On the Hunt: Mushroom Madness. Foraging for mushrooms is an essential part of autumn in Tuscany. This time of year it’s all about mushrooms, hunting them, eating them and talking about them. The exhilaration of the hunt – the thrill of discovering and picking wild mushrooms in an Italian forest is something I will never forget. This week’s menu highlights homemade pasta with assorted mushrooms and other Tuscan seasonal ingredients.
Leave the gun, take the cannoli!Many Italian-Americans grow up thinking the specialties prepared by their grandmothers are authentically Italian. Though certainly rooted in recipes from the “old country,” many were changed as immigrants adapted to their new home in America and to the ingredients they could find.“It is the memories and experiences the Italian immigrants brought with them, coupled with the products they found, that developed into today’s Italian-American cuisine,” says renowned Italian chef and author, Lidia Bastianich.Much of mainstream America was introduced to this immigrant culture through movies like “The Godfather.” This week’s menu highlights some of the most beloved dishes made famous by the movie.
Le Marche: The Secret of Santa Vittoria. Food and entertainment are great diversions. On occasion, it is good to get lost in an old movie especially when it tells the story of man’s past struggles and creative solutions to catastrophic situations. The Secret Life of Santa Vittoria, a delightful classic Italian-American film, is based on a true story of resolve, courage, community spirit, and…one million bottles of wine! It is set in Italy’s beautiful Le Marche region, the backdrop for this week’s authentic late August dinner.
Spas & Thermal Springs: 3,000 Years of R+R. Imagine…a glass in hand, a string quartet playing as you stroll through beautifully manicured gardens. A glass of water full of promises to enhance your wellbeing. The healing waters that gush from the Italian earth are drunk, soaked in and endlessly talked about. With a history of R+R that stretches back thousands of years, the Italians know a thing or two about unwinding in style. Many American spas today tout rigorous weight loss agendas, classes on meditation and strenuous sports activities. Spas in Italy have been popular since the time of the Etruscans and Romans when they would “take the waters” in natural hot springs. They have always been a combination of...
Palio di Siena: The craziest (and tastiest) horse race in the world!Siena is the scene of one of the most anticipated and exciting historical horse races of the year. To celebrate, the entire city takes to the streets to eat and drink at parties that last all week. These communal dinners bring people together to share in centuries-old traditions of camaraderie and local culinary specialties.Though the Palio will not take place again this year, undoubtedly Siena’s citizens will find solace in a great meal at home – just like the one we are featuring this week.