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A Bruschetta..Italian Cuisine and Seattle..Win tickets to FOODIE

Posted in Caro Diario.(dear diary..), Cook With Maria, Country House Living, cucina, cucina povere, Culinary Art, entertaining, Events & Appearances, Facts, La Dolce Vita, recipes, Tagliacozzo, Trivia, and Uncategorized


copyright 2013 Maria Liberati/Art of Living, PrimaMedia,Inc

When thinking of  Italian cuisine,  most  assume  it is all  about spaghetti, meatballs  and pizza, … but potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, and maize, introduced in the 18th century, have also played a part  in the beginnings of Italian dishes. The roots of Italian cuisine have been traced back to the 4th century when it was influenced by the Romans, Greeks, and Arabs. During this time popular dishes included porridge (pulmentum- a mushy grain dish) and Fish chowder (brodetto). The Arabs influenced the southern part of Italy with dried pasta.

When the new world was discovered in the 18th century, the cuisine began to change. This included the introduction of potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, and maize to Italian dishes. Prior to the discovery, tomatoes were thought to be poisonous and were grown only for decorative purposes. Because there is a long growing season in Italy, there is an abundant amount of vegetables, dairy products, and meat. This may be the reason for Italy to have the 8th highest quality of life index rating in the world.

Before 1870, Italy was not a unified country. It was a collection of kingdoms and principalities. For this reason, along with the variety of climates and topographic regions, Italy has a wide variation of dishes. It was not until the work of Pelligrino Artusi that fostered a national Italian culture. In 1891, he published the first modern cookbook, La Scienza in Cucina e L’arte di Manginar Bene (The Science of the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well). He helped to create the Italian cuisine full of taste with ingredients and flavoring techniques. Italian cuisine has had a profound influence throughout Europe.

And from my recent stop in Seattle Washington for a few appearances it looks like Italian cuisine has had a profound effect on this  city too… a true foodie town…

Thanks to SAVOUR for all their hard work for helping to make my September 26th event a success! thanks to everyone that  attended..


SAVOUR Specialty Foods, 2242 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107, book signing and sampling,

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Here’s an authentic bruschetta  recipe one of the dishes sampled at SAVOUR from The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays and Special Occasions-2nd edition

Bruschetta Filanti

(stringy bruschetta)

*3 red, ripe  tomatoes

*4 tablespoons olive oil

*pinch of salt and pepper

*1/2 cup giardinera salad

*1-16 ounce can tuna packed in olive oil

*1 tablespoon of pine nuts

*2 tablespoons chopped black olives

*1 clove garlic

*8 slices crusty Italian bread

*8 slices Fontina cheese’

*1 tsp oregano


Wash and dry tomatoes/ Cut in half, eliminate seeds and liquid and cut into small cubes. Heat oil in pan, add in tomatoes, salt and pepper. Saute for 5 minutes, place heat on low. Add in drained giardinera. Drain tuna, flake and reserve oil, set tuna aside.

In small saute pan toast pine nuts for 3 minutes in nonstick pan. Add flaked tuna, toasted pine nuts and olive into giardinera mixture.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel garlic clove and divide in half. Rub both sides of each bread slice with garlic. Place a slice of Fontina cheese on each slice of bread.


Place bread slices on cookie sheet and place under broiler to toast for 1 ½ minutes on each side of bread. Place in preheated oven till cheese melts.

Distribute giardinera mixture on top of each slice, drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with oregano and serve.


Hope to see you tomorrow-Saturday, October 5th at West Windsor Farmers’ Market in NJ go to for more info on this book reading and cooking demo  from my culinary travel book series The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays and Special Occasions-2nd edition. The book that won the Gourmand World Awards in Paris.


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**WIN 2 TICKETS (worth $40 each) to FOODIE 2013 in Quakertown, PA.

If you are a FOODIE and are going to be near Quakertown, PA on October 17th, you want to join us for FOODIE 2013. Win 2 tickets (worth $40 each) by  answering this question.

In my first book The Basic Art  of Italian Cooking- there is a story about the town that my grandfather and my great grandparents had their vineyard, what is the name of that town?  send your answers to

First correct answer wins the free tickets..Buona Fortuna (good luck!)


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