Cucina Italiana – Zuppa Inglese

June 11th, 2012
zuppa-inglese-slice

Zuppa Inglese This is one of the classic, home-made desserts you might be served if invited over for pranzo (lunch) or dinner in many parts of Italy: a bit more refined than a simple crostata, but not as complicated (or expensive) as tiramisu’.  Think of it as equivalent, on the elegance scale, to a home-baked pie —  and, like a pie, Zuppa Inglese can be endlessly refined and tweaked subject to one’s taste and fancy. It is also a popular gelato flavor. Wikipedia reports that

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La Romita Starts 2012 with a Burst of Color!

June 10th, 2012
Edmund

Spring is here and La Romita is in full swing; mild temperatures and some afternoon showers have the entire region verdant and blooming.  The red poppies are virtually everywhere, lining the roads and filling the spaces among the olive trees.  From the golden poppies of California to crimson trails of Umbria, my springtime migration leads me to the soft light of the Mediterranean sun, the many ages of human accomplishment, artistic and architectural, and to the warmth of the Italian people…my friends and colleagues and

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Fagottini di Maiale al Tartufo

May 12th, 2012
franca_fagottini

This is a delicious secondo, or meat course, that requires a bit more preparation than many of the recipes featured here, but is well worth the effort. Fagottino means “little bundle” and in this case the pork slices are combined with cheese, sage, and truffle paste into little bundles and then baked– delicious! We’ve given the original ingredients as used by Egizia and Franca, but listed appropriate substitutes that will yield similar results in terms of taste and texture. Fagottini di Maiale al Tartufo Ingredients

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Linguine al Pesto

March 5th, 2012
Basil and Mortar

Pesto isn’t exactly the recipe of the season, since basil is best at the height of summer. Still, in the middle of winter a nice pesto is a breath of freshness and a promise of the coming seasons. For those of us in the warmer climes, getting some fresh organic basil will be easier, but for those of us where winter has a bite there are plenty of greenhouse gardens capable of supplying the couple of cups of basil necessary for this dish. A little

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March 2012 – From Sun to Snow to Rain

March 5th, 2012
Edmund

I have been to Texas…and it is a very cool place.  Open, friendly people and a thriving arts scene.  Of course this is common knowledge, especially in the Southwest, but I’m fortunate to have had the chance to experience it first hand.  My hosts in Austin, the Richards / Zeugin clan, were wonderful.  The chance to have breakfast tacos and learn about Tex / Mex cuisine in general was just part of it.  Sharon Zeugin and her daughter Maeve and husband Clark Richards helped me

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January/February 2012 –

February 4th, 2012
Edmund

The 2012 season is looking great at La Romita.  Lots of folks are signing up for our dizzying array of art workshops led by an amazing group of teachers.  Shortly I will be making a series of presentations about La Romita and the art of Umbria in three states in addition to my home state of California. I will be in Austin with Sharon Zuegin at Katherine Brimberry’s Flatbed Press the weekend of the 17th of February, then in San Antonio, Kerrville and the Texas

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Orecchiette Pasta con Cima di Rapa

February 3rd, 2012
cimadirapa_finished

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

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December 2011 – With Thanks

December 21st, 2011
Edmund

First…we sincerely wish each of you the most enjoyable and meaningful holiday season.  The La Romita family is certainly far-flung, with our extended family reaching around the globe…and including each of you.  This family extends in time as well as space; some of you haven’t been back to Umbria in decades but your cards and missives—electronic or otherwise—continue to arrive and to warm our hearts.  I have just finished my tenth season at La Romita, and having worked with about 1500 participants, feel I’m just

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