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Delicious not Complicated…

Posted in Abruzzo, cucina, cucina povere, entertaining, Facts, Features, history of foods, Holidays, La Dolce Vita, Mediterranean Culinary Cruise, pizza, recipes, slow food, and the Mediterranean diet


copyright 2009, Maria Liberati

Summer should be filled with delicious, uncomplicated foods…….

Although food always evokes some kind of memory, the warm beautiful summer sun that shone briefly today, took me away (if only for a brief moment ) to  my thoughts of  hiking in the mountains of Abruzzo, the warm summer sun beating down on you, the fresh summer air..the only thing missing is the view from the top….you know I can stand there when I get to the top and look down. Serene and quiet and peaceful where I am at the top but yet I can look down on the busy traffic and the town below me.. and still enjoy the peaceful quiet at the top where I am..

Once at the most serene spot, we take a break for lunch and eat our fresh pannini sandwiches made with fresh mozzarella ,fresh tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil…

Wherever you are spending your summer..make sure you get to enjoy it ..if even for a weekend..a week or whatever you can spare..get to the top of  a mountain the beach..even your backyard and don’t forget to take along something special to eat..a piece of fresh summer fruit..a freshly made pannini..delicious..not complicated..

After all, it is easy to make delicious and uncomplicatd things with the fresh produce Mother Nature gives us in the summer.

One of my favorite things to make in the summer is simple Pizza Margherita using fresh tomatoes and fresh basil and it’s  great hot, warm or even cold for a picnic lunch..or bring it to the office and pretend you are on a picnic.


Pizza Margherita


2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 lb. tomatoes, crushed

1/2 tsp. salt

Enough dough to make a pizza pie about 12″ around and roughly 1/8 – ¼ inches thick (most bread machines have a pizza dough setting).

6 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded

6 fresh basil leaves cut into julienne strips

extra virgin olive oil

1. Let olive oil, tomatoes, and salt marinate in bowl while making the dough.

2. Flatten dough out with hands and lightly rub with some olive oil. Remember to flatten the dough evenly and thinly to ensure it will rise appropriately

3. Turn the edges of the dough up slightly and top with tomatoes and mozzarella, then sprinkle some olive oil on top.

4. Preheat oven to 450F and bake on pizza stone (clay stone) for about 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly.

5. Top pizza with basil leaves after removing it from the oven.

6. Allow pizza to cool, then cut into slices and enjoy.

Join me on July 9th at WHole foods Market, Jenkintown, Pa for the Outdoor Kitchen.  Recipes from The Basic Art of Italian Cooking for the  beach or a picnic. Samples and recipes provided. Call store at 215-481-0800 or email

July 11th- Book signing of The Basic Art of Italian Cooking at the Chestnut  Hill Book Festival in Chestnut Hill, Pa.

July 16th, Whole Foods Market, Annapolis ,Maryland, Picnic in Tuscany cooking Demo. Email for more info

July 18th- Whole FoodsMarket, Fairfax, Virginia, Picnic in Tuscany and wine pairing. Call store or email

Mangia bene, Vivi Bene

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