Mary Ann's Blog

Peach Perfect

It’s peach season so get them while they last! My favorite are white peaches with their floral taste and velvety texture. Peaches are delicate though and need a little tender care. They bruise easy so never pile them on top of one another and if they are hard, ripen…

Preserving Italian Parsley

Italian flat leaf parsley is one of the 4 evangelists of Italian cooking; the others being celery, carrots and onions. These are often the starting off point for soups, sauces, stews and stove top in padella cooking. Italian parsley is recognized by its flat, not curly le…

Let them eat Mascarpone Blackberry Cake!

This moist cake with whole blackberries mixed with a rich batter makes the most delicious cake that is perfect for summer indulgence and now is the season for those berries. Scoop up some from your farmers market or local store. Freeze a bunch for winter baking to add to …

Basil Basics

Summer cooking just would not be the same without basil, and for Italians, it is one of the most essential herbs and is always used fresh.Lots of us grow the kingly plant in pots or garden plots and some of us just grab it at the grocery store. In my own garden, there are…

Cherry Tomato Fennel Salad

Crunchy fennel with a slight licorice taste goes perfectly with sweet summer cherry tomatoes and is so easy to put together. Make it about an hour before serving to let the flavors mingle and develop those tasty juices that beg for a piece of bread to mop them up.Cherry T…

Cool Cauliflower

Always neat and tidy-looking snow white cauliflower often gets the cold shoulder at the grocery store because some find the cooking of it offensive with a rotten egg or sulfur smell. Still in recent years, cauliflower has gone to the head of the grocery line as a veggie f…

Fantastico!

Some Italian friends were in town so I treated them to barbecued ribs, something really American. Judging from the pile of bones left on their plates, they really enjoyed them! To get maximum flavor from baby back ribs, cook or grill them slowly (325F) and let them brown …

San Marzano…Where The Plum Tomato is King

I am always intrigued when someone tells me that they grew the most prolific crop of San Marzano tomatoes and I want to let their enthusiasm down slowly when I tell them that no, they did not grow San Marzano, they grew plum tomatoes because there is only one place where …

Cool Off With Gelato

Gelato is made from a custard base with a higher percent of milk and less cream than ice cream. It does not contain egg whites and incorporates much less air than ice cream, leaving it dense, intensely flavored. It is not hard like ice cream but smooth and very shiny to …

Italian Street Food

Up and down the boot of Italy are some very tasty street foods. I am not talking spun sugar cotton candy or fried ice cream but foods with substance and over the years I have had my share of classic ones like ragu filled fried rice balls (arancine) of Sicily and the succu…

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