St. Patrick’s Day & broccoli rabe pasta recipe 

First of all let’s state the obvious, Happy St. Patrick’s day y’all. Yeah I just used “y’all” I don’t know why, it’s not in my normal vocabulary. Friday’s got me feeling groovy. I’m blasting Blondie and Fleetwood Mac all day today.


I recently found out that I have major Irish roots in my bloodline on my birth father’s side of the family. So I felt it was appropriate to make a post today and in honor of the holiday I will share with you a recipe with GREEN in it. Italian recipe though, (sorry Irish fam) I will have to learn more about Irish cuisine for future recipes. The particular GREEN veg I’m showcasing today is… broccoli rabe!

‘Insert cheers from an audience’

I have a serious crush on all green vegetables. Collards, kale, spinach, broccoli, zucchini, green beans, I’ll eat them all! This recipe is not from Tuscany but it is a typical recipe from Puglia (southern Italy) but they use a different type of pasta called “orrechiete” which are little round flat circle pasta that are kind of curved to make them look like little ears, hence the name orrechite which literally means “little ears.” Since I’m not using that kind of pasta I’m basically a disgrace to anyone from Puglia. (I just used what I had) this recipe is still deliziosa though even if I used ‘insalatonde‘ instead. Oh the SHAME!


Martedì Grasso & Hiking trip in Casale

Buon Martedì Grasso! Or in English, Happy Fat Tuesday! Carnevale (Mardi Gras) is a big deal here in Italy. This past weekend there were parades everywhere around the country. Children throw confetti at each other in the streets as people in costumes dance around the floats going by. Bakeries filled with fried treats to celebrate the occasion. In Tuscany they can be called “stracci” Pictured below are some stracci E’s grandma made, she fills the dough with a sweet ricotta filling flavored with lemon zest and fries them. I recently learned the reason behind the colors of Mardi Gras. Purple symbolizes justice, gold symbolizes power and green symbolizes faith. I’ve blogged about Carnevale before so I won’t go in detail about it. I indulged and had a few stracci this morning accompanied by a nice espresso.

Saturday I was invited by my friend Giulia to go on a hike through the Tuscan town of Casale, 10 minutes away from the town I live in. Believe it or not it was my first time in the town which is shocking seeing as how close it is to my house. This place never ceases to amaze me. 


Ritorno in Toscana

After three months in the United States traveling (that travel post to come) and spending time with family and friends, I am back at casa mia in Toscana. It’s been a busy month so far. E has been away traveling a lot and I have been staying busy at home with things such as tutoring English, traveling solo around Tuscany (or with E) and working on new recipes. 


“Saying arrivederci to summer” Zucchini, avocado and kale salad 

Summer was good to me this year. Three vacations, three special friends from America visiting, BBQ’s, pool days at the villa, paddle boarding at the beach, and the garden producing an abundance amount of fresh tomatoes, kale and zucchini all summer long. As an ode to Summer’s farewell I will share my delicious raw zucchini, avocado and kale salad recipe with y’all, no cooking necessary. (Because it’s still hot as hades over in my part of the world.)

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset


Riso freddo sapore d’estate 

It’s hot here, very hot. It’s not even the heat that’s crazy, it is that famous Mediterranean humidity that gets you. All I can say is grazie mille to whomever invented the AC, I would like to give them a very big hug.

We have a fun couple of weekends coming up ahead, this weekend we are going to Elba Island with our two friends, taking the scooters on to the ferry on over for a little island getaway. I still think it’s amazing there are islands close by. (Italy is so cool) Anyway, I am trying not to look like a puffy marshmallow in my bikini on vacation so most summer days I will make salads, sliced bresaola (an air-dried salted beef that has been aged for 2-3 months) topped with arugula, fresh tuna or if I am in need of some carbohydrates I’ll make riso freddo, which literally means “cold rice”.


Hiking Giannutri island 

One thing I enjoy doing is going hiking, I love to be outside walking around in nature. There is a sense of tranquility that takes over when looking around at all the natural beauty surrounding you, sans cars and buildings. Although there is beauty to find in those as well. The world is full of beauty, art of its own kind, anywhere and everywhere you go. I get inspired as much on a tropical island as I do getting lost in the streets of New York City. The key is to take the time and stop, put your phone away and become aware of what is around  you. (while still snapping awesome shots of the journey) 


Buona Pasqua! Easter weekend & Carrot Cake.

This weekend I truly felt the Spring season awaken in every sense, the weather was warm, the sky was blue, the colorful flowers blooming all around and lastly, my allergies have returned (whomp whomp). I am highly allergic to pollen and here my allergies are intensifed because of the all the flowers and trees in the countryside combined with the wind coming from the sea, but I do what I can to tame them so that I can enjoy being outside during this beautiful season.


Una bella cena in compagnia – A beautiful dinner together

I love any excuse to throw a dinner party. Saturday night we had nine of our friends come over to our house for dinner and for the viewing of an important soccer match, you know how serious Italians are with soccer. One of our friends is a talented graphic designer and and was kind enough to create a menu of the meal I was preparing for our guests, and how surprised I was when he gifted me with a personalized apron. It was the sweetest gift! The menu read, ‘Chef Brittny’, ‘Ristogourmet Pellegrini’, followed by the courses to be served, and ended with the team names of who would be facing off in the soccer game to follow.



Weekend in Siena & Carnevale


Italians take their traditions seriously and have many ‘holidays’ throughout the year. Carnival, which can also be known as mardi gras, is a party with ancient roots and still celebrated today in a big way all throughout the country and in different ways. Carnevale which comes from the Latin words carne vale which means ‘farewell to the flesh’ and it is 40 days before Easter with a final party day, ‘Martedi Grasso’ which is translated to ‘Fat Tuesday’ in English. In Venice they throw huge parties where people dress in costumes and throw masquerade balls. In Ivrea they celebrate  with a ‘battle or oranges’, allegory of struggle for freedom, where they actually throw oranges at each other in the town square! Viareggio is a town about 1 hour from where I live and is one of the most famous Carnivals in Italy. They celebrate Carnevale with a month long full of parties, parades, dances and entertainment. It is also common for children to play tricks and run around throwing confetti in the air.