Posts from category Various & Sundry

Pasta, Gnocchi, Risotto: Snaps’n’Snippets

Gorgonzola and sage spaghetti

Every Italian meal begins with a delicious “primo”. Sundays in Rome are family lunch days and call for homemade pasta; Thursdays are gnocchi day in Rome. Every town and region has its own specialty and tradition. What they all have in common is simplicity and delicious flavor! I’m addicted to the easiest pasta dish on…

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Buratta stuffed ravioli

Buratta-stuffed ravioli, on a swirl of pesto & topped with lightly caramelized cherry tomatoes. At Garibaldi Ristorante, Rome. Making homemade ravioli. Tropea onions from my garden lent themselves beautifully to these onion ricotta tarts. Arch of Malborghetto, whose core structure is datable to 4th century, sits on Via Flaminia right at Sacrofano train station. And…

Tomato Ricotta Tarte Tatin


  It’s that delightful time of the year when our vegetable garden is exploding and yielding scrumptious produce in spades. We always plant lots of varieties of tomatoes; it’s the true staple in Italian cuisine and we won’t settle for anything but the best in the tomato department. Maurizio’s favorite snack is bread, tomato and…

The Tornesi Brunello Winery


About fifteen years ago we first visited the Tornesi winery on a Brunello wine buying trip. Since then we’ve been back every year. The owner, Maurizio Tornesi, has become a friend, and we’ve watched his winery grow and transform…always for the better. On our visit last week we joined the family for lunch in their home….

Secret Rome: Courtyards


The Palazzo Borghese trumps all other courtyards for its beauty; the photograph below features one of the many sculptures to be seen in this courtyard. The courtyard is enormous and majestic and is still owned by the powerful Borghese family, with the exception of some apartments that have been sold. How often have you strolled…

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Fresh Berries

Lemon ricotta pancakes

  Pancakes, even when they’re as fluffy as can be, take a back seat to these lemon ricotta pancakes. Fluffy isn’t even the word I’d use; these are delightfully creamy. The lemon zest shines through beautifully, and of course you can’t go wrong smothering these masterpieces with honey and fresh berries. They’re sinfully delicious but…

Baked Fresh Anchovies with Capers & Parmesan Cheese


It’s time to toss away all your preconceived notions about anchovies and give them a second chance. The anchovy in your Caesar salad or on top of a pizza..packed in oil and salt…is not the same thing as a fresh anchovy. A fresh anchovy is a tiny, delicately flavored oily white fish. And there’s more….

Chicken with red & yellow peppers


Traditionally this is a summer dish; it’s one of the wonderful ways to use the abundance of red and yellow peppers from the garden. It happens to be great just about anytime of the year…warm & hearty, it falls squarely into the great comfort food category. This dish is usually served as a main course,…

A glance at the FloraCult Plant & Flower Market

Edible Flowers

It was my first time to attend the annual FloraCult plant and flower show. I was expecting something more formal, elaborate and extensive but instead it was more like a country fair. A beautiful, thoroughly enjoyable country fair! There were flowers, fruit trees and plants from throughout of Italy. A Sicilian producer was selling delicious oranges, avocados…

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan

Beyond a doubt eggplant Parmesan is one of my favorite dishes, and one I don’t make often enough. It’s simple enough, but not something you throw together in ten minutes. And it does involve frying…at least the way we like it…so that’s why I try not to make it too often. Let’s face it, frying is…