Upcoming Cooking Shows: The Easy Way To Prepare Ancient Grains

Upcoming Cooking Shows: The Easy Way To Prepare Ancient Grains

Mr. Italicano and I have just arrived in the USA! Over the next two weeks we’ll be in Chicago and New York City, doing a variety of “Ancient Grain Farro Cooking Shows” with Smeg USA at Williams-Sonoma, Eataly, Bloomingdales and the IHA trade show. For complete details you can check out my event calendar. I would love to see you there! I look forward to teaching you how to make nutritious meals with this superfood grain. I’ll show you how easy and quick my recipes are to prepare, with Smeg USA’s practical and beautiful 1950’s style appliances.

Every since moving to Italy, I have adapted a Mediterranean lifestyle.  I cook simple recipes made with natural and fresh ingredients that explode with flavors. During my last cooking shows, many complaints by the audience was that they are passionate about cooking but don’t have the time to get in the kitchen. I disagree. With the right recipes and kitchen tools, making homemade meals takes less time than going to a restaurant, let alone the meal will cost a fraction of the price! I talk more about this topic in an earlier post.

The art of eating well and feeling good is simplicity. When I got this basic principal down, I didn’t mind getting in the kitchen to cook because it wasn’t a strenuous task, but a way to have fun, relax, slow down and be mindful about what I was putting into my and Mr. Italicano’s bodies. Simplicity also means having a few tricks up my sleeves for our modern lives. Just like I wouldn’t go to the nearest river stream to wash my clothes (thank goodness for washing machine’s!), I also don’t waste my time mashing, kneading, rolling out, chopping and cooking every day. In fact, to keep my life simple, these are recipes that you can make once and enjoy them the following days. I also use use a blender, stand mixer, and a variety of attachments that do a lot of the work for me in rapid time. I heart technology that supports my mission to eat healthy and homemade.

I’ll be posting these recipes soon to my blog, but in the meantime here is a sneak peak on what I will be preparing at these fun culinary demonstrations in Chicago and NYC!

1. Farro Beet Soup with Greek Yogurt and Pistachios 

2. Homemade Matcha Pasta with Spinach, Zucchini and Lemons 

3. Beet Crepes with Ricotta, Arugula, Blood Oranges and Aged Balsamic Vinegar 

4. Spring Farro Salad with a Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette 

In the meantime, you can follow along on YouTube! We’ll be posting frequent episodes of our day preparing and cooking at these events (and hopefully discovering some good restaurants as well!) I would really appreciate your feedback and support. Please leave us a comment on youtube! Thanks so much!

Ciao ciao!


This post is in collaboration with Smeg USA, but all of my thoughts and opinions are my own.

Homemade Saffron Gnocchi

Homemade Saffron Gnocchi

So what does International Women’s Day and homemade saffron gnocchi have in common? Well, if you have ever visited Italy on this day, this dish may remind you of the mimosa spring that is given to women to celebrate March 8th,, La Festa delle Donne. All throughout Italy, you’ll find this lovely yellow blossom handed to women as a symbol of love, appreciation and when given woman to woman, as a sign of solidarity.

This lovely Italian tradition inspired me to create a dish that resembles the mimosa. Cooking a homemade meal is my favorite way to show a gesture of my love, so dear readers, this mimosa dish is for you.This is my gesture of solidarity and admiration towards women. We are stronger today than ever before, we love to share and give, we love to create, we love to cultivate and we especially love to grow. We’re like these fluffy gnocchi: simple in nature, good and each piece, is one of a kind. 

Homemade saffron gnocchi is a simple and genuine dish to make for your special group of friends. 100% handmade. In every bite your friends get a taste of your love. Here’s to equality for women, not just once a year, but every day.

Homemade Saffron Gnocchi
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Homemade saffron gnocchi is a simple and genuine dish to make for your special group of friends to celebrate International Women’s Day. 100% handmade. In every bite your friends get a taste of your love. Here’s to equality for women, not just once a year, but every day.
Serves: 4-6
  • For the gnocchi:
  • 2.2 lbs (1 kg) potatoes suitable for gnocchi
  • 1½ to 2½ cups (150-300g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • For the saffron sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) butter
  • 8oz (240ml) heavy cream
  • 1 pinch of saffron threads
  • 2 tablespoons of hot water
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  1. Wash the potatoes with their skins on. Drop them into a large pot, fill with cold water, then bring them to boil over medium-high heat until the potatoes can easily be pierced with a fork. Drain. While hot, peel them then pass them through a potato masher, letting them fall onto a large floured workspace.
  2. In a small cup, add the hot water and saffron threads. Allow them to infuse for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Add half of the flour, a few pinches of salt and work the flour and potatoes together. Make a well and add the egg and continue kneading the mixture, adding little by little more flour until a soft dough forms. Roll the dough into a large loaf, then cut into slices like you would a loaf of bread. Roll out each slice into a small looking bread stick, making sure to use a small amount of flour so it doesn’t stick to the work surface. Slice into small pieces. For regular gnocchi, you can cook right away or roll off the tins of a fork to create marks or for festive gnocchi that look like the mimosa flower, a symbol of  La Festa della Donne or Women’s Day, roll each piece into a ball.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  5. In the meantime, make the sauce. Melt the butter in a skillet and add the heavy cream. Add the infused saffron water (you can also filter the water if you don’t want saffron threads to show), salt and black pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  6. Salt the water with 1-2 tablespoons of coarse salt and add the gnocchi. Cook until the gnocchi float to the top;1-2 minutes. Drain, reserving a cup of the cooking water, and add the gnocchi to the skillet. Add a spoonful or two of cooking water. Mix until the sauce is the right consistency and remove from heat. Serve warm with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Buon appetito!

Learn How to Make Homemade Pasta :: West Coast Food Tour!

Learn How to Make Homemade Pasta :: West Coast Food Tour!

I am so excited to be on another food tour with Smeg, USA!

three-colored-pasta-veritcalProbably by now you’ve been aware of my obsession with their 1950’s style small appliances. I just love the cool design; it’s the only appliance that I want to leave out on my countertops. My favorite appliance is their stand mixer and pasta attachments. I love the look on peoples’ faces when I’m able to show them how to make fresh, homemade pasta in 20 minutes. Eating, healthy good food has never been so easy!

three-color-pasta-stand-mixer-web-italicanakitchenCome stop by at these free demonstrations, say hi and I’ll share with you all of my pasta making tips and tricks. I’m excited to see you there!

Here is the lineup to the upcoming events:

Vancouver, Canada

Hudson’s Bay Company

Address: 674 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6C 1Z6, Canada

     Thursday, January 12th 12-2pm and 4-6pm

    Friday, January 13th  12-2pm and 4-6pm

     Sunday, January 15th 12-2pm and 4-6pm

San Francisco, USA

Thursday, January 19th — Williams-Sonoma — 12-2pm

340 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

Friday, January 20th  Bloomingdale’s — 12-2pm

Address: Westfield San Francisco Centre, 845 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA

Saturday, January 21st — Williams-Sonoma — 12-2pm

340 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

Sunday, January 22nd — Bloomingdale’s — 12-2pm

Address: Westfield San Francisco Centre, 845 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA

NYC-Web-CindyThis post is in collaboration with Smeg USA. All of the thoughts are my own.


Holiday Quinoa Salad

Holiday Quinoa Salad

I’ve never found fresh cranberries in Italy, only dried. Normally it wouldn’t be a problem; after all, I only ever eat fresh cranberries at holiday meals like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Yet, it’s now approaching 2 years since my last cranberry fix; two years since I’ve been home to the US during the holidays.

What do I love about homemade cranberry sauce? Well, for starters, its bright vibrant red color that brightens the table, then there’s that sudden shock of surprise when a cranberry pops in my mouth releasing its tart juices that slowly are taken over by sweetness and later rounded off by a hint of CONTINUE READING

Hello from New York! 

Hello from New York! 

14606399_10105686833022938_4660464007736136266_nIt’s been such an exciting time for italicana kitchen! Mr. Italicano and I have been on quite an adventure: 10 food events around New York City to celebrate Smeg USA’s 10th anniversary in the states. Our last one is today at Eataly Downtown. To celebrate Halloween I will be making pumpkin hummus, creamy pumpkin soup and homemade turmeric pasta with pumpkin sauce, walnuts and crispy sage ribbons. I would love to see you there!


Here are some photos of the 10 food events. What do you think of my 1950’s look?  CONTINUE READING!

Learn How to Make Natural Colored Pasta with Italicana Kitchen in New York City!

Learn How to Make Natural Colored Pasta with Italicana Kitchen in New York City!

italicanakitchenMr. Italicano and I have arrived in New York City! We’ll be here for the next 2 weeks to help Smeg USA celebrate their 10th anniversary with 10 food events around the city! I am so excited to be a part of this food tour and I can’t wait to teach you how to make simple and delicious homemade Italian food. A special thanks to my Italian family, friends and foodies who have taught me the art and tricks to cooking delicious, healthy Italian food during the past 8 years that I have been living in Italy.

three-colored-pasta-web-2-italicanakitchenOn my menu, I’ll show you how to make natural colored pasta dishes and pumpkin themed recipes that are perfect for Halloween. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of samples!

  1. Beet Pasta with Brussels Sprouts, Goat Cheese and Toasted Walnuts
  2. Spinach Pasta with Kale Pesto, Shaved Leeks and Toasted Almonds 
  3. Turmeric Pasta with Roasted Pumpkin, Toasted Walnuts and Crispy Sage Ribbons 
  4. Creamy Pumpkin Soup with Homemade Croutons, Crispy Sage Ribbons and Toasted Sunflower Seeds
  5. Pumpkin Hummus and Crostini 

spinach-web-3-italicanakitchenFor those of you in the New York City area, here is the event calendar. I would really appreciate your help if you pass this information on to all of your foodie friends. Thank you SO MUCH in advance for helping to spread the word!

eventcalendar_smeg_italicanakitchenWe’re also running a contest at the events, and the winner will receive a beautiful CONTINUE READING