Christmas Recipes

Christmas Recipes
Christmas Recipes

Italian Recipes

Italian Recipes
Italian Recipes

Dessert Recipes

Dessert Recipes
Dessert Recipes

Nutella Swirl Bundt Cake

Nutella Swirl Bundt Cake

Chocolate is not a flavor I feature here too, too often. Maybe because I do secretly love chocolate. I do love this Nutella Swirl Bundt Cake very, very much! So when you secretly love something you have to stay away from it as much as you can. Avoid it like the plague. Run in the other direction as soon as you see something delightful made with chocolate. Some days it is just like that!


Skillet Lasagna Bolognese

Skillet Lasagna Bolognese
The longer I sit on a post, the longer it never gets published.  What did it take to publish this sensational skillet lasagna Bolognese. Apparently, a lot!! I cook every night for my kids. Can I tell you how often I make a pasta dish? Very often. There aren’t too many pasta dishes that create excitement as this skillet lasagna Bolognese!!


Dream of Venice with JoAnn Locktov

Today we are sharing a guest post from JoAnn Locktov.

If you read a lot, nothing is as great as you’ve imagined. Venice is— Venice is better.

– Fran Lebowitz

She’s right. Venice was better. More than I ever could have imagined. My first trip 18 years ago left such an indelible impression it changed my life. On that first trip, wandering the calli, turning each corner to be greeted by aquatic reflections and a crumbling patchwork of ochers, I decided I would find a way to integrate my professional life with this incredible floating city. It started with one Venetian company, and a new career. Now I am publishing books that celebrate into the treasure that is La Serenissima.

In Dream of Venice, some people have been bewildered by our lack of formal book traditions. There are no page numbers, no table of contents. We do not identify any of the locations. This is all part of our desire to have the book replicate a passeggiata, a stroll through Venice, where you never know exactly what may greet you.

Venice is a liquid maze; it flows along the contours of the canals, over a bridge, under a sotoportego. It is a walking city. The absence of cars gives a peaceful quality to the city, and our bodies relax into a different rhythm.

So please, join me for a meander through the photography of Charles Christopher, matched with words from an illustrious group of Venetophiles. Here is a taste of our dream that is Venice…

Venice is a state of mind. That is, the scintillating, kaleidoscopic, shifting colors of that watery realm remain alive inside me long after I depart the actual city. – Frances Mayes

“Neither land nor sea” proudly say the Venetians. The city is born from the waters like Aphrodite, constantly on the verge of plunging back to the sea, living in its own precarious balance. – Alessandro Falassi

I call my late night peregrinations "once around the block," and although I have discovered many routes and sometimes have the pleasure of choosing different crossroads, I have come to discover that "all roads lead to Rome" - which, for me, always means San Marco. – Hutton Wilkinson

The season that best fits the most beautiful man-made city is winter, when the laguna is in monochrome. No crowds, no tourists, no noise. Just the sound of languid canal water lapping the sides of the gondola, the distant wailing horn that announces high tide. – Eleonora Baldwin

The unexpected mystery of Venice... misleading reflections, startling shadows, ominous light and shade, and endless corners. What's round the next one? – Julie Christie

The merchants of Venice became the richest people in Europe in the presence of this clock. For hundreds of years the rotation of its golden rays brought pepper, silk, ginger, glass, furs and pearls, frankincense and carpets – anything that the world might contain – here to the Rialto. This was the souk of the Western world. – Roger Crowley

Ci conosciamo dai nostri passi - we know each other by our footsteps. – Nan McElroy

Guest post by: JoAnn Locktov

Photography credits: Charles Christopher Photography
Find more of JoAnn here:



Top Italy Bloggers Share Why #iLoveItaly!

Top Italy Bloggers Share Why #iLoveItaly!

How do you explain why you love a place so much? Especially a place that is as magical and beautiful as Italy!! In honor of the most romantic day in the world, we asked 10 of our friends and Top Italy Bloggers to share "Why  #iLoveItaly" with one of their favorite Italy photos.

Enjoy these beautiful images and for more BEAUTIFUL Italy, please take the time to visit their blogs. You will be amazed by their work!
Top Italy Bloggers Share Why #iLoveItaly!

Why #iLoveItaly because we always know how to have a good time!

-Monica Cesarato from Cook in Venice | Twitter: @monicacesarato

Top Italy Bloggers Share Why #iLoveItaly!

Why #iLoveItaly: A gondola ride in Venice= a dream come true. Italy never ceases 2 take my breath away-it's my passion, my love, my heart.
-Victoria De Maio from Postcardz from Victoria | Twitter: @LaDolceVita4Me

Top Italy Bloggers Share Why #iLoveItaly!

Why #iLove Italy: because there’s always a piazza where everybody - young, old, Italian or not - can sit, have a coffee and just chat for awhile. Life!

- Sarah Dowling from Italy Project 365 | Twitter: @ItalyProject

Why #iLoveItaly: because it doesn't apologize for who and what it is, to love 'her' is to 'accept' her.

-Georgette Jupe from Girl in Florence | Twitter: @girlinflorence

I love the endless romance in the streets of Italy, especially from the nonni. Why #iLoveItaly.

 -Tiana Kai from Tiana Kai  | Twitter: @TianaPix  | Instagram: @notmynonni

So much a part of the Italian lifestyle - Laundry hanging in the seaside town of Portofino. Why I #iloveItaly.

-Margie Miklas from  Margie in Italy  | Twitter: @MargieMiklas

Reflections ~ of centuries past. Ripples of time that move across the surface, reminding me of what was, so long ago. Why #iLoveItaly.

-Susan Nelson from Timeless Italy | Twitter: @evabellalucia

A gondola on the Grand Canal in #Venice: to me the essence of the most romantic city in the world. Why #iLoveItaly.

-Orna O'Reilly from Orna O'Reilly | Twitter: @OrnaOR

I’m inspired by the ageless beauty I find meandering along the cobble, looking about and marveling at what still occupies the space today. Why #iLoveItaly.

-Tom Weber from The Palladian Traveler | Twitter: @tompalladioink

Only in Sicily can you explore the entire Mediterranean in the architecture of one building. Why #iLoveItaly.

-Rick Zullo from Rick's Rome | Twitter: @RickZullo1

Savoring the South: Five Great Tastes you’ll only find in Puglia!

Savoring the South: Five Great Tastes you’ll only find in Puglia

Even in a country where every region has its own distinct culinary heritage, the food and drink of Puglia stands out as unique. And although famous regional specialties like orecchiette and primitivo can now be found and enjoyed around the world, there are still certain highlights that can only be enjoyed in Italy’s stunning heel. Here are five things you need to sample the next time you visit Puglia. Your taste buds will be grateful you made the effort.

Fave e Cicoria

Try it at: Cibus, Ceglie Messapica

Much of the cuisine of Southern Italy has its roots in poverty. Cucina povera, the Italians like to call it. But for a sample of cucina poverissima, you’ll have to head to Puglia to try the famous Fave e Cicoria; a bowl of fava bean puree, topped with bitter chicory, a few croutons of fried bread and a generous pour of local extra virgin olive oil. The art of Fave e Cicoria has been handed down through the generations, and one of the very best interpretations is unveiled daily at Cibus <>, a rightfully celebrated restaurant in the foodie paradise of Ceglie Messapica where rustic dishes are served with elegant simplicity. For many Pugliese, this dish is the ultimate taste of their cultural heritage. Nutritious and filling, our friend Bruno insists that a good bowl of the stuff “Takes you to heaven!”

Ciceri e Tria

Try it at: Alle Due Corti, Lecce

You won’t find Ciceri e Tria anywhere outside the Salento region, the tip of the Puglian heel. An explosive bundle of flavor concocted from the seemingly simple combination of chickpeas and pasta – half boiled, half fried – the skill is in the frying and the seasoning. That’s where Rosalba De Carlo and her family at Alle Due Corti <> have turned the dish into an art form, perfectly balancing the creaminess of the chickpea sauce with hints of deep fried crunch. Don’t expect formal dining at Alle Due Corti. This is traditional Cucina Salentina, where the portions are generous and the menu is printed in local dialect and English, leaving non-local Italians often asking other diners to help discover exactly what they’re ordering.


Try it at: Pasticceria Ascalone, Galatina; and Pasticceria Cheri, Campi Salentina

If you’re talking pastry in the Puglia, then you’re talking Pasticciotto. Crispy yet soft pastry on the outside. Sweet, creamy custard on the inside. You can find this delicious treat in every bar in the Salento, but there’s nowhere better to taste it than the actual pasticceria where it was invented, Ascalone, in Galatina. They’ve been churning out these little packets of pleasure since 1745, and even now Salentini will drive from miles for a taste of the classic recipe.

For those seeking a break from tradition, it’s worth the trip to Campi Salentina to seek the famous Pasticciotto Obama, the heart-in-the-right-place but politically incorrect tribute to the first Afro-American President at Pasticceria Cheri <>. Yes, it’s a chocolate Pasticciotto. Yes, it’s like a magical Salento brownie. And yes, it’s as delicious as it sounds.

Espressino and Caffe in Ghiaccio

Try it at: Avio, Lecce

The classic Italian rules of coffee are a little different in Puglia. Sure, you can still get espresso and cappuccino but where’s the fun in that? The beverages of choice in Italy’s deep Southeast are Espressino – a full shot of espresso with half the milk of a classic cappuccino and a dusting of chocolate – and Caffe in Ghiaccio, coffee on the rocks, traditionally served with sweet almond milk. And there’s nowhere better to try either than Avio <>, a beloved standing room only bar in the heart of Lecce where Caffe in Ghiaccio comes with its own cremina; a unique coffee foam that’s recipe is a closely guarded secret. The perfect coffee for those warm Salento afternoons, there’s simply nothing else like it.

Altamura Bread

Try it at: Bisco, Altamura

Altamura, an adorable town in the Murgia region of Puglia, is generally regarded as home to Italy’s best bread. Which means it must be in consideration for any discussion about the tastiest bread on Earth. At Bisco <>, one of the city’s ten DOP bakeries, they create crusty, gently sourdough loaves so delicious they’re irresistible without any toppings. While there we were given the honor (or possibly the punishment) of shaping the precious dough before putting it in the oven. No matter how many times the bakers showed us how a few simple tugs and pats on the dough could produce perfect domes, the best we could manage would more accurately be described as splats.


These are just five of the unique tastes that make Puglia, in our opinion, the most fascinating and delicious region in all of Italy. Every town, no matter how small, has its own specialties and treats. It’s a region proud of its culinary heritage; although you’re more likely to be treated to samples than history lessons. Speak to locals, and they’ll inevitably recommend their favorite places and what you need to try when you get there. This is a region that takes food and drink seriously, but also understands that’s any dish tastes even better when served with a smile and a sense of fun.

That’s the beauty of Puglia, a region where food and drink are more than tastes. They’re adventures and experiences. That’s why we love coming back for more.

 Author's bio:

Espressino Travel specializes in Group and Private Tours of Puglia and the Salento. You can follow themFacebook, on Twitter at @espressinotrav and on Instagram.  For details of their Tours visit Espressino Travel

Photo and text credits: Robert Collins-Espressino Travel

Italy Magazine Blog Awards

Italy Magazine Blog Awards

It was a very exciting morning to see the news that Savoring Italy was shortlisted for the Italy Magazine Blog Awards 2014!!  I would like to thank all my readers and listeners. It is truly because all of you, and I am humbled and honored.

Savoring Italy has been nominated in the category: Best Single Post Art and Culture Blog for the post titled Sicilian Food Memories and a Day with 2-Star Michelin Chef Pino Cuttaia.

Italy Magazine Blog Awards

Italy Magazine Blog Awards

I am grateful for your support and appreciate your votes!

You may click on this link to vote:

Voting ends February 27, 2015 with the winners announced on March 3, 2015 at Italy Magazine.

A huge thank you will all my heart!!!

A big congratulations to all of my friends that were nominated in various categories!


No-Knead Olive Bread - #TwelveLoaves

No-Knead Olive Bread

It has been on my mind for a while. This simple and incredible, no-knead olive bread. I couldn't stop thinking about making this bread. This no-knead olive bread was in my thoughts for days and weeks and it was just a problem of finding the time to put it together.