Friday Link Love

A serious cocktail spread in Piedmont. Yes, the sausage is raw. And delicious.

I am so happy its Friday and I am so happy that I will be spending my weekend in Tuscany, enjoying more than my fair share of white truffles and red wine at the San Miniato Truffle Festival. It’s been a very long week. What are you up to this weekend?



I’ve been super busy with work and haven’t had as much time as I would like for posting, writing, reading, eating, running, cooking and everything else I love to do. But it’s persimmon season! And persimmons can be enjoyed even when time is not on your side. In Italy, I’ve often found myself served one at a meal’s end with nothing more than a spoon.

Or when I have more time on my hands, they are killer on pizza. Following famed Roman pizza guy Bonci’s lead in his cookbook, they’ve even wound up on my pizza along with ricotta, hazelnuts and the delicious spicy, spreadable Calabrian salami, ‘nduja.

What’s your favorite way to eat persimmons?

Puntarelle and anchovies

Puntarelle at the Trattoria Da Cesare al Casaletto.

November to February is puntarelle season. This bitter, crunchy, watery green and its traditional preparation are distinctly Roman and are enjoyed in restaurants and homes throughout the city.

Puntarelle or “little tips” refers to the tips or the tender shoots of Catalonian chicory. The preparation is fairly tedious as the plants are cleaned and the shoots are removed and split before being soaked to make them curl. In Rome, you can buy the pre-split and soaked greens at most grocery stores and markets.

Friday Link Love

Vineyard visit in Piedmont last year. Barbaresco is one of my very favorite wines.

It’s been an intense and surprising week. I’m looking forward to getting some much needed rest over the weekend, while finalizing plans for some busy weeks ahead, including a long weekend at the San Miniato Truffle fair and my first time cooking Thanksgiving dinner. What will you be up to this weekend?

Some Friday Links:

Negroni 101

A top-notch Negroni at Morrison’s Pub in Rome.

The Negroni is one of my favorite cocktails. It is made with equal parts Campari, sweet vermouth and gin and is served over ice in an old fashioned glass with a slice or twist of orange.

You can order two types of negroni in Rome: the classic negroni and the negroni sbagliato or mistaken negroni. The mistaken negroni is like the classic, but goes lighter on the alcohol by replacing the gin with prosecco.

The NYTimes recently shared some good places to get a cocktail in the Eternal City.


  • 1 part gin
  • 1 part sweet vermouth
  • 1 part Campari
  • Orange peel or slice
  • Ice

Blend alcohols in equal parts over ice in an old fashion glass, stir and garnish with an orange peel or slice.

Where to eat on your first trip to Rome

A classic Roman supplì enjoyed on the street outside I Supplì in Trastevere.

Traveling to Rome? My brother is coming to visit at the end of the month and as his little sister who ran away from the Big Apple for cooking school in Italy, I need to make sure he eats well. Time is also limited as we’ll be off to Tuscany for a long weekend and we will be cooking Thanksgiving dinner too. One thing is already clear, no one will be going hungry–or on a diet.

What not to miss in Rome

Roman Forum
The Roman Forum.

Planning a trip to Italy? Did you know that Italy has more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other country in the world? 51 to be exact. China is next in line with 50. World Heritage sites are recognized by the United Nations for their cultural, historical, scientific or other value and are protected under international treaties. They are also great places to visit. The entire historical center of Rome has been included, including the Roman Forum pictured above.

My brother is coming to visit Rome for the very first time and I am trying to decide what sites he can’t miss. The Roman Forum is obviously a no brainer. But what else? There is so much to see.

Happy Friday

Circus Maximus
The Circus Maximus in Rome is still being used for games. Although I have yet to see a chariot.

The forecast for Rome this weekend is rain so we have big plans to sleep in and to make some fresh pasta with the big squash that’s been sitting on our counter. We are going to make agnolotti al plin which is basically a little folded ravioli from Piedmont. Finished, each one looks something like a piece of candy or a little stuffed purse.  What will you be cooking this weekend?

Donate to the Monks of Norcia–and Beer

Norcia agriturismo
The lovely agriturismo La Cascina di Opaco where we stayed on a trip to Norcia last spring.

Last Sunday’s historical earthquake leveled the 14th century Basilica of St. Benedict in Norcia, the birth place of St. Benedict and founder of the order which bears his name. Miraculously and thanks to well-executed precautions, no lives were lost, although some 15,000 people were displaced.

But the Benedictine Monks of Norcia that care for the Basilica have been in the news for an entirely different reason in recent years–beer. The Monks of Norcia have been producing Birra Nursia since 2012, after taking up residency in Norcia in 2000 following a roughly 200 year hiatus for the order from the town.