Recipes from my year in Rome

Roma, 2002

About 10 years ago I moved to Rome for a year.  While there, I took a cooking lesson with a lovely young woman whose name I can’t for the life of me remember.  She was fantastic, fun, and 8 months pregnant.  She would pick me up in her Vespa and we would ride to the market and buy the day’s ingredients.  We would cook all day and sit down together to chat and eat over a glass of wine before her boyfriend got home.  It was one of my most memorable experiences while there and it kills me that I can’t remember her name!

Anyway, on my last day there, she asked me what I’d like to learn to make.

“Anything at all,” she said.

The truth was that there was one dish I’d wanted to learn to make, but out of respect for relatives alive and dead who are purists with their Italian food, I was too shy to ask.  But then I thought I’d not get this opportunity again soon, so I asked her to teach me to make gnocchi with pesto (my favorite “pasta” with my favorite sauce).   My nonna would have slapped me!

She seemed a little surprised, but she taught me anyway, and to this day I use her recipe and remember her fondly.  She must be older now, and that baby in her tummy is probably on his or her way to being an adolescent…

Anyway, here are a few of that wonderful woman’s recipes.  I didn’t edit them because her English was superb.  Enjoy!

Gnocchi with Pesto

Carciofi in Padella, Sauteed Artichokes

Polpette con Funghi e Zucchini, Meatballs with Mushroom and Zucchini