season the pork chops with ½ tsp salt. Spread some flour on a plate and dredge the chops on both sides. Heat a large cast-iron skillet or low Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the chops and brown on one side, about 3 minutes. Flip and brown the second side, 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove and put them on a plate.
  2. Add the pickled peperoncini and brine. Let them sizzle for a minute; then add the red onion wedges and thyme sprigs. Brown the onions on both cut sides, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and stir to coat them in the pan juices. Season with 1 tsp salt. Once the mushrooms have begun to wilt, add the white wine and simmer to reduce it by half.
  3. Pour in the stock and return the liquid to a simmer. Arrange the chops on top of the mushroom mixture and cover. Adjust the heat to simmering and simmer until the chops are just cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  4. Uncover and remove the chops, putting them on a platter or plates. Bring the sauce to a boil to reduce and thicken it slightly, about 1 minute. Stir the parsley into the sauce, then pour the sauce over the chops to serve.

Lidia Bastianich's Mimosa Cake

This light and airy dessert, infused with a limoncello syrup, is based on the yellow flowers gifted to the women in Italy for Women's Day.

Serves 8

Preparation time 30 minutes

Cooking time 40 minutes


For the sponge cake

  • Unsalted butter, for the cake pan
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for the cake pan
  • 6 Tbsp cornstarch 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Zest of half a lemon, grated

For the custard

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • Grated zest of ½ lemon
  • ½  tsp pure vanilla extract

For the syrup

  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp limoncello

For the whipped cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 3 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)


  1. For the sponge cake: Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans and line them with parchment. Sift the 1 cup flour and the cornstarch together onto a piece of parchment.
  3. Combine the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
  4. Beat on high until it’s very thick (if you lift up some of the mixture with a spatula, you will be able to make a figure-8 ribbon that falls back into the batter), about 7 to 8 minutes. Beat in the salt and lemon zest until everything is combined.
  5. Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in the flour mixture in two additions. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake until the cakes are light and a tester comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Let them cool for 10 minutes, then remove them from the pan and let them cool completely. Split the cooled cakes in half horizontally. With a serrated knife, cut one layer into ¼-inch cubes and set these aside on a baking sheet. Set the other three layers aside for layering.
  6. For the custard: Put the milk in a medium saucepan, and bring it just to a boil. Remove it from the heat. Whisk the eggs, yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl until the mixture is light and airy. Whisk in the milk a little at a time to temper the mixture.
  7. Return it to the saucepan, and set the pan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until a few small steamy bubbles appear on the surface and the custard thickens, 2 to 3 minutes.
  8. Transfer it to a medium bowl, and whisk in the lemon zest and vanilla. Let it cool slightly, cover the top with plastic wrap, and let it cool completely.
  9. Refrigerate until the custard is cold, about 2 hours.
  10. For the syrup: Combine ½ cup water, the orange juice and the sugar in a small saucepan. Simmer this over low heat just until the sugar dissolves. Remove it from the heat, and stir in the limoncello. Let it cool completely.
  11. When you are ready to assemble, line an 8-inch springform pan with plastic wrap to overhang the edges by 3 or 4 inches.
  12. To make the whipped cream: Whisk the heavy cream in a stand mixer until it’s foamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, and whip just until it forms firm peaks. Whisk in the vanilla.
  13. Reserve ½ cup of the custard, and return it to the refrigerator. Fold a third of the whipped cream into the remaining custard to lighten it; then fold in the remaining cream until it’s just combined.
  14. Line the pan with a layer of the sponge. Brush with some of the syrup, and spread in half of the whipped cream/custard mixture. Top with another sponge layer, and gently press the sponge down all around. Brush this layer with more syrup. Spread with another half of the whipped cream/custard and the final layer of sponge cake, gently press the sponge down all around (use the top layer for this), and brush with more syrup.
  15. Fold the plastic wrap over the cake, and refrigerate until it’s firm — at least 2 to 3 hours, but overnight is best. Refrigerate the remaining custard and syrup. Let the cake cubes sit on the counter, uncovered, to dry out a bit.
  16. Remove the cake from the springform pan. Use a large spatula to remove it from the base and plastic wrap, and transfer it to a cake stand.
  17. Brush it with any remaining syrup, and spread the reserved custard over the whole cake and sides in a smooth layer. Put the reserved cake cubes on the custard on all sides of the cake, press gently to adhere them, and fill any empty spaces. Dust the cake lightly with confectioners’ sugar before serving, if desired.