Mangia Bene!

All Saint’s Day & All Soul’s Day

In Italy and Sicily, nearly every small town has its own patron saint with their own celebratory feast day. The celebration known as La Festa Ognissante (All Saint’s Day), is a solemn holy day of the Catholic church to honor all the saints on the calendar and occurs on November 1. This is a national […]

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Warm Ravioli Salad

Warm Butternut Squash Ravioli Salad

It seems to me that no sooner have the last of the trick-or-treaters gone home to sort out their bounty and I have polished off any remaining Halloween candy, that the holiday season is standing at the front door. Whether you are in a state of quiet calm or crazy chaos when you open that […]

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Cauliflower with Crispy Crumbs

I enjoy all sorts of vegetables, but cauliflower is one of my favorites. As a child, my siblings and I were introduced to this cruciferous vegetable with my mother’s Macaroni and Cauliflower soup. I use this healthy, versatile, vegetable in a myriad of ways. I make a tangy lemon and caper cauliflower that can be […]

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The Harvest

We were the first to arrive. The cool, crisp, invigorating air, typical of a northern California autumn morning, was perfect for a day of olive picking. The sun had not yet made its appearance, but the luminescence of the pre-dawn morning was just enough to guide Jack and me to the terrace that wrapped around […]

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Italian Apple Cake

Like my toasted almond breakfast cake, olive oil zucchini bread and mascarpone souffle, this is another fitting addition to your morning meal. Made with apples and cinnamon, golden raisins and extra-virgin olive oil, this slightly sweet cake is just as happy paired with a mug of hot coffee as it is with a cold glass […]

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Pasta alla Norma

The combination of pasta and eggplant is exclusively associated with southern Italy and principally Sicily. This is a combination I have been using for years in recipes such as, melanzane e spaghetti torta, orzo stuffed peppers and marinated melanzane. As my recent trip to Sicily confirms, there are numerous versions of pasta alla norma, from Trapani in […]

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Orzo with Roasted Shallots

This dish has three main ingredients and hardly needs a recipe, the ingredients, however, may need a bit of explanation. Orzo, is shaped like a grain of rice, is the Italian word for barley and is neither rice nor barley, orzo is pasta. A Shallot, although thought of as an elongated onion, is not an […]

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Ricotta Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Sometimes I’ll make scones and occasionally I’ll whip up a batch of muffins or biscuits but, as a rule, if I want to serve something sweet in the morning, especially if I’m feeding a crowd, I’ll prepare breakfast cake. These are quite often made with fruit of the season, such as, Italian apple cake and almond […]

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Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper) is a Roman pasta dish that one can find all over this Italian city. There are only three main ingredients; Pecorino Romano, black pepper and pasta. The key to this seemingly simple dish is in how you treat them. When fat-soluble spices, such as, black peppercorns, are heated in […]

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Lemon Wafers

As I pick the remaining lemons, within arms reach through the French doors in the kitchen, I’m careful not to disturb the countless, fragrant new buds and blossoms carrying the promise of the new crop. I have shared this citrus fruit with many friends as well as used them in a myriad of meals, such […]

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