Author Archive

Orecchiette Pasta con Cima di Rapa

February 3rd, 2012

This is a standby at La Romita, and one of Edmund’s favorite recipes. Like many dishes served at La Romita, it has just a few ingredients: the challenge of this deceptively simple dish comes in its preparation, which while not lengthy (I made it in about 35 minutes) involves attention to detail. Cima di Rapa – literally, turnip tops – translates to turnip greens: at  La Romita either turnip greens or broccoli rabe are used interchangeably for this recipe, depending on what’s in season. I


Finocchio al Forno

November 17th, 2011
Baked Fennel

Fennel bulb is a seasonal vegetable most readily available in Italy during the cooler months– late Fall, Winter, and Spring. There are certain flavors that are far more appreciated in Italy than in the United States, and one of these is the “licorice” family of flavors. Anise is used to flavor liquors and sweets throughout Italy and Umbria is no exception: you can find the slightly sweet, rock-hard doughnut-shaped cookies called “ciambelle all’anice” in any grocery store in Terni, for example, and of course there


A Harvest Moon – by Katherine Brimberry

October 25th, 2011
Brimberry 2011 Group

Last week in Austin, Texas when the Hunter’s Moon lit up my backyard, I was reminded of the previous full moon, twenty-eight days before, seen from the courtyard of La Romita, an artists’ retreat and school located near Terni, Italy in the heart of Umbria.  It was a glorious, Italian “Harvest Moon” and it kept me awake with its brightness lighting the olive grove around the quiet studio that night. It was a beautiful place to be and to make art.  For two weeks, La


In Depth Interview with Artist Lisa Guthrie

August 24th, 2011
Lisa Guthrie

Artist, art instructor, and landscape architect Lisa Guthrie has been involved with La Romita since 1989!  The Marin County, California resident recently spoke with La Romita’s Amina Quargnali-Diehl about watercolor, her artistic influences, her history with La Romita, current projects, and advice for artists just starting out. Amina: When did you first realize you were an artist? Lisa: I grew up around artists, and grew up around art… it was always expected. My childhood scrawls were always encouraged. My father had a classical arts background


Asheville North Carolina

February 28th, 2011
Amina in Perugia

This weekend, Dave and I and the kids went to the lovely Blue Ridge mountain town of Asheville, North Carolina. Asheville is about 350 miles northeast of Montgomery, Alabama, where we currently live: it’s not a bad drive, mostly I-85 northwest through Alabama, then Georgia, and once in South Carolina a jog north and uphill for approximately 60 miles. Now the reason why we went to Asheville was for me to get a “mountains” fix and also get a little of the granola culture we


Arista Di Maiale

February 14th, 2011

This delicious, flavorful roast takes advantage of a favorite method of Italian cooking: slow, oven-top braising. This technique is used frequently by the La Romita cooks, and you can freely substitute other meats – beef, lamb, or even turkey, though the resulting roast will not be “arista” (see below). Arista di Maiale You will need a dutch-oven-type pot or wide-bottomed stock-pot for the stove-top: something that the roast can comfortably fit into for cooking. Cooking time: Approximately 2.5 hours. Ingredients: A 2.5 to 3.5 pork


Sugo al Pomodoro

January 18th, 2011
Pasta Al Pomodoro

Sugo Al Pomodoro is the quintessential Italian tomato sauce. With a list of only 3 ingredients, its flavor is largely dependent on their quality. Fortunately, it has become easier and easier to find good quality ingredients in American super markets! Obviously, tomatoes are the focal ingredient, so the most care should be made in selecting them. Sometimes supermarkets will stock different brands of tomatoes in their ethnic foods aisle. Often, the better tasting tomatoes are cheaper than the core American brands! Sugo al Pomodoro This


Perguia In Winter

January 6th, 2011
Amina in Perugia

Ciao tutti! By way of introduction, I’m Amina Quargnali-Diehl. My relationship to La Romita School of Art is as follows: I’m a member of LRSA’s Board of Directors, and the daughter of Paola Quargnali, Enza’s sister. Paola died in 2003, but for many years was an equal partner with Enza in running LRSA. My brother Alessandro, also an integral  part of La Romita School and a Board member, is the School’s web-guru and the architect of all things Internet and social-media related. Yeah Sandro for

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