Elaine speaks Norma (Pasta alla Norma)

Monthly Archives: September 2012


Elaine speaks Norma (Pasta alla Norma)

Posted by in Food and Restaurants | September 27, 2012

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of introducing to you Elaine Trigiani and her passion for Italian culture and food. Today’s recipes are her “gift” to us as we slowly transition into the Fall.

I’m personally not a fan of tomato sauce, so her option of Norma in bianco is definitely a favorite of mine!

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The Tech Savvy Traveler

Posted by in Technology,Travel | September 5, 2012

Two Things Happened Last Week:

  1. I had a conversation with a client leaving for a Tuscany family vacation about a tech savvy way to learn some Italian words and sentences. Something that would be easy and help them navigate Italy with more confidence.
  1. I received the September Issue of Conde Naste Traveler, with Wendy Perrin’s Report of Travel Apps.

You can find Wendy’s full list on page 126 of the September Issue of Conde Naste Traveler, but since 26 Apps is way too many for me, here are my favorites:

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Elaine’s Late Summer Crops

Posted by in Tips, Trends, Custom & Lifestyle | September 1, 2012

Meet Elaine Trigiani, this month’s guest blogger here at Cives Urbe. A mutual friend recently introduced me to Elaine and I’m enchanted by her passion for food and her journey in discovering my countries’ quirky customs and “rules” around sitting together for a meal. An American living in Italy, her wit and evident enjoyment of living in the Italian countryside shines through her blog entries.  Enjoy Elaine’s garden end-of the summer bounty and look for her pasta all Norma recipes in the September 25th Blog!

The unbearable heat has ripened up the last push of summer crops. On the slopes of Pratomagno in Tuscany after a cool spring that forced us to plant our gardens late, a suffocating afa (heat with haze and humidity) hovers in the afternoons. For weeks now we’ve been sleeping in any spot with a cross-breeze, parking under olive trees to take advantage of the shade, eating cool foods like panzanella, vitello tonnato, rice salad…The gardens are offering up cucumbers to marinate into cool, thirst-quenching salads. There are tomatoes to eat with mozzarella, for an infinity of fresh pasta sauces, for canning, roasting, sun drying and for eating in chunks with salt, oregano and olive oil. Lettuce, garlic, onions, hot peppers, bell peppers, parsley, celery, basil, carrots, eggplant, fresh beans that will be hearty dried beans all winter long and loads of zucchini with their brilliant yellow flowers. With an anchovy inside and fried in a light and crispy batter Piero, who called them topi, the Italian word for mice , fried the flowers up special for me. He was my randy 80-year-old neighbor and my best Tuscan friend and he served them at his cool, shady refectory table where we huddled by the outsize fire in winter, and took refuge from the heat in summer. I serve them as an antipasto but for ole Piero they were a quick meal all to themselves with just some bread and a few lowball glasses of his inky black homemade wine. For dessert he’d zip outside to pick a few plums, bloomy pink on the outside, sweeter than sweet and crimson red on the inside.  (This bit about Piero and the zucchini could be a blog post unto itself slightly expanded.)
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