About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

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Pisciotta--Olive Oil Cake

Marcella tells us that this cake originates in the hills above Verona so I knew my fruity and delicious Garda Olive Oil would be perfect for it and it was. Actually it became the star of the dish:


The recipe is very straight forward--Beat the eggs with the sugar:


Add lemon zest, Marsala wine and dry ingredients and put into a tube pan:


This cake smells divine while baking!

I actually baked it a bit too long, so the crust was a little dark but the interior was quite moist and the flavors were all there. I loved the levels of the subtle lemon and Marsala and the beautiful fruit of the gorgeous oil. This cake was absolutely fantastic!


Comments (5)

I love Olive Oil Cake. Haven't made Marcella's version yet. Must try soon.

Marcella Hazan:

Did you buy your Garda oil at Peck's, Sandi? Olive oil from the western shore of the lake is my favorite oil. Very difficult to find, in this country. Cybercucina is the only source I have found. Online, of course.

This is Jan: Yes, I did buy it at Peck, in Milano and I have only a tiny bit left. It is my favorite olive oil, ever!
Hope to return to Italy in 2012 and get some more.

Ray Anne:

The cake sounds fabulous - it inspired me to do some research and I found this site.


Is this the olive oil that you used? I think they they will deliver in the US.

Ray Anne:

The cake sounds delicious and inspired me to do some research. I found this site...


Is this the right olive oil? I think that they ship to the US.

Steve Fargo:

I am a big fan of marcella hazan and once owned classic italian cooking but lent the book to someone and (quite understandably) havent seen it since! Nothing better supplements a foreigner's direct experience of food in italy than marcella's great work.

Have made the pisciotta recipe many times and each time it was a standout to those who do not know it, and though i would almost kill to have the recipe again, i think i can reconstruct it from memory if i do not break down and buy a second copy first.

It is capable of variation and the favourite of mine was to make a savoury version with fresh rosemary, black pepper, ground pine nuts and roasted garlic, cutting well back the sugar but otherwise not modifying the recipe at all.

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