La Bella Vita - Mostly

Never Eat the Same Gazpacho Twice

By JudithKlinger | June 26, 2012

We’ve slid off the spatula of our searing African weather, into the low boil of Italian summer heat. After the abrupt shift to summer, we’re now getting the chance to become adjusted to our new life style. Which means we barely want to eat anything more than prosciutto and melon, or gazpacho. Gazpacho with caviar. Cucumber & pistachio gazpacho.

Fish, Flowers & the Art of Frying

By JudithKlinger | June 22, 2012

Fried fish tastes goooood.
Fried flowers taste goooood.
I know fried food has a bad rap, but it tastes so good. Would it be alright in moderation? Would it be alright when there are sparkling fresh little tiny fishes in the market and the zucchini flowers are prepubescently perfect?

World Pasta Championship goes to Yoshi Yamada!

By JudithKlinger | June 18, 2012

As part of the “Italian Cuisine in the World Forum”, Academia Barilla hosted a World Pasta Championship at their beautiful campus in Parma. You have to love a town where the directions to the Academia are, “Follow along the Strada del Parmigiano…”

The Cook, The Recipe, His Wife & Her Music

By JudithKlinger | June 8, 2012

I’ve been thinking about recipes.
And I’ve been wondering, how do you use a cookbook? Do you use it like a bible? Do you read it like a detective novel? Are you a voyeur?

Cult of the Prugnoli: A Secret Mushroom

By JudithKlinger | May 31, 2012

I swear I’m not trying to rub it in, but unless you are in central Italy, right now, and unless it rains again, you probably won’t be able to taste the elusive prugnolo mushroom.

There is a prugnolo cult in Umbria. Small signs pop up on restaurant windows simply announcing ‘prugnolo’. Nothing more. No dish is mentioned, no hint that it’s a spring mushroom; it’s an insider thing. That would be an insider who is willing to pay for her pleasure.

Elegantly humble: Celery and Saffron Risotto

By JudithKlinger | May 21, 2012

Like a marriage between a nobleman and a peasant, elegant saffron marries with the humble celery leaf, creating a bit of risotto magic.
Shall we yank back the misty veils of history, and get real?
I’m standing in our orto where most of the celery had wintered over and is now very robust. Which meant, I better chop some of this down and start using it!