Basta Pasta

There’s a new pasta in town…gone are the days of using ricotta for pasta al-forno. Have you ever wondered why your perfectly prepared pasta, with the succulent sauce seasoned just right, noodles with the just-right bite of al dente, turns just a bit dry? Its the ricotta. Trust me.  Next time you have un gusto…

noté in italia 

I remember the night very well ~ we were sitting on the terrace (terrazzo) at trattoria alla Fontaniva in Italy… the kids were given an aperitif (a big deal to a 10, 8 & 4 year old… an even bigger deal for their Mommy, still new to the custom!) of Prosecco. Mikaela was the first…

Cooking with Val

This summer was full of change, challenges and more importantly, blessings in abundance.  Our daughter graduated from college, our son was an ROTC Field Training selectee, we drove through 4 states (love Arches Nat’l Park in Utah!) to our 11th assignment, we spent some amazing quality time together and with friends and family. We made…

Keepin’ it Simple ~ Keepin’ it Real

I have often been asked for simple recipes with simple steps, to create something new…  Here are a few ideas, from appetizer to pasta course ~ enjoy ~ v canapés – an appetizer consisting of a piece of bread or toast or a cracker topped with a savory spread to begin, use plain white, wheat or rye…

Celebrations ~

                It’s coming down to the wire folks!  The packers will be arriving in 2 days, thus starting the Lombardo family’s next big adventure: Mt Home Air Force Base, Idaho! This weekend, as we prepped the patio furniture and pizza oven, I stopped so I could keep a…

Breaking Bread

  All sorrows are less with bread. – Miguel de Cervantes     There is something so gratifyingly innate about making bread. I love the entire process!  Grinding flour, kneading the dough with my hands, the rise or two my loaves get and then the best part: the baking!  My kitchen is nice and toasty…

love affair

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien For me, it started about 15 years ago ~ my love affair with food (come on, what did you think this was about?) When I was a little girl, my Grandma Margaret would often…

Ravioli di patate con ripieno di melanzane

  A dear friend and mentor, C. D’Bramo asked me to translate this incredible ravioli recipe… I now cannot wait to try it! Oh my! Potato Ravioli stuffed with Eggplant 1 lb potatoes, peeled and cubed 2 cups flour, plus additional if needed  2 eggplants, peeled and cubed 3.5 oz smoked cheese (scamorza, if you…

Food from Friends… The Marriage of Poland and Italy

I am so excited and honored to be sharing this post today!  I know what you’re thinking… “Poland and Italy?  Is she crazy?”   Mr and Mrs D ~ second family to my husband after he immigrated with his family and moved to Ohio, are amazing.  Mr D is the typical hard-working, generous and kind-hearted…

Paradiso

Sicily is at the very heart of my family… we feel the beat of daily life, breathe the culture of the people, soak in the very essence of the place ~ Sicily is to Italy as the genteel southern US states are to the faster-paced northern states.  There is a sensual slow-down that occurs almost…

Potato Gnocchi

In a medium saucepan, combine 100 g of gorgonzola and 200 g of heavy cream, heat over medium-low heat.   Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine 50 g room-temperature butter, juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 T parsley, 2 cloves of minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste and a dash of crushed red pepper flakes….