Curious Appetite

Italy

Cucina Lockdown: Pici al ragù di agnello (pici pasta in lamb ragù)

to be or not to be a sugo, that is the question

Well, hello! Welcome to my blog! I have to say, one of the bright sides to this whole lockdown thing is having more time to cook and write recipes. But let’s be honest, some of the hassle in this is all the cleaning. I am so tired of cleaning and washing up. I miss restaurants!

I made this for Easter Sunday since in Italy lamb is traditionally eaten during Easter feasts (and I love making ragù). Before I dive into the recipe, in case you’re wondering “what’s the difference between a sugo di carne and a ragù?” I’ll do my best to answer while preemptively apologizing to the Italian food police, who still somehow have the energy to work during a pandemic. Continue Reading

Cucina Lockdown: Zuppa con fagioli, salsiccia e bietole (Tuscan-inspired Soup)

beet greens! you can’t beat a bunch of beets!

If you follow me on instagram or have been reading for a bit- you’ll know I am obsessed with soups. They are my favorite dish to make for myriad reasons. They are affordable, a clever way to use up surplus veg, are extremely nourishing and bring an immense sense of comfort when making them.

If I have someone over to my house for the first time I’ll either make one of 2 things: a ragu’ bolognese or a soup since for me, making food is one of the most sincere love letters one could write to another. So best to make the things which I love the most.

Another reason I love soup (and ragu, too) is they are rather straightforward and easy to make once you have some basics down. You can read my full love letter and basic soup tips to the art of Tuscan soup making HERE. If you’re looking for more personalized cooking help, check out some of Curious Appetite’s online versions of our food tours and culinary lessons, led by our team of experts in Italy. Continue Reading

Cucina lockdown: Gnocchi con salsa di zucchine

wanna make this? more like gnocchetti (smaller gnocchi) but hey home cooking is forgiving unlike the Italian food police! scroll for the recipe!

Ciao readers, what a time to be blogging. Without stating the obvious, like how unbelievable reality feels right now and somehow we’re adapting to this new normal, I’ll get right to it.

The world is cooking more. But I miss restaurants so much, I miss cocktails and while I could make them at home, something feels so out of place (for me) making a negroni at home vs sitting at the bar pondering their gin, bitter and vermouth collection with a friend after a massive feast out. There is of course takeout, but honestly as someone whose income has been hammered to smithereens, take-out is not exactly a luxury many people can afford right now even if I’d so very much like to. So, instead of usually writing about restaurants I’ll be posting more recipes like this one for gnocchi in a zucchini and almond sauce. Continue Reading

Thoughts on covid-19 in Italy, experiencing it in Florence plus ways to help

Taken 2 days after I arrived, happy as a clam in my home, before the covid-19 mess hit Italy.

Hello readers, it’s been a whirlwind of a month (rather, 2020 in general) and I feel like in a matter of days, my life has been flipped upside down- along with many others who work in the travel industry or anything to do with Italy. I feel like we have all gone through the stages of a breakup trying to understand what the hell just happened, and now I’m at the stage of acceptance and hope.

I started composing this post from the airport in Florence last week before the nationwide lockdown occurred, awaiting my return flight with a heavy heart and confusion over Italy’s long path ahead to recovery. I am fine/healthy, and am definitely practicing social distancing while laying low.

This post is intended to share my impressions/thoughts as someone who works in the travel industry, including resources from locals on the ground.

Continue Reading

Reflections on Florence and updates from San Francisco

the world might be a dumpster on fire, but make it your oyster when you can

Oh why hello! And how have I stalled a bit on this special space of mine. I’ve been reflecting a lot on the direction of my blog, what its meant to me in the past and where I shall take it in the future. If you’ve been following are are brand new here, after 7 years of loving yet tolerating Florence (plus 4 years of undergrad studies in Italian prior which brought me to Rome and Perugia to study/live abroad, so probably 10+ years of living/traveling between US/Italy all together), I decided to make a mega move. I recently reshaped my life to live between San Francisco and Florence. For now, of course! Who knows, life is unpredictable.

To answer the questions I posed subito: This blog has been a special place to me to document my reflections as an American navigating life in Florence with a food obsessed lens and I will always consider it my eternal beloved. I will continue to write about food in Florence here when I get a chance. In fact, this space will be getting a lot more Florence food TLC as I will be there next week- follow along via the grams! (@curiousappetite)

While I may no longer not live in Florence everyday, it will always be one of my long-distance limbs which I’ll never be able to live without. And luckily since Curious Appetite’s food tours in Florence are still running thanks to a team on the ground, I am able to stay updated, albeit vicariously, though the team. In order to not go completely crazy behind my computer while sharing what I’ve learned over the years in Italy, I personally lead Italian-themed gourmet experiences in San Francisco if you’d like to eat & drink Italian style with me:) Continue Reading

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