Mary Ann's Blog

The Ciao Italia Pronto Playlist

I've compiled some of my favorite Pronto recipes into a special Pronto Playlist! From 10 Minute Tomato Sauce to Key Lime Pie in a Glass, these are some delicious recipes that can be made pronto. You can view them all in the playlist below.   

| 1 Comment

Pass The Paccheri

Paccheri pasta is very popular right now; these gigantic looking rigatoni, both in short and long form are perfect with a homemade tomato sauce. Add roasted eggplant to the sauce and now we are talking. To make this sauce,  cut 5 long Japanese style eggplants (the s…

| 1 Comment

Can You Bake A Pie?

I just felt like baking a cherry pie, even though the temps have been close to 100F recently.  Call me crazy. Here are some tips for baking pies in general. 1) For single crust fruit filled pies, pre-bake the crust for about 10 minutes to avoid crust sogginess. I li…

| 1 Comment

Had Enough Zucchini?

By now, anyone who has a garden and planted zucchini is in a bind, so to speak. When will we ever learn that one plant is PLENTY! Each year, my well-meaning gardener-husband goes overboard with hills of 6 or 7 plants, “just in case one does not take.” They all…


A Kale Salad That Can't Be Beet

Kale and beets have prominent spots in my garden and right now, it is time to harvest them. When I do, I start conjuring up how I will use them in new ways. That’s when I thought about combining the two into a salad full of healthy benefits. I got to work; first I c…

Delicious Deconstructed Eggplant Parmigiano

So eggplant lovers, here is my new way to have eggplant Parmigiano without having to fry anything and without a lot of unnecessary fillings, like meats, veggies, eggs, olives, mushrooms and a host of other things. I favor a small round violet colored Italian eggplant call…

Strawberry Fare

Summer is a glorious time to be in Italy with rich red poppies waving lazily in the breeze as far as the eye can see and if you find yourself in the environs of Rome and want to take a break from all the art, architecture and crowds, make a little side trip to the charmin…

Tips for Basil

My basil is gorgeous this year, and over time I've learned a few tricks to keep it growing and looking lush. 1) I keep it covered in the garden with row covering that keeps bugs out and lets sunshine and rain in.  2) When I harvest it, I have a bucket of water read…


The Cooking of Piedmont with Mary Ann Esposito

SOLD OUT! The Cooking of Piedmont with Mary Ann Esposito 30 September-11 October 2016 The fascinating region of Piedmont (Piemonte), meaning "foot of the mountains," has long been a favorite with gourmets, as it's home to many of Italy's finest wines, like …


Ten Things To Do To Prevent Common Garden Diseases

From seasoned gardeners to those getting their hands dirty for the first time, there is a way to avoid that frustration that comes when the plants that you thought were so healthy and thriving, suddenly bite the dust. Here are ten simple practices to put in place to avoid…

Want more Recipes? See My Latest Book

Ciao Italia Family Classics

Mary Ann returns to her family's humble beginnings to bring us a treasure trove of more than 200 time-honored recipes.

Buy it now from Amazon