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Cooking at Home

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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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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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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Rastafar-Asian Fusion Confusion

Asian fusion confusion on a pork chop! Inspired by Vietnamese chef Duc Tran, who is the epitome of fusion. The guy has worked in Texas, Latin America, New Zealand, Australia, Europe and Japan and has two world class restaurants named after Mangos in Hoi An Viet Nam. That’s enough to confuse anyone.

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Rustic Sausage & Peppers

Some flavor combinations are classic; and sausage and peppers fall into that category.

Remember the old cartoons where the vapor would rise from the dish, and then beckon you to eat? That’s what happens when you saute peppers and sausage.
This dish is perfect just as the weather turns cool, and the last of the tomatoes are still on the vine.
Keep this dish simple, ok? Just be sure to use some good, fresh Italian sausage.

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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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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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Faro Salad

Faro Salad

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Recipe for Sunday Lunch: Slow Roasted Suckling Pig Leg With Friends, Fava Beans and a nice Chianti.

Carpe Diem! Sometimes you have to seize the moment, and when the local EuroSpin had a suckling pig leg on sale, it just had to come home with me. And you can’t eat pig leg all by yourself, because wouldn’t that just make you a little piggy? Which meant we had to invite some friends over, which suits us just fine on a Sunday afternoon. See how one little impulse buy has so many pleasant consequences!

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A New Love Affair: Pickled Onions

I came away from Austin with a new love: pickled onions. OK, I did flirt with a fried pickle, but it was just an infatuation. I think my love of the pickled onion has staying power.

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Cooking Simply: The Italian Way! Goodie Basket Giveaway

Click here for the post with all the details for our Goodie Giveaway.

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