Would you like to sample some Italian food? Savor a little Italian culture? See some historic and regional sights? If so, you want to join me for A Taste of Italy weekend, as did four new friends from Geneva last week. English was our common language but we represented five different countries: Russia, Germany, Wales, Kazakhstan and the U.S.

Irina, Jen, Jutta and Aiken got a Taste of Italy in Torino

They arrived on Friday, checked into their B&B, and then joined me for lunch, all recipes from my cookbooks. Here was our menu:

Artichoke & Roasted Pepper Soup, p. 45 in Around Our Table

Couscous Salad with Rotisserie Chicken, p. 20 in Around Our Table

…and Chocolate Irish Coffee Mousse, p. 73 in Around Our Table to fill in the cracks.

After lunch we went up to see the magnificent Sacra di San Michele, an impressive monastery overlooking Torino.

When we got back, we had our first cooking lesson…

…preparing our asparagus and green beans for roasting.

Next we made fresh pasta….

…with everyone having a chance to try their hand at it…

Since three of them bought a pasta maker the next day…I would say they’ enjoyed it!

Our theme for supper was lemons…so we used our fresh pasta to make Tagliatelle with Lemon and Pine Nuts, a new recipe, not in my books.

Irina took over at the stove, helping to make our Chicken in Lemon Sauce (p. 118 in O Taste & See Some More) which we enhanced with the addition of some prosciutto and sage.

The grand finale for our lemon-themed dinner was Lemon Mousse Cake, always a favorite! You can find it on p. 95 in Around Our Table, or follow the steps on an earlier blog entry.

Saturday dawned bright and sunny… and we headed into Torino to see the sights. Italian flags are flying everywhere in honor of Italy’s 150th anniversary in March. We walked Via Roma, had a coffee at Caffè Torino, watched a new multimedia presentation about Italy’s unification, and visited the Shroud of Turin. All that before lunch at Pastificio Defilippis where they’ve been making fresh pasta since 1872!

We sampled four different homemade pastas and then…we savored Torino’s best ice cream from Grom.

Are you drooling? Please get a napkin!

Now, with the energy from all that food…it was time to do some shopping…the market, some department stores, more markets…

When we returned home, I introduced the girls to one of my favorite Italian meals: grilled pizzas. We prepared our toppings, rolled out the dough…

…and then grilled it with three different toppings…

Arugula, Prosciutto and Parmesan…Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese…Mozzarella with Tomato Sauce…

Are you drooling again? I have to say, they were delicious! You can find out how to make them in my step-by-step instructions in an earlier blog entry.

The following morning we visited a lovely winery south of Torino.

One of the owners, Enrico, gave us a full wine-making tour of their facility….the Rovero Winery

And then we sat down for an eight-course dinner…sampling some of their best food and wine!

The final course was a sampling of three different desserts from this region:

I’ve never made Panna Cotta (literally “cooked cream”) but after tasting it, I intend to! To learn how to make Bunet, read by blog entry which I made with my neighbor, Mariangela.

Well, now we start our diets…but it was worth every calorie! I’m ready to do it again…I’ll just have to get off my diet for a few days. Want to come for a Taste of Italy? Click here to find out all about it!

Ciao!

Debbie

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