Pics from Pasta Making Night

Finally got some pics downloaded from the pasta making demonstration we gave for the local “Gourmet Gals” group.  A good time was had by all and everyone’s interest in traveling to Italy was piqued by the discussion…and the tasty grub.

The nice lady in the background was making gnocchi…needless to say, no one went home hungry.
I look thrilled, don’t I? At least my lovely wife lights up the room even when I have my serious wannabe chef face on.
Pappardelle are great in many ways. Thick noodles really soak up the sauce and are fun to eat, and you can cut a bunch in a hurry.
Time to cook ’em! We had them with someone else’s arrabiata sauce…it was darn good, but not as spicy as I’d make it.  Then again my idea of not spicy enough has most folks in tears and reaching for a glass of milk.  A good time was had by all. Note to self: check to see if the host has any reggiano before you start!  I neglected to like a dummy, and where’s the fun in that?  It’s all about the cheese!   Mi piace molto il formaggio.

Really enjoying Ms. Sibson’s creative and charming write up for her time with family in Venice. But…(and this is a touchy subject, so no intention to offend the DIY crowd)…this is why what Sassi Italy Tours does is worth the slight increase in cost over doing it yourself. Doug knows the vaporetti as well as the pilots themselves, and when he’s in Venice, ITALIAN people ask him for directions, things to to see, and places to eat. Imagine having a friend from Milan who can help you get around Washington, DC and New York City better than you can, and you have the idea. Avoiding crowds, timing things to avoid them, and not getting lost or wondering where to be when is something unique we can offer that maximizes your time spent enjoying Italy and minimizes your time spent being elbowed in the ribs by hordes of fellow tourists who don’t care if you’re having an enjoyable, relaxing time or not.

Part of the fun sure is getting off the beaten path and wondering on your own, for sure, and her recounting of Rome and Venice is an entertaining read. Travel on!

Laura Sibson


After a day of chilly off and on rain, we were thrilled to wake to sun. We scampered onto our shuttle intending to make our way to Rialto bridge via Frari Church and Scuola San Rocco. With the better weather, we made a last minute decision to make a trip to neighboring islands instead.

Unfortunately, confusion about the public boat schedules combined with pushy crowds left us stuck under cover on a boat stop during the only sun of the day. By the time we finally muscled our way onto a vaporetto packed to standing room only, the weather had turned raw. It’s a 45-minute ride to Murano, which would be more than tolerable if you have a seat, but smushed against the steel wall of a hull made me feel less like a tourist on vacation and more like cattle.

On the way to Murano, you…

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To Seed or Not To Seed?

To Seed or Not To Seed?

Perhaps some confirmation bias on my part, but I was glad to read this.  I don’t bother peeling or seeding either.  My pomodoro sauce is world famous (by “world” I mean my one and two year old and wife can’t get enough of it), and I use the whole tomato.  Just seems like more trouble than it’s worth, and nutritionally I’m a fan of using as much of the plant as I can.  A good pomodoro is a blend of sweet and bitter, savory and spicy–the flavor contrasts come together to really hit you, and it wouldn’t surprise me a bit to learn that seeing/peeling tomatoes is one of those venerable but dispensable myths.