Disgraces on the Menu Turned Six – Time to Blow Out the Candles Again!

Another year has elapsed – this blog just turned six!! As usual, I’d like to stop for a moment and look back at the last twelve months of blogging and podcasting. Before I do that, I would like to thank all who have been supporting me by reading, by listening, and especially by sharing their thoughts via personal messages and comments. It means a lot to me, please keep sending your feedback!

Now, back to my “retrospective”, so to speak. Podcasting seems to have become my main focus. This past year, I have published ten episodes featuring amazing new and returning guests: Hannah Solomon, Diana Zahuranec, Rick Zullo, Gino De Blasio, Domenica Marchetti (twice), David Scott Allen, Silvia Arduino, Alida from My Little Italian Kitchen, and Giulia Scarpaleggia, thanks for participating and for putting up with me and my questions! Recently, I also began posting full transcripts of some of my favorite episodes, and narrations of meaningful articles, starting with Il Mercato – the Tradition of the Italian Street Market.

During the year, I posted seven new recipes for as many favorite dishes: some old staples (Valdostana Onion Soup, Squash Risotto, Passato di Verdure, Oven Roasted Vegetables Stripes), and some preparations I recently discovered and fell in love with (Pesto alla Trapanese, Spaetzle-style Passatelli, Chard and Spinach Gnudi).

I also wrote three articles on food and culture; two were published as guest posts: Dried Pasta vs. Fresh Pasta (for Experience Italy Travels) and The Basic Rules of Italian Food (for Once Upon a Time in Italy), which was written after consulting with several Italian food bloggers. The third article, which was published on this blog, deals with Personal Space and the Italians, a topic I have been meaning to discuss for a while. All three posts were great fun to write, I hope you enjoyed them.

I am also happy to have connected with five more bloggers who, like me, talk about the authentic food of continental Italy. Of course, I promptly gave them the Cannolo Award. David from Cocoa and Lavender, Luca Marchiori from Chestnuts and Truffles, Coco from Coco’s Bread & Co – Eating Healthy, Giulia Scarpaleggia from Jul’s Kitchen, and Viola Buitoni from Viola’s Italian Kitchen, congratulations again!

Finally, I’d like to add a note on a technical detail. Last October, this blog was migrated to WordPress! I can’t say it was a trivial task, but the process was much smoother than I initially thought – a testament to the platform and its amazing community. I hope you are enjoying the new layout and functionality.

All in all, year six has been a great year, with lots of new connections and ideas. I am very much looking forward to year seven with the same enthusiasm as when I started in 2010!

Thanks again and… Salute!

[Thoughts on the Table – 36] Truffle Hunting in Abruzzo with Hannah Solomon from SZ Tartufi

Thoughts on the Table is back! Join me to meet Hannah Solomon, a marketing consultant who is doing an internship at SZ Tartufi, a company that produces truffles and truffle-based preparations in the Abruzzo region of Italy.

During the episode Hannah talks about the fascinating process of cultivating truffles, as well as the fact that the best truffles cannot be cultivated at all(!), but need to be hunted with the use of dogs (as co-founder Ugo Serafini shows in this truffle hunting video).

Hannah was also kind enough to send a small sample of their products – which of course I was super excited to try! Below you can find a delicious use of them, a recipe recommended by Hannah herself. Enjoy!

Music: www.purple-planet.com.



Truffle Crostini with Asparagus Tips and Poached Eggs

Ingredients for 2 servings

  • 2 tablespoons of White Truffle Cream
  • 10 small asparagus
  • 2 eggs (the freshest that you can find)
  • 2 thick slices of bread
  • One drizzle of Truffle Oil
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a very gentle simmer, add the vinegar.
  2. Boil the asparagus for 5 minutes and set aside. Trim off the bottom part, only leaving the top 4 to 5 inches.
  3. Crack one egg into a small bowl, then slide it slowly into the water. Let the eggs sink to the bottom on one side of the pot. Repeat with the second egg making it land on the other side. Leave the eggs undisturbed for 4 to 5 minutes until the white feels solid.
  4. Meanwhile, toast the bread. Spread the White Truffle Cream on it, then lay the asparagus over top.
  5. Lift the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon to drain any excess liquid. Lay them over the asparagus.
  6. Drizzle the crostini with Truffle Oil, and enjoy!