What's your favorite Italian restaurant of all time?

You know, the eatery that you recommend to friends and family, or the place where you ate the tastiest pasta known to man...

Italian Restaurant ContestTell me which you love in my new Italian Restaurant Contest and win a beautiful, hand-painted serving bowl!

Worth $222, this eye-catching piece has been supplied by those lovely people at thatsArte.com.

Enter the contest here!

Once you've had your say, here's this month's serving of pasta pleasure...

Inside this month's issue:

New Additions

Cime di rape leafy broccoli pasta, Swiss lemon pasta, an Italian side salad and a stainless steel cooking pan shopping guide.

Pastafact #11

Introducing Thomas Jefferson, the alleged Macaroni Man.

Pasta Q&A

Two queries this month: one about the best pasta machine, the other on the difference between pasta and noodles.

Italian Food Experience

A ketchup-related realisation and an equally embarassed response.

Learning La Lingua

It's time... to talk about time.

Ciao for now and good luck in the contest!

Matt - matt@pasta-recipes-made-easy.com

"All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast" - John Gunther

New Additions

broccoli pasta recipeBroccoli pasta recipe

An interesting Pugliese recipe to start us off, featuring a specific type of leafy broccoli called cime di rape. It's really fresh, quick to make (just 5 steps!), and includes a slightly cheeky chili kick. Buono.

Swiss lemon pasta recipeSwiss lemon pasta

My Swiss-German colleague translated this tangy, creamy winner, so thanks Susanne! It's a real quickie and makes a change to serving spaghetti with tomato or meat sauces. Give it a bash... I think you'll love it.

Italian side salad recipeItalian side salad recipe

Thanks for Marylyn for submitting this easy-peasy salad via my site's Reader Recipes page. Featuring great Northern beans, this dish is super-scrummy and can also be easily vamped into a full meal by adding short pasta.

stainless steel cooking pansStainless Steel Cooking Pans

Many top cooks love stainless steel pans because they're ultra-sturdy and super-hygienic to boot. Learn about stainless steel and find the best pan for your kitchen here with my carefully selected 'Best of Amazon' selection.

Pastafact #11

According to those equally obsessed folks over at ilovepasta.org, Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing macaroni to the good old US of A.

Apparently he fell in love with this tasty tucker in Naples in Southern Italy while serving as the U.S. Ambassador to France. As a result, he "promptly ordered crates of macaroni, along with a pasta-making machine, to be sent back to the States", and thus an American culinary love was born.

Pasta Q&A

1. I would love to start making my own lasagna noodles. I don't have a pasta maker yet but am considering buying one. I have a Kitchen Aid high end mixer, but I hesitate to buy the pasta maker attachment if it is a waste of money.

Which one do you like the best and why? I would like to spend no more than a couple of hundred dollars at the most. Thanks!

Mary Kay, Buffalo, NY

Read my full reply here.

2. Hi Matt,

I am SO confused! What is the difference between a piece or shape of pasta - like penne for example - and a noodle?

I always thought noodles were only used in Chinese food. But if that's true, then why do I read about 'pasta noodles' online and what does that refer to? Help! Thanks...

Deana, Scotland

Read my full reply here.

Italian Food Experience

"I grew up thinking that macaroni and ketchup was good Italian food. My mother had many wonderful qualities, but cooking wasn't one of them :)

ketchup pastaImagine my surprise when I had REAL Italian food. When you think macaroni and ketchup is a treat, you're pretty much pleased with all pasta dishes.

I must say, though, that nothing compares to the Italian food I had in Italy. EVERY meal was superb, from the tomatoes in the salad to the wine with the meal. I can't wait to go back."

Gale, Florida

Read my embarrassed reply...

Read more Italian Food Experiences...

Learning La Lingua

Late to meet a friend in Florence? Or has a local grabbed you for the time? Here are a few choice samples to up your know-how...


- What time is it? - "Che ore sono?" (pron. keh oar-ay sono)

- At what time? - "A che ora e?" (pron. ah keh oar-ah eh?)


- It's ten o' clock - "Sono le dieci" (pron. sono lay dee-ay-chee)

- It's half past ten - "Sono le dieci e mezza" (pron. sono lay dee-ay-chee ay medza)

- It's a quarter to ten - "Sono le dieci meno un quarto" (lit. they are ten (hours) minus a quarter)

- It's a quarter past ten - "Sono le dieci e un quarto" (lit. they are ten (hours) and a quarter)

Quick recommendation:

If you would like to learn Italian, I very much recommend the Michel Thomas 8-CD audio course.

I've used this a lot and I've found it easier and quicker to learn from than any other language materials (and I've tried a few!). You just grab a coffee, press Play, and then speak when Michel asks you to. It's excellent.

You can find it here on Amazon US (or here on Amazon UK).

Quick Recommendation for Bloggers

SBI! 2.0

Most Popular Pages: November

Bolognese sauce recipe - A seriously meaty classic from the North of Italy.

Pasta Q&A - Confused cooks get answers to their pasta posers.

Vegetable lasagna recipe - Eggplant takes prime position in this most scrumptious of tummy fillers.


Missed your FREE recipe e-book? Right-click here to save it to your PC.

Like the idea of earning online? This free ebook might be of interest.

Get updates when new pasta pages appear: here.

Get in touch with me here.

Ciao for now <>,



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