Welcome to my world - a blend of passion, taste, and old-world traditions.

Benvenuti nel mio mondo - un mischio di passione, gusto e vecchie tradizioni.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

PIZZA DI PATATE (Pizza with potato topping))

It’s thin, crispy, crunchy and addictive. It’s great hot, cold or at room temperature

       ·         1 lb pizza dough 
·         4 to 5 Idaho potatoes
·         4 to 5 tbsp olive oil
·         1 tsp salt, more or less to taste
·         freshly ground black pepper, to taste 
·         a sprig of fresh rosemary (optional)

            2 tbsp grated cheese (optional)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Oil the pan slightly with a tablespoon of olive oil.
Shape the dough into the shape of your pan, then place the dough onto it and drizzle with about a tablespoon or more of olive oil and rub it over the surface.
Slice the washed and dried potatoes very thinly and place in a bowl.
Add enough olive oil to coat each slice and then sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
Start layering the potato slices over the pizza dough in the pan overlapping the slices slightly until all the dough is covered.
Drizzle with another 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Optional: You may add grated cheese and sprinkle some fresh rosemary, if desired.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until crisply and golden.

If desired, reset the oven to broil and place the pizza on the top rack to make the potatoes more brown and crispy.



Monday, June 7, 2021

MULCH MAINTENANCE - Should You Replace Mulch or Fluff Up the Old Mulch?

We all know that a good mulch will help maintain soil moisture, reduce the need for irrigation and improves the look of the landscape.


Ideally, a layer of mulch should stand at about two inches high on flowerbeds and at about three inches high over shrub beds.  If that amount already exists in your yard, it is not necessary to add new mulch.

A typical mulch may last about five years, but this timeframe can decrease depending on the type of mulch, weather conditions, rainfall, sun exposure. 

Many homeowners find fresh mulch visually appealing.  Some mulches tend to mat which can keep water and sunlight from penetrating.  Fluff the mulch with a rake or fork cultivator to aerate it.  Use minimal downward pressure to avoid penetrating the soil surface and damaging plant roots.  

Also, mulch color can fade over time, but "fluffing" the existing mulch can provide that "fresh" look.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021




1 1/2 pounds cleaned squid (calamari)
1 cup marinated artichokes
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

The secret to this dish is to use a cast iron pan with ridges.


  1. Rinse the calamari thoroughly inside and out.  Drain well.  Cut the bodies into 1/2 inch rings.  Pat dry.
  2. Drizzle the calamari with olive oil.
  3. Heat the cast iron pan with medium-high heat.  Once the pan is hot, add the calamari and grill them by moving and pressing them around the pan with a fork so as to allow grill marks to form for about 15 minutes.  Remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. In a non-stick pan, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the minced garlic.  After a minute, add the marinated artichokes.  Season with fresh black pepper and warm them up for 2 minutes in low heat.
  5. Transfer the artichokes into a plate.  Add the grilled calamari and garnish with freshly chopped parsley.

Monday, January 4, 2021


Tarallucci are also known as "Celli Ripieni" in other parts of Abruzzo. They are made with a very crumbly pasta, oil and wine filled with grape jam enriched with chocolate, toasted almonds and a little rum.

Ingredients for the Filling:

  • 1 lb. black grape jam
  • 1/2 cup of dark cocoa
  • 1/2 cup grated chocolate
  • 1 cup chopped roasted almonds
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons rum

Preparing the Filling
In a saucepan put the jam with almonds, chocolate, orange peel and rum. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Cool and store in refrigerator in a covered jar. (This can be done a day or two prior to baking.)

Ingredients for dough:
1.5 lb. unbleached flour
2 cups of olive oil
1 cup white wine
1 tablespoon of sugar

Procedure for the dough:

In a large bowl, pour the oil, wine and sugar.
Sprinkle in the flour and mix.
Work the dough for 10 minutes or so until it is elastic.
Shape into a ball and let it rest for 15 minutes.
After resting, take the dough and spread thinly in the shape of an oval.
Put a spoonful of filling and close on itself. Cut off the excess dough with wheel and bring the ends to the center.
Place them in a baking pan covered with parchment paper and bake in the preheated oven (350 degrees) for 25 to 30 minutes.
When cooked, place them on a tray and dust with powdered sugar.

Monday, December 21, 2020


In our home, it's not Christmas without Caggionetti.  There are few versions depending on taste from ceci to cestnuts.  

 Pastry Dough:

4 cups unbleached flour

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup white wine

2 quarts of vegetable oil for frying.

Ingredients for filling: (I like to prepare the filling the day before)

1 lb. blanched almonds ground

1/2 cup of honey

1 lemon zest

1 tsp. of cinnamon

Warm up the honey then incorporate the almonds, the lemon zest and cinnamon.  Mix well for a minute or so.  Let it get cool.


Make a fountain with the flour, add all the ingredients (for the dough) in the center.  Stir slowly with a fork incorporating the flour until dough forms.  Let the dough rest (covered) for at least 1/2 hour.

At this point, roll out the dough very thinly.  

With a teaspoon, place the filling on the pastry and form a small ravioli.  Press the outer edges.

In the alternate, roll out the dough very thin.  Cut into squares and place a teaspoon of filling in the center.

Fry the ravioli obtained in hot oil. Be careful not to let them brown.  Drain them well and place them on absorbent paper to remove excess oil.  

Sprinkle with powered sugar.

The caggionetti are ready to be enjoyed!

Friday, December 18, 2020


 If you love shrimp, do not miss all my pasta with shrimps recipes, each more delicious than the other. I used pasta shapes that I love, from fettuccine to paccheri.

Although we could eat shrimp alone almost every day, sometimes you need a side or starch to go along with them!  It can be rice or pasta.

Fettuccine with Shrimps

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 lbs. x-large raw shrimp peeled with tails off
  • 28 oz. peeled plum tomatoes (Place in food processor or blender container. Pulse until pureed.
  • Few fresh parsley sprigs
  • Few fresh basil leaves (if available)
  • 16 oz. Fettuccine pasta cooked and drained
  • Salt and black pepper

Fettucine with shrimp

Heat olive oil and garlic in deep skillet.  Add the shrimp, mix and brown over high heat for about 2 minutes. Remove shrimps and set aside. Add tomato puree, parsley and basil and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the cooked shrimp into the sauce.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in abundant salted water, drain it al dente and add it to the pan.

Mezze Maniche with Shrimp

2 lb. X-large frozen shrimp with tail on
1/3 cup of olive oil
2 or 3 chopped scallions
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup white wine
Salt and black pepper
1 lb. Mezze maniche pasta

Mezze maniche (half sleeves) with shrimp

Heat olive oil, chopped scallions and garlic in skillet.  Add the shrimp, mix and brown over high heat for about 2 minutes. Remove shrimps and set aside. Deglaze with white wine and then let the alcoholic component evaporate. Add the shrimps and simmer few more minutes. Add over already cooked pasta.

Paccheri with Fresh Head-On Shrimp

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 lbs. x-large raw shrimp with heads and shells on
  • 28 oz. peeled plum tomatoes (Place in food processor or blender container. Pulse until pureed.
  • Few fresh parsley sprigs
  • Few fresh basil leaves (if available)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lb. Paccheri pasta

Rinse the shrimp in cold water and pat dry.

Heat olive oil and garlic in deep skillet.  Add tomato puree, parsley and basil and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the shrimp into the sauce and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta al dente. Pour sauce over shrimps and serve.

Paccheri with shrimp

It may take longer to eat the shrimp but the taste is so much intense that's worth the work.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Rucola, Arugula known as rucola, salad rocket, and Italian cress.

Arugula is an easy to grow salad green, the reason we grow it in our home garden. Its peppery taste adds extra flavor to everything from salads to crostini. 

Arugula from our garden

Arugula salad with hard boiled eggs and red onion

Arugula salad with tuna

Arugula salad with cherry tomatoes

Did you know that arugula is also great with pasta dishes? 

About some crostini with arugula?