corner corner Beyond The Pasta; Recipes, Language and Life with an Italian Family


Beyond The Pasta; Recipes, Language and Life with an Italian Family
by Mark Donovan Leslie | Cooking, Food & Wine
Registered by LindyLouMac of Tywyn, Wales United Kingdom on 7/25/2011
Average 10 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by LindyLouMac): permanent collection

1 journaler for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by LindyLouMac from Tywyn, Wales United Kingdom on Monday, July 25, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Product Description
Several years ago, on a break between theatrical gigs in Alabama, Mark traveled to Italy and fell in love with the people, food and culture. Armed with just enough courage, minimal Italian language skills, and a certain proficiency in the kitchen, he enrolled in a full-immersion cooking and language program. He would travel to Viterbo, Italy and live with an Italian family. His teachers were beyond his wildest dreams-he learned to cook from the grandmother, or Nonna, of the family, who prepared every meal in a bustling, busy household, as women in her family have done for generations. Her daughter, Alessandra, taught him the language with patience and precision. Besides culinary secrets and prepositions, they opened their lives to him, and made him a real part of their extensive family. Though the book contains authentic, delicious family recipes Nonna shared with Mark, Beyond the Pasta delves into food memoir subject matter not found in a typical cookbook. It was the day-to-day shopping with Nonna, exploring the countryside and le gelaterie, where he truly developed his language skills, and a new, more joyful and uniquely Italian way of looking at the world. 

Journal Entry 2 by LindyLouMac at Viterbo, Lazio Italy on Thursday, July 28, 2011

10 out of 10

Beyond The Pasta is so much more than just another Italian cookery book as besides providing great recipes Mark writes a diary about his trip to Italy to learn authentic Italian cooking. The added wow factor for me was not just that it is set in Italy but in our region of Viterbo. I loved all the local recipes, some of which I had heard of but others were new ones. I shall definitely be getting my husband to try these out for us, as he is the chef in our household. Mark’s diary of his time here in Viterbo was absolutely fascinating, particularly as we know and love the places he visited. It was interesting to read his take on places that we are very familiar with. As for instance his impression of Marta, as a place with a long line of hotels lining the lakefront. Sorry Mark, but first impressions were deceptive, there is only one hotel along the stretch he wrote about. In fact at the time of writing there was only one hotel in the whole of Marta and that was ‘Otello’s’, attached to the restaurant he visited, one of our favourites. He was right about the restaurants though as there are three in a row just in that stretch of lake frontage. I guess it must have just looked impressive.

Besides being an account of the everyday experiences of his month in Viterbo immersed in Italian culture,both language and cuisine, it is also as I already mentioned a cookery book, a record of Nonna’s amazing sounding recipes. I have no intention of sharing any of them here with you as I have yet to discover my favourites. You can discover some of them by visiting the links below.
It is with thanks to Michelle at Bleeding Espresso and her review that I learnt of the existence of this book. It was her review that convinced me I had to have a copy of my own. Maybe my review will tempt some of you to also buy a copy! Having said that it will be no surprise that I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves Italy and all things Italian.
I hope one day that Mark will be back in Marta so that he can autograph his book for me!

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