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Recipes

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.

ANYWAY

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!

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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!

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.)

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Recipes

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”.

Recipes

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.

Recipes

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.

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Recipes

An Italian Thanksgiving

Oh yeah, it’s that time of year again. This is my fourth Thanksgiving here in Italy and as you know Italians do not celebrate Thanksgiving, but I have turned it into my tradition that I do every year here. I celebrate this holiday as a time to be thankful for all the blessings we have. Although I am thankful everyday, I love that this day emphasizes on all that we are grateful for in our lives. Last year I hosted a large Thanksgiving dinner with our friends at the villa, Aia Vecchia, and it was a wonderful evening shared by all. It’s worth it all when I take that first bite of the meal that I worked hours preparing for. I would say this meal has got to be my “comfort food”.

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Good luck trying to find a whole turkey for sale at the grocery store here in Italy until Christmas. I order my turkey from the butcher shop a week or so in advance to make sure I have one in time. The great thing about that is that I know for a fact it’s fresh and caught out in the forest from a hunter. Can’t get any fresher than that!

Recipes

Butternut Squash Risotto

Rice is something I grew up eating, rice and chicken of all types, soups with rice and even desserts like warm rice pudding. Risotto was one of the first things I can say I perfected in Italian cuisine. There are so many different ways you can make risotto, you can be as creative as you wish. When I can’t think of what to make for dinner but have a lot of vegetables in the fridge, I will usually prepare a risotto. Autumn is one of my favorites season because of all the warm flavors that welcomes the it in, especially butternut squash and pumpkin. It was only a matter of time I would make a risotto with some. Delicious dinner to have, followed by a cozy cuddle by the fire with some hot cider.

 
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Recipes

Viva Toscana

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Every season of the year there is different beauty to be appreciated but I especially love the summer months here in Tuscany because the town seems to come alive with the sunflowers blooming, the mediterranean sea reflecting the golden sun, the vineyards producing grapes and all types of colorful flowers popping up in places unexpected. Summer is the season for outdoor concerts, bbq picnics, beach days and lazy afternoons.