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Cooking at Home

Introducing the Anchovy

I know. You say you already know anchovies. You say you don’t like anchovies. What if I said, maybe not and maybe you should reconsider? Allow me to introduce you to Chef Maurizio, of Il Maestrale Pizzeria, in the tiny village of Le Forna, on the small island of Ponza.

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Kitchen Garden Lunch: Spaghetti Ortolana

Is it any wonder, when the world feels baked to a crisp, why three showers a day might not be enough, and the urge to howl at the full moon seems like a perfectly good idea, that a walk to our garden, and a chat with friends, seems like a mini-vacation after the torrid heat we’ve endured?
We’ve reached the harvesting point where lunch can be made by just visiting the orto, our kitchen garden. It’s so deliciously easy now, to walk over to the garden, with no plan in mind, just a “let’s see what needs to be eaten” attitude.

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And the Beet Goes On!

What do you do when a whole row of beets in the orto need to be eaten now? You yank those babies and throw a party!

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Creamy Red Onion Soup, Truffles Optional

It’s soup season here in Umbria. Chilly days, wind and rain all mean it’s time to get out the soup pot.
Soup doesn’t have to be a long drawn out, multi-hour event. You can make this creamy red onion soup in about half an hour. That’s about the time it takes for you to realize you are hungry and to have soup in your bowl.

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Kung-Fu-Zen-Grasshopper Cooking or How I Learned to Banish the Recipe

t’s time to banish the recipe as GPS and tune in to the Kung-Fu-Zen-Grasshopper (c)
technique of cooking. It is time for us to cook in the ways of our ancestors, by using our senses. It is also time to cook in the modern way, which is so, like, totally, about self-indulgent self-pleasuring by making exactly what you want.

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The Mediterranean Del Verziere Lifestyle Diet

Introducing our version of the Mediterranean Diet; it’s called the Del Verziere Lifestyle diet! If followed properly, it will lead to an increased level of personal satisfaction and well-being, maybe a longer life, and possible weight loss.
The Del Verziere Lifestyle Diet goes like this: eat fresh food instead of prepared food, preferably food from your garden, drink red wine, put olive oil into everything, and volunteer for anything that will keep you engaged in your community. And ladies, you should also learn how to walk in high heels on cobblestone because if you can do that, you can live to be 100…with great legs and a firm behind.

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Everyday is a Holiday Fennel Gratin

What’s gorgeous enough to serve at a holiday gathering, but easy enough to indulge in whenever you feel like it?
It’s that time of year again, lots of parties, potlucks and bring-a-dish moments, when you have very little time to be messing around in the kitchen.

Fennel gratin to the rescue! It can be easily transported, made ahead of time, and did I mention delicious??

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Love in the Spring: Asparagus 4-Ways

You have to like asparagus if you are in Italy in the spring. There is no escaping the spears, they are in every mercato, every supermarket, on every menu. Occasionally you’ll spot an exotic white or purple asparagus display, but for every day eating, it’s green asparagus.
In our mercato, you get a tightly rubber banded “mazze” or bundle of asparagus and it has spears from slender and tender to stocky and woody. Which means you can’t cook them all at once, on the same night, in the same dish, because each spear of asparagus deserves to be treated according to its girth.

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Aroma Cucina Giveaway: We have a winner!

Thank you everyone who participated in our giveaway. Great answers, and we agree this is an awesome basket of goodies from Gustiamo; but it is a contest and that means there has to be a winner. Only, we couldn’t decide between two commenters, so we decided to give a basket to each.

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In a Pickle

Short days and cold nights mean it’s time to shut the orto down for the season.
No more happy wanderings over to the garden to see what I can scrounge up for dinner. No more sun warmed tomatoes; instead there are soggy plants with green tomatoes that need to be picked.
I could be sad, but I’m not; I love the changing of the seasons.

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Making Food Videos: All Bright Lights & Glamour

Feeling restless at 4:00 am, I get out of bed and step on… a huge pile of grit. What on earth…it’s everywhere! It feels like kitty litter embedded on the soles of my feet…only…wait a minute! It’s cous cous! The floor is literally covered in cous cous. What??

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Let the Season Begin! Oven Roasted Tomato & Onion Pasta

My man knows the way to my heart.
Yesterday I came home to the peace and quiet of Montone, and there were stunning roses in the living room and a full sideboard of vegetables in the kitchen. I haven’t had time to go to the grocery store yet, so it meant putting something together with what was on hand. The first decent tomatoes of the season were sitting there, just begging to be roasted, along side some of those onions, so it was pasta with roasted vegetables for lunch.

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