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.

« Friday's final thoughts~ | Main | Beth’s Final Thoughts »

Saturday's Final Thoughts from Palma

Let me begin my final post with an apology for not posting my last recipe on the scheduled date. I have JUST returned from 4 weeks in Italy (Venice, Bologna and Lake Como), where I ate many of the foods from The Essentials of Italian Cooking. The very last page of my list was missing, and I happily thought I had one more dish to prepare for TODAY, when I would be home. As it turns out, on my last weekend in Italy, I contacted Jerry, and found I was scheduled for last Saturday, June 4. I had no kitchen, so I enjoyed my last few days in Italy, hoping for forgiveness for my goof. I have now back-posted Focaccette - Cheese-Filled Pasta Fritters, on June 4 where they belong! We are complete! I'm glad I was able to try this recipe, as it is one of my favorites!


Looking back over the past 15 months, I am very pleased and honored that I participated in this project. I have learned much, and eaten well. I am touched by the knowledge, the experience, the love and support Marcella and Victor have given to this blog. I am humbled to be in the company of my fellow pomodori, and admire everyone’s dedication, persistence and honesty. I raise my wine glass to toast this group of brave home cooks!

There have been many special moments. I learned to clean an artichoke correctly. I cooked lamb kidneys and a whole fish. I made Marcella weep at my aversion to tomatoes. I also made her laugh with a “Pasta, Pasta, Pasta” DVD. I wandered the markets in Venice and Bologna with an improved understanding of ingredients. I have a new repertoire of dishes to serve guests. I have a slightly stained and well-used copy of a wonderful cookbook.

My favorite dishes could be served in this dinner party menu:

Chunks of 36 month parmigiano with 25 year-old balsamico and Cresentina (mine WAS better than Diana’s)


Handmade tagliatelle with butter and rosemary sauce (my absolute favorite recipe!)
I think of this as "making dinner from nothing". There is always pasta and bullion cubes in my pantry. There is always rosemary in my garden. If there is butter and garlic in the fridge, we have the makings of a remarkable and simple dish!


Rolled-up breast of veal with pancetta OR Veal Rolls with anchovies and mozzarella


Braised and Gratineed Celery


Pan Roasted Diced Potatoes



I’m not a big dessert person, but some macerated fruit and a hazelnut cookie sound perfect!

Mille grazie to Marcella, Victor, all the Pomodori, and to Deborah for keeping us organized on this memorable project!

Comments (2)

I have a couple of things to say here:

First, Palma, you are my ideal of the consummate hostess. Anyone who spends any time at all visiting Palmabella's Passions blog will agree with me.

Second, I just love all those beautiful serving pieces you used to display your food.And the way you've carefully selected and then brought them back in your luggage from Italy.

BTW - You've sold me. I'm fixing pasta with butter and rosemary sauce for dinner tonight.


Thanks again for the pasta slide show. It's amazing to see how much work went in to that chapter.

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