Love from Italia

new blog post  Perfect Recipes for my Friends...

Olive Oil Recipes from Rome

November 30, 2010

The Eternal City and Olio Nuovo…..

New Oil – just pressed - is a treasure that needs the right dish to be paired with to showcase it in all its unctuous velvety goldenness. Whether the oil comes from Northern Italy, Southern Italy, Central Italy, Sicily or Sardinia, it needs to be presented simply, letting the oil shine (no pun intended!).

The Thought: “Tutte le strade conducono a Roma” – every street will take you to Rome – immediately came to mind when I thought of ways to use Olio Nuovo… because, two of my favorite ways are with Roman specialties!

Whenever we go to Rome we always eat at least once at Di Rienzo - a wonderful restaurant across from the Pantheon. I always have”Cacio e Pepe” - Spaghetti with cheese and pepper…Such a simple pasta but, the ingredients must be the best! A superb dish to drizzle Olio Nuovo on just before your first bite!!! It’s not a traditional thing to do…BUT, what a glorious delight!

And, of course, there is the “Bucatini all’Amatriciana”…served at every Roman Restaurant, Osteria and Trattoria…Pasta with spicy tomato sauce!  I substitute Olio Nuovo for the olive oil that I usually use to sauté the guanciale in and save it until the last...for drizzling over the completed dish before serving...not for the sauté! It is a wonderful use for this very special oil!

A third way to use the new oil is in a special cake I make for Thanksgiving at home – Lemon-Almond Cake.  Substitute Olio Nuovo for the oil in the ingredient list …Splendido!  

My recipes for them below…Buon Appetito!


Cacio e Pepe

1 lb. Spaghetti

1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

4-5 tablespoons Olio Nuovo

Combine the Pecorino and black pepper. Cook the pasta to aldente. Drain the pasta reserving 1 cup pasta water. Add the hot pasta to the cheese and pepper. Toss quickly adding as much of the pasta water as needed to make the pasta creamy. Drizzle with the Olio Nuovo and serve.


Bucatini all’Amatriciana

1 pound Bucatini pasta…or other tubed pasta

4 oz. guanciale or pancetta, cut into cubes

1 crushed red chile or red pepper flakes to taste

½ cup dry white wine

1 28-ounce whole tomatoes – chopped, with juice

Freshly grated Pecorino Romano Cheese

4 – 5 tablespoon Olio Nuovo

In a large skillet, sauté the guanciale slowly until the fat has rendered and it is browned – 4-5 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes or chile and the wine. Let reduce for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer until thickened. The sauce may be made a few days ahead.

Cook the pasta until it is al dente. Drain and toss with the sauce and the Pecorino. Drizzle with the Olio Nuovo and serve.


Almond-Lemon Cake

1 cup all purpose flour mixed with 1 teas. baking powder

¾ cup sugar

¼ teas. salt

½ cup light olive oil – use Olio Nuovo if possible

½ cup butter

1 8-oz. can Almond Paste – cut into cubes

4 eggs

Zest of one lemon

1/3 – 1/2 cup Amaretto Liqueur or Limoncello

Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 inch springform pan. Cream the butter, oil, sugar in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until fluffy. Add the almond paste and the lemon zest and beat until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Add the flour baking powder mixture. Stir to blend.

Place cake mixture in the pan and bake for 45 minutes or until browned and a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the center. While warm, brush with the Amaretto or Limoncello. Chill. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

RECIPE for Porchetta

August 31, 2010

The secret to LFI’s Tuscan Porchetta ** is finocchio mixed with salt, EV olive oil and fresh Rosemary…divine!

Love from Italia’s Roasted Porchetta

8 – 9 lb. pork loin butterflied

1 lb. thinly sliced pancetta

Mix together :

2 teas. Fiore di Finocchio, 1 tbls. kosher salt, 2 teas. black pepper, 1  tbls. red chili flakes, 1tbls. Lemon zest, 1 tbls. Profumo del Chianti seasoning

A large handful of Fresh Rosemary – leaves removed from 4 - 5 sprigs fresh Rosemary

Juice of 1 large lemon – zest used in seasoning mix

Pace di Poggio Etrusco Olive oil

Kosher salt  and pepper

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Pat the butterflied pork dry. Generously sprinkle the seasoning mix on the meat . Squeeze the juice of the lemon over the seasoning. Sprinkle the Rosemary leaves over and drizzle olive oil over all. Press the mixture into the meat. Tightly roll the meat into a roll. Lay the pancetta slices over the top of the roll. Tightly tie the roll using butcher’s twine at 1 inch intervals. Generously sprinkle the roll with kosher salt and pepper. Place in a foil lined pan. Place in the preheated oven and let roast for 5 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees and roast for 2 to 2 ½  hours.

After the roast has cooked for 1 hour, lay quartered new potatoes, onions and carrots around the roast and drizzle with a little more oil. Continue to cook for the remaining 1 to 1 ½ hours. Remove from the oven and remove the roast and vegetables from the pan. Stir wine and stock in the drippings, loosening any charred bits. Slice the roast and drizzle the meat and vegetables with the dripping sauce.



LFI News

August 31, 2010

We have added two EXCLUSIVE NEW Products at Love from Italia for your enjoyment!

From Pamela Sheldon Johns’ Agriturismo Poggio Etrusco- “ Pace di Poggio Etrusco” ORGANIC Limited Production Extra Virgin Olive oil!

Pamela Sheldon Johns internationally known chef, Italian food authority and cookbook author and her artist husband, Johnny Johns, own an Organic Olive Farm - Agriturismo – in Montepulciano Tuscany.

 In addition to conducting cooking classes and personalized tours and writing wonderful cookbooks, she and Johnny harvest and produce fabulous ORGANIC Olive Oil – Pace di Poggio Etrusco!  ONLY 600 liters are produced each year! It is a truly incredible tasting oil and we have it!

Pace di Poggio Etrusco is delightfully peppery, full bodied and has wonderful spice and flower notes – rose and bay. It is such a special oil and can be used for finishing, drizzling and dipping…SIMPLY HEAVENLY! We love it and know you will too!

500ml bottle only $40

From our favorite Tuscan Butcher Dario Cecchini, Fiore di Finocchio!

Dario, the Master Butcher of Tuscany, knows what are the best ways to cut, season and cook beef, lamb and pork…we are so very fortunate to be able to offer in the US his Profumo seasoning .

We just received our first shipment of his Fiore di Finocchio…pure fennel pollen!

It’s ours exclusively and is the finest we’ve seen. So perfect with pork, chicken, lamb and fish…we love its fresh flavor reminiscent of mild anise and mint…and its uses are endless.

We like to mix equal parts of sea salt, pepper, melted butter and finocchio and use to baste when baking or grilling chicken, fish and root vegetables.

Mix with olive oil, sea salt, red and black pepper to rub on pork or lamb before grilling!

We love to use in frittatas and it’s fabulous added to Hollandaise and Béarnaise for meat and vegetables.

  80 gr vacuum sealed pouch only $38


Mi Cara Amici,

Welcome again to my kitchen!

Cooking, in my world of thinking, is therapy without having a therapist! Give me a few ingredients, a pot, some inspiration and I'm delicously happy creating recipe after recipe! Not only am I at peace in mind and spirit, I'm feeding my soul and my loved ones tummies!

I want to share some of my families' most loved recipes with you ... my treasured Bolognese Lasagne, my Chianti poached pear salad, yummy pappardelle with shrimp or chicken, my guaranteed perfect roasted pork or chicken and my ragu. They are the some of the "songs" my pots sing filling my kitchen with the melodic aromas that take me back to my treasured Italy!

I hope you will try them...enjoy them... and let them make your kitchen sing! Please keep in touch with how you like them and I'd love some of your favorites to try!

a presto,


Chianti Pear Salad

March 13, 2010

4 Bosc pears - cut in half lengthwise and cored
1 Bottle Chianti
2/3 cup sugar
1 teas. Profumo del Chianti
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 heaping tablespoon dried basil
2 tablespoons orange zest
½ teaspoon orange extract

¼ cup Balsamic Vinegar
½ cup Red Wine Vinegar
¾ to 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Profumo and Pepper to taste

6 to 8 cups of salad greens – I use a mixture of baby Spinach, Bibb lettuce and Radicchio
2 - 8 ounce containers Mascarpone Cheese
Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Fresh Basil Leaves cut in chiffonade strips
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the Chianti, sugar, lemon zest, orange zest, orange extract and dried basil. Stir well to dissolve the sugar. Pour into an 11 x 13 glass baking dish. Place the sliced and cored pears cut side down in the wine. Place in a preheated 375 degree oven. Bake for 30 minutes – until the liquid is bubbly. Remove from the oven and remove pears from the poaching liquid. Chill the pears.

Pour the poaching liquid into a 2 qt saucepan and reduce over medium high heat by ½. Remove from the heat and add the Balsamic and Red Wine vinegars to the reduced liquid. Whisk in the olive oil and taste for seasoning, adding Profumo and pepper to taste. Chill.

To assemble the salad...
Place some of the salad greens on each salad plate. Place a pear half, cut side up, on top of the salad greens. Place a generous dollop of Mascarpone in the core of each pear. Drizzle the poaching liquid/dressing over the salad. Shave the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese over the salad. Garnish with the fresh Basil chiffonade.