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Special Gifts & A Sunset in Rome

Posted in Caro Diario.(dear diary..), cucina, cucina povere, entertaining, Mediterranean Culinary Cruise, recipes, Rome, slow food, the Mediterranean diet, Travel & customs, and wine

sunset rome italy 1

copyright 2009, art of living,PrimaMedia,Inc, Maria Liberati

Special gifts are sometimes the simplest things… At The Basic Art of ItalianCooking  by Maria Liberati tm we are getting ready to release our Holiday Guide of 2009 with some fantastic gift ideas.

holiday guide seal shadow box

I do  enjoy material gifts, but  I am so enamored with gifts that can’t be wrapped up in a package.. There are so many special gifts that come to mind that I could never put a price on and everyone has those gifts that are not appreciated enough for those are the gifts that are the real treasures..the gifts that we are not thankful enough for..Think about it…

In one of my online chats with my significant other yesterday   evening…while he was in Rome, he emailed  me a photo of a colorful sunset in Rome he experienced that day and he told me how much he wished I was there to see it.. and I wished I was there so much to see it as well. But the photo really brightened up my evening..just imagining myself  being in Rome to see another beautiful sunset there..with this photo..if only for a minute I could take myself there.. this photo and thought was my favorite gift of  the day… I have included it here to share with you.

A purchased gift is a nice thought as well, but remember all the gifts you have all throughout the day.

As we are getting ready for the Holiday  Gift Guide we have gotten to work with many an exceptional olive oil in The Basic Art of Italian Cooking kitchen. Here is a recipe  that put the olive oil to good use:

shrimp orzo pasta

ORZO e GAMBERETTI (orzo pasta and shrimp)
(from The Basic Art of Italian Cooking:Holidays &Special Occasions

½ lb orzo pasta

1/2 lb broccoli-cleaned, cut into florets and steamed

½ lb shrimp

1 pouch of saffron

2 scallions

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, cold pressed

Vegetable broth

1/2  cup dry white wine or sparkling white like Franciacorta

Fresh parsley

Place 2 tablespoons olive oil in sauté pan Chop scallions finely. Heat oil and place in scallions. Saute till they begin to turn golden. Add in ½ of teamed broccoli, uncooked orzo pasta to toast, stir with wooden spoonPour in white wine let liquid evaporate. Then add in 1 cup vegetable broth and stir with wooden spoon. Uisng the same technique as cooking risotto, add in ½ cup of vegetable broth when liquid evaporates and repeat until orzo is al ‘dente’ (following cooking time directions on orzo package). Five minutes before cooking time is up- add in remaining steamed broccoli, steamed, cleaned shrimp, packet of saffron. Stir until saffron is well blended in.

When finished cooking, remove from heat. Place 1 tsp butter on top, stir in. Sprinkle with finely chopped parsley. Stir. Let sit one minute before serving. For serving idea, serve in small glasses. Top with one whole shrimp and a broccoli floret for decoration

Serve with Franciacorta white wine.

Get your copy of The Basic Art of Italian Cooking : Holidys & Special Occasions just in time for the Holidays with over 140 recipes ,wine pairing tips, menus and more.

Hope to see you at my upcoming book events/ cooking demos/ tastings at:
December 9th-Girls Night Out- Chestnut Hill Business Association, Chestnut Hill, Pa

December 12th- Franklin Twp Library, Franklin Twp, NJ at 2 PM

To schedule a cooking class , wine pairing event or  a culinary tour  in the US or Italy with The Basic Art of Italian Cooking  by Maria Liberati tm  email us at

For more appearances and upcoming events go to

“L’appetito vien mangiando”


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