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Pure Awesomeness… Sort Of…

Italian food, drinks, and culture – All from one great cookbook.

Although well-known for its delicious dishes, the heart of Italy culture is actually driven by numerous artistic forces, all of which have inspired my writing and passion for all things Italian. The movie industry thrives on scenic locations like Rome, Sicily, and Venice, which have lent beautiful backgrounds and historic architecture to classics like Roman Holiday, The Godfather, Part III, and Ben Hur. Undeniably, Italy was a prime filming location in the 1950s and 1960s. Yet, a revival of cinema across the country is on the rise, as Italy was home to the filming of recent blockbusters like The Talented Mr. Ripley, Gangs of New York, and most recently, Ocean’s Twelve. Filmed between Paris, Italy, and Amsterdam, Ocean’s Twelve hit Italian hot spots like the Grand Hotel Plaza situated on the via del Corso, the Stazione Termini, the Pantheon, and even quaint cafes near Campidoglio, much like those I spent countless Sunday afternoons in sipping the day away on espressos and granitas. Situated in the hills of Italy, these outdoor small cafes are an integral part of both Italian foods and in living the Italian motto, “’e dolce fare niente’” (how sweet it is to do nothing). Italians don their most vogue fashions in preparation for the passeggiata, or afternoon stroll, which culminates in a visit to a scenic café to sit and sip the chicest coffees and aperitifs while watching life float by. If you chose the right location, you might even be privy to enjoy the energy of street performers and artists trying to sell their works, like those filling the streets of Piazza Navona. As they say, when in Rome, do like the Romans do. However, if Italian sightseeing didn’t make your summer agenda, you can still enjoy a hint of Italian culture with these featured drink recipes appearing in my bestseller, The Basic Art of Italian Cooking. For recipes, events, and more, surf to Portions of the proceeds of the book go to Gilda’s and for anyone that purchases the book through and sends an email (within 48 hrs of purchase) to mofomon AT to let us know you purchased the book- you will receive special autographed copy of the book and a free sample of my new spice blend –Sapori D’Italia with a recipe to try it out.


Granita Al Caffe (Italian Style Iced Coffee)

  • Makes 4 Servings
  • 1 ½ cups expresso coffee (use a good quality coffee like Illy)
  • 1 cup of Spring Water
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 Vanilla Stick Crushed Ice

Place water, sugar, and the vanilla stick in a pan and let boil. When boiling, take off heat. Let cool and take out vanilla stick. Place in an ice cube tray and let this mixture turn to ice in the freezer. When frozen, place ice in ice crusher to crush or chop with knife (carefully). Place 3 tbsps of crushed or chopped ice in each glass pour hot coffee (just made) over the ice. Serve immediately.

Raspberry Frullato (Frullato Al Lamponi)

  • Makes 4 Servings
  • 1 pound of fresh raspberries
  • 3 white peaches
  • 3 tbsps of lemon juice
  • 2 tbsps of cinnamon syrup
  • ¾ cup orange juice (preferably blood red orange juice)

Place on 4 toothpicks each, 4 washed raspberries and one small piece of washed white peach. Set aside. Place in blender the remainder of raspberries that have been carefully washed the peaches that remain that have been washed and peeled, lemon juice, 1/3 cup orange juice, and cinnamon syrup. Place mixture in aluminum container and place in freezer for 40 minutes. Do not totally freeze. Pour into 4 large glasses, and add in the rest of the orange juice divided equally into 4 glasses. Complete by topping with the fruit on the toothpick. Serve immediately.

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