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Lisa’s Chicken from Sostanza in Florence

This recipe comes from a trattoria hidden away on a small side street in Florence. Lisa and her children used to go there often- in fact, Lisa’s youngest son Guido became known as the terremoto, the earthquake, by the owners and staff, thanks to an episode involving his stroller, eager small hands, and clean silverware (you can hear Lisa share this family memory in the full recipe video on YouTube here). This recipe is all buttery goodness- enjoy with your treasured
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Lisa’s Torta della Nonna

If Lisa had to pick one of her absolute favorite desserts of all time in Italy, it would definitely be Torta della Nonna. Translating to “Grandmother’s Cake”, the crust is buttery, the filling is made of ricotta cheese, pine nuts, and eggs. It’s creamy and delicate and the toasted pine nuts are also sprinkled on top of the cake. Lisa has seen Torta della Nonna in country homes across Italy served in well used, old baking dishes and cooked outside in
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Lisa’s Baked Apples in Puff Pastry

Lisa has been making her baked apples since she was in high school. The recipe was taught to her by one of her favorite Italian cousins. She particularly loves this dessert in the fall, when the apples are crisp. Crisp apples are a perfect accompaniment to an autumn dinner like roasted pork loin. Easy to make, these apples in puff pastry come out perfect every time! Watch Lisa make the recipe on her YouTube channel here. Buon appetito e tutti a tavola!
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Lisa’s Plum Upside Down Cake

One of the most iconic and romantic moments of Italian-American cinema is when Al Pacino, as Michael Corleone, meets Apollonia Vitelli, the love of his life, in the Sicilian countryside. After this “colpo di fulmine”, as the Italians call it, Michael and his bodyguards walk to a bar where they identify Apollonia to her father as a girl wearing a “vestito di colore prugne” with a “fiocco in testa di colore prugne”  – a plum-colored
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Lisa’s Pear and Date Strudel

Dates are a fruit that grow in arid climates, which is one of the reasons they are so popular in Sicily and other areas of Southern Italy. They also grow in Southern California! In fact, dates are the fruit that make Lisa think the most of her grandmother, Catherine Lione. Originally from Sicily (she emigrated from her hometown of Castelvetrano at the age of 12), Lisa’s Nana retired to Laguna Hills in her 50s where, in her own words, she “began to live!” One
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Lisa’s Classic Tuscan Porkloin

As Fall arrives, we all want those comfort foods. For Lisa, one of the top ten comfort foods on her list is Classic Tuscan Porkloin. It brings back memories of cruising around the Tuscan countryside in the 1990s, free of cell phones and email, with her children in the backseat, stopping in at a sagra (local food festival!) or two, and eating this dish grilled in the cool Tuscan autumn air. Simple to make at home, and very satisfying, you can watch Lisa make this dish on her
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Lisa’s Tagliatelle con Funghi Porcini

When Lisa’s children were little, her sons loved tagliatelle with funghi porcini! One of Lisa’s proudest moments was seeing her son, Bobby, say his first Italian word, “Ancora!” after having a plate of this pasta. Lisa’s other son, Guido, ate so many tagliatelle ai funghi porcini that everyone in the family used to joke that he would become a mushroom! With these family memories, and the aroma of Tuscany, this dish always brings Lisa back to
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Lisa’s Spaghetti with Toasted Breadcrumbs, Lemon, and Anchovy Paste

Mangiamo due spaghetti! That is a phrase we hear a lot in Lisa’s Italian Kitchen. Literally meaning “Let’s eat two spaghetti!”, the phrase is a way of communicating a craving for spaghetti in an elegant way. This recipe is perfect for a weeknight when you’ve been at the office all day and are craving a plate of pasta or for a Sunday where you’d rather spend less time in the kitchen and more time around the table with your family. Watch Lisa
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Lisa’s Chicken with Fontina Cheese

With this recipe Lisa brings you a dish she invented on one of those nights when she had to make dinner before even taking her suit off after work! Hungry bambini (as Lisa calls her children) always inspire the best recipes! Buon appetito e tutti a tavola!
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