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Friday, November 3, 2017

Simple pasta recipe : pasta cacio and pepe

The Italian food is loved by so many. Italian restaurants are opening everyday, everywhere. 

But the great thing about Italian food is that it is so easy to make it. So easy that you can have some delicious Italian food also at home.

I travel a lot with my Concerts and I'm lucky to enjoy often great meals in very nice restaurants. 
But I also love to cook my own meal. I'm very conscious about my health and even if I love to splurge here and there, when at home I like to make my own food.
It is fun, healthy and it brings back memories of my childhood in the kitchen with my grandma and my mom.

Today I share with you a recipe that is so delicious and yet so easy to make.
The minimalist recipe calls for only a few ingredients and doesn't even include garlic: Pasta Cacio & Pepe, Pasta with Cheese and Black Pepper,
It's on the menus of America's most stylish Italian restaurants and yet you can make it at home in a few minutes.

Two simple tips for great results:
1. Use great ingredients
2. Don't overcook the Pasta


    • Kosher salt
    • 6 ounces pasta (such as egg tagliolini, bucatini, or spaghetti)
    • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, divided
    • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
    • 3/4 cup finely grated Grana Padano or Parmesan
    • 1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino


      1. Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a 5 quart pot. When the water is boiling season with salt; add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. it has to al dente, so better a minute less than more .
      2. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup pasta cooking water. 
      3. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add pepper and cook, swirling pan, until toasted, about 1 minute.
      4. Add 1/2 cup reserved pasta water to skillet and bring to a simmer. Add pasta and remaining butter. Reduce heat to low and add Grana Padano, stirring and tossing with tongs until melted. Remove pan from heat; add Pecorino, stirring and tossing until cheese melts, sauce coats the pasta, and pasta is al dente. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry.) Transfer pasta to warm bowls and serve.
      5. For a perfect balanced meal add a insalata verde mista ( a mixed green salad with olive olive oil and vinegar, salt and pepper) .
    1. Buon appetito,

  2. Giada

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The secret magical potion of Venice

My Venice has many legends, traditions and mysterious facts. There are so many corners of Venice that have very interesting past. Funny enough most of the tourists just pass by them without even notice them.

I always find it quite interesting. It’s like Venice is able still to keep those secrets for herself. Unless of course you are curious to find them, like me.

If you read this BLOG you know how much I love to share them with you. I love to know that you will be able to enjoy something “secret to most the of the people” next time you will be visiting my beautiful City.

Since it is Halloween, today to stay in tune with that I make you discover the "secret and almost magical potion" that cured every evil in Venice: the Teriaca.


Just opposite number 2800 in the corner between Campo Santo Stefano and the Calle del Spezier (a spezier was an "apothecary" in Venetian).
There you will find an overlooked detail from the past of Venice that still survives and tells a very interesting story.

Right there, about 5 meters from the facade of the former pharmacy there are three circular depressions in the ground. Basically three tiles with a circular engraving.

What are they?

They are circular holes that, over time, were left there by the heavy cauldrons used by the Venetian pharmacists during the preparation of the Teriacaa potion almost magical that was said to cure a large number of illnesses.

The production of Teriaca was a carefully-planned ceremonial.
Not all apothecaries were licensed to produce Teriaca. Of the 90 in Venice at the time, only about 40 had the licence to make it.  They were known as teriacanti, who made the potion in the street itself using bronze cauldrons.  The place where these cauldrons were set into the ground can still be seen in the city.

Its most common ingredient was vipers, that was said to have restorative properties for ageing skin. But other common ingredients were the unicorn horn (actually a tooth of the fish Narvalo, that you can still see at the Correr Museum at St. Mark square) and opium.

The Teriaca  was produced once a year, in the period when vipers were captured. That is towards the end of spring and into summer.

The success of the beverage led to an increase in demand, and some apothecaries were allowed to produce it three times a year. To guarantee the quality of the product, Venice imposed strict rules.  The portions also had spices imported from the East. So when making the Teriaca each apothecary was required to put all the ingredients he intended to use on public display outside his shop for three days to guarantee their authenticity.

For the public, the best part in all this was the sight of live vipers, writhing inside the cages. When the mixing of the ingredients began, the apothecary was watched by both the public and State officials. Then, in the eyes of the Magistrate of Health, the real alchemical manufacture of decoctions began, whose virtues seemed infinite and was said to heal from plague, scorpion bites, and many other diseases.

In the seventeenth century, Venice enjoyed quiet some fame for the preparation of the Teriaca, so far that the portion was exported to Europe, Turkey and Armenia.

I’m sure you would have never say it by looking at the tile, right?

Next time you walk around Venice look down for them. 
Take a picture and share them with me. 
It will be like a Caccia al Tesoro Segreto, 
like a Secret Treasure Hunt.

From Venice with Love,


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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Today we travel to my beautiful Venice on the Rialto Bridge, the oldest bridge across Venice Grand Canal and for sure one of the jewels of Venice.

The Rialto, existed as a wooden pontoon structure from as early as the 12th century. Due to increasing boat traffic, it was replaced by a drawbridge less than a century later. It’s located in the historic heart of the city, linking the Rialto marketplace, where produce and fish are sold, with the old administrative center at St. Mark’s Square.

The wooden version was destroyed – rather dramatically- several times, including during a “ Colpo di Stato” “Coup d’etat” and collapsing during a boat parade. In 1551, the city government opened a competition to rebuild the bridge using durable stones. Many famous architects participated, including Michelangelo and Palladio. The winner, however, was Antonio Da Ponte. In a typical Venetian style, his winning design was very similar to what was there previously.
Like the wooded one, the new bridge has two ramps leading up to an elevated center section. Though many doubted that the heavy marble structure could support its weight across a span of so many meters, the design proved quite resilient, so much that it is still standing today after 466 years, to be exact. Build on as many as 12,000 wooden pilings driven into the marshy floor of the lagoon, this structure is a testament to engineering know-how of the Venetians.

With three walkways and a covered portico that runs across the center, the Bridge was once home to the traders and merchants who set up their shops here. Nowadays it still houses many little stores and kiosks selling Murano glass, fancy jewelry and souvenirs. With the mass tourism in recent years the Rialto Bridge is now primarily the domain of tourists and visitors who flock the beautiful bridge for picturesque photographs with the Grand Canal.

Still a much see of my beautiful hometown.
Tip: on the foot of the Rialto Bridge there is a small store that sells masks, called “Bottega Dei Maschereri”.  Make a stop to visit one the best authentic Venetian “maschereri”, mask makers, the brothers Sergio and Massimo Boldrin. Buy one of their masks to bring home with you a true piece of Venetian tradition and mistery.

From Venice With Love,


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