Posts from category Elements & Ingredients

Roman Style Artichokes

Roman artichokes

  We’re fully in the season of Roman, or globe, artichokes. There are so many delicious ways to prepare them, but the best way is Carciofi alla Romana.   I usually buy artichokes that have already been partially cleaned at the market, in other words all the tough outer leaves removed, plus the outer layer…

Broccoli Rabe Gnocchi with a Gorgonzola Sage Sauce


Have you ever tried to convince children to eat leafy green vegetables? It’s no simple task and honestly I’m not a champion of forcing children to eat anything against their will no matter how nutritious the food is. It’s a sure fire way to turn children against the pleasure and passion of eating. The trick is to incorporate…

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels sprouts

It’s winter vegetable season again and Brussels sprouts are one of my favorites! There are many wonderful ways to prepare them but they all stem around some variety of roasting which gives them their nutty, delicious flavor. Boiling and steaming are a no-no as this brings out a metallic, unpleasant flavor. Stick with some version…

Spaghetti with Clam Sauce (alle Vongole)

Spaghetti alle vongole

Italy has such delicious clams that spaghetti with clams is always one of my top choices when we eat out. It’s also something I make at home frequently. It’s easy to prepare and I have a few magic ingredients that make this dish extraordinary. Everyone you serve it to will ask what you do to make…

Caramel Walnut Torte

Caramel Walnut Torte

This gooey and delicious torte recipe explodes with fresh Italian walnuts! Italian walnuts are in their prime right now; tender and delicious. And it just so happens that we have a huge walnut tree growing right on our property. We pick some underripe walnuts in June to make nocino, an Italian liqueur usually served at Christmas. We pick the…

Ricotta and Pear Filled Fagottini

Pear and Ricotta Filled Fagottini

Pears are in season and delicious as we move into fall. I adore baked pears and pear tarts but my favorite by far are these delicious pear and ricotta filled fagottini. I first tasted these fagottini at one of our favorite restaurants, located in the northern Lazio hill town, Civitá Castellana. We’ve not been back to…

Cameroni farro pasta with pioppini mushrooms, peperoncino, olive oil and onion

Farro pasta with pioppini mushrooms

I can’t seem to give up eating well in the interest of shedding a few pounds so I’m always on the search for ways I can have both. Every once in awhile I come up with a winning recipe where I really can have both amazing flavor and lose weight at the same time. The…


Hand-painted Vietri ceramic flower vases

I’ve been in love with this gorgeous Amalfi coast hill town that spills down to the sea with a blast of Mediterranean colors for decades. It’s all about the winding narrow streets and steps so full of charm, the amazing views that change with every step you take, the outstanding seafood, ceramics and quaint shops. Enjoy…

Restaurants in Rome, Snaps’n’Snippets

Table for nine at Hosteria del Mercato

Places to eat in Rome along with some of my favorite dishes. I love classic Roman food and new twists to the old. Feasting is also visual and that goes for the restaurant space as well as the food. I love unique, well-decorated venues that are intelligently laid out and allow for conversation while you eat….

Pasta, gnocchi & risotto: luscious Italian primi, Snaps’n’Snippets

Penne with zucchini, pancetta, Parmesan and onion

Snaps’n’Snippets of Italian primi! Italy is characterized by starting off each meal with delicious first courses, or primi. Oftentimes a primo and salad can be enough for a whole meal. Only rarely will you see Italians skip their scrumptious primo! For example… It’s September, so we’re now enjoying the last of our summer zucchini; we can…