12 October 2012

Presto Pasta Nights Round-Up and 50 Things I Will Do In Italy

They're here. All of those delectable entries from all over the world from pasta salad to lasagna to Pho. In anticipation of my upcoming trip to Italy I was more than happy to host Presto Pasta Nights which has been the baby of Ruth over at Once Upon a Feast for over 5 glorious years. There is a pasta for every season, every ingredient and every taste.  Ruth says, " Every week food bloggers photograph and write about their latest pasta creation… if it’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner; served hot or cold; spicy or sweet; from appetizers to mains to desserts." A big thank you to all who sent us their pasta creations this time around. Without further a due....

Chili Lime Noodles

My very first entry comes from my old stomping grounds of Toronto, Ontario from Janet of The Taste Space with her Chili Lime Noodles. Janet is eating through her pantry and created this dish with soba noodles that are smothered in a bright, tangy, zesty and most importantly delicious chili-lime dressing.


Thank you to Cindy from Cindystar for Blecs of Cjanal di Guart from the Val Degano valley in Italy. The recipe uses my new find Montasio cheese also from the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy. It makes me wish I still had Venice on my itinerary.

Pasta in Creamy Mustard Sauce

Our next pasta dish comes from Neel of Eastern Aroma with Pasta in Creamy Mustard Sauce , Neel says, "The pasta sauce is tangy and bursting with flavours of mushroom and fresh parsley."

Smoked Marrow Bone Pasta 

Tandy from Lavender and Lime offers us a delectable Smoked Marrow Bone Pasta a perfectly warming dish on a cold, blustery night.

Le Migliori Polpette di Tonno (The Best Tuna Meatballs)

Last but not least we have my own dish of Le Migliori Polpette di Tonno (The Best Tuna Meatballs). I am dreaming of Italy..now only 9 more sleeps....

I have been planning and dreaming for a year now since I started working 6 days a week. Part of the joy of travel is in the planning. Dreams will become a reality as I explore a small portion of Calabria and Campania. These are the adventures I know, but what else will come my way with the unexpected waits to be seen. What would be on your list for when you travel to Southern Italy?

50 Things on my Wish list for Italy...

1) To pick a ripe fig right from a tree and taste the sweet deliciousness for the first time.
2) Wander through a lemon grove and pick an Amalfi lemon...Sfusato from Amalfi,  Ovale from Sorrento and Femminiello from Capri
3) To eat pizza and cook pizza in Naples, its birthplace
4) To try the famous zucchini pasta with provolone del Monaco cheese in the small fishing village of Nerano.
5) To visit the Naples National Archaeological Museum (Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli) in Naples and see the artifacts from Pompeii.
6) To have dinner with an Italian family.
7) To try limoncello from the source and the small producers who make it.
8) To watch them creating some inlaid wood creations in Sorrento
9) Visit the small fishing village of Cetara on the Amalfi Coast, and try its "Colatura di Alici" a modern version of the Ancient Roman "Garum" an elixir made from anchovies.
10) Visit De Riso patisserie in Minori.

 Its tables spill out across the piazza and it’s perfect for coffee at any time of day. 
11)  Visit the town of Gragnano the small town south of Naples where pasta has been made since the 16th century. The humidity and ventilation produced by the sea breeze provide the perfect atmospheric conditions for the production of pasta.
12) Eat Ndunderi in Minori a type of gnocchi originating from the town. "Ndunderi" is considered by UNESCO to be one of the oldest types of pasta in the world. In the times of the Ancient Romans it is thought that the gnocchi were made with spelt flour and rennet. Today they are made with fresh ricotta and are typically served with a fresh tomato sauce. Best enjoyed in one of the area's traditional restaurants.
13) Take a ferry to Capri.
14) Take the bus to Anacapri and take the funicular up...
15)Take a boat around the island of Capri.
16) Eat a Caprese salad in its birthplace Capri.
17) Walk along the Path of the Gods and walk down (notice I said down and not up) the 1,700+ steps to Positano
18) Have a foodie tour of Positano and discover it from a local perspective.
19) Have a wine tasting in Positano and taste wines from the Campania region.
20) Take a water taxi to a secluded restaurant and beach along the Amalfi Coast
21) Watch the sunset along the Amalfi Coast from my room in the pedestrian only town of Nocelle high above Positano.
22) Try tartufo in Pizzo 
23) Learn to make "Scialatelli" a long pasta typical of the Amalfi Coast. Scialatielli are shorter than spaghetti, decidedly irregular in shape and particularly tasty when served with fish and seafood
24) Watch the pressing of olives to make olive oil
25) Attend the chestnut festival in Scala on the Amalfi Coast, watch the donkey race and try some delicious dishes made with chestnuts.
26) Buy capri pants on the island of Capri.
27) Try Vino Novello Italy's equivalent of beaujolais nouveau. This light red wine is fermented quickly from the September grape harvest, and it is best while young and fresh. By law its release cannot be earlier than the first week of November (usually available from the 6th of that month) 
28) Take a dip in the Tyrrhenian sea. 
29) Attend a music event in Ravello
30) Have a cooking class with Salvatore at Il Ritrivo high above Positano in Montepertuso.
31) Sit in the piazza in the small coastal town of Atrani and watch people go by.
32) Have a gelato in Amalfi
33) Walk down the steps from Ravello to Atrani
34) Look into the eyes of a water buffalo.
35) Shape some mozzarella cheese and taste it minutes after it being made. Mozzarella di bufala is an extraordinarily soft, vibrant and tangy mozzarella cheese that has become highly prized throughout the world.
36) Ride a bike along the mozzarella highway on the way to Paestum.
37) See the sun rise over the Greek ruins of Paestum. The Greek city of Poseidonia was founded in 600 BCE in honour, as its name suggests, of the Greek god of the sea, Poseidon. Later named Paestum by the Romans, this ancient city-state has three of the best-preserved Doric-style temples in the world.At dawn, Paestum is illuminated a remarkably rosy pink as day breaks over the Greek temples as it has for 2,500 years.
 38) Wander the ancient streets of Pompeii and dream about what life was all about back before the eruption.
39) Start the morning with a sfogliatelle... a shell-shaped pastry oozing with lemon custard – and a proper Neopolitan coffee.
40) Take a cooking class in Pizzo and have foodie a tour of the city.
41) Have a cooking class from the baroness.
42) To see an active volcano on the island of Stromboli visible from my room at the former convent.
43) Take the train to Scilla the traditional site of the sea monster Scylla of Greek mythology.
44) Take a boat and fish on the Tyrrehenian Sea with a local and cook our catch on board.
45)  Have dinner in a restaurant in a cave in the mountain town of Calitri.
46) Have a cooking class up in the mountains outside of Tropea learning dishes from cucina povera from a local woman.
47) Learn to speak some rudimentary Italian.
48)Taste a Tropea onion. In Italy these onions are so famous that cipolla di Tropea ("Tropea onion" or "Tropea's onion") has become an Italian synonym for all red onionsOne of the gelaterias in town, Tonino in the Corso, even makes a red onion ice cream (as well as others based on squid ink and nduja, the local spicy salami).
49)Walk up the steps of the iconic church in Tropea Santa Maria della Isola and peer into the fishermen's caves.
50) To return to Italy.

 You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. This is my way to dream Val. I know you'll have a great time in Italy. Be sure to have a taste of everything, once for yourself and once for us:)

  2. A wonderful roundup! Everything looks ever so scrumptious.



  3. I did eat ripe figs right off the tree..love your list..you are going to do a lot of those things I bet..Ciao:-)

  4. So many creative recipes, Val. Love the bone marrow....
    I hope you get to do every one of your 50 wishes! It's quite an extensive list. But I know you'll try and tell us all about it!

  5. You are right about the planning being have the fun of traveling, but with your wish list, I think the reality will be marvelous. Have fun in Italy.

  6. Wow, what an adventure you're about to embark on, I can't wait to hear everything about it! These pastas are a great way to whet our appetites for an armchair trip to Italy!! :)

  7. I am saving this list . . . if I ever get to Italy, any part! So excited for you. (And such a great round-up of pasta, familiar, new, great.)

  8. I am so excited for you and your trip!

  9. I so wish to go to Italy some day! I love pasta and the thought of having it for breakfast sounds so awesome!

  10. I'm not sure where, but I can do the fig thing somewhere in my neighborhood. There is an old man in my building who mooches them and gives them out to his neighbors. I got lucky on one of his distributing days this summer. I almost mooched one myself from a fig tree in Chincoteague on vacation this summer. I had some pangs of guilt though. :-(

    A year ago today I was in Italy. It hardly seems like more than last week. My trip was far less exciting than yours. I stayed in one place, someone else did the cooking. I still long for the long gallops surrounded by the Senese hills, the picnics under the olive trees with too much wine and the horses grazing peacefully nearby, the little villages that looked as if they were preserved in time, and the endless vineyards (particularly the ones where we did our tastings!) You make me want to go back so badly and see and do all of the things I missed!

  11. Jeez Val, how long are you going for? Are you planning on coming home at some point? That is some list. I hope you can happily tick it all off :)

  12. I'm feeling especially pasta-y this week. Looks like I fit right in.

  13. Your list of 50 is just a taste of Bella Italia...
    add #51 for me.
    Sit, sip and listen to the music of Italy.
    Buon Viaggio mi amici!

  14. You sure know how to dream big Val, I hope you get to do everything on your list! Can't wait to hear about it all and see all your pic's!

  15. What a delicious round-up! Hope you make a dent in that incredible list (maybe move there for a year?) But even if you only do 49 things, you'll just have to go back to finish the list!

  16. Have a great time in Italy Val! We are headed there ourselves on Monday! :)

  17. Have an amazing time checking off your list!!!!

  18. Loved your list Val! It would take some nerve for me to try the squid ink ice cream, and even more nerve to taste the garum, but I'm looking forward to hearing all about it. Take tons of photos and have an amazing adventure. Buon appetito!

  19. All these dishes look absolutely fantastic, Val, even the bone marrow one. :-) And I couldn't stop smiling reading your Italy list. I too HAD to eat a sun-warmed fig straight off the tree in Tuscany, and HAD to have Caprese salad on Capri. :-) You are such a kindred spirit. :-)

  20. Great roundup...maybe next time I will contribute.

    Have a wonderful trip and I jsut ate two figs off my friends tree in New Jersey!

  21. Lucky! I have always wanted to go to Italy. Have fun checking off your list. The food pic's look amazing.

  22. I have always wanted to go to Italy. Have fun!

  23. I would love to be planning a trip to Italy. Your wish list sounds fantastic. Have a great trip!

  24. Wow! Hope you get to do all that! I was at the Italian border so many times years ago, but never actually visited Italy. Lucky you! Have a blast, my friend! It would be so cool to have dinner with an Italian family!

  25. Knowing you, these are not just dreams but planned events :). Enjoy every single minute of your trip

  26. What a wonderful trip and wishes,but I know you'll have a great time there. Have a beautiful trip. Great round up

  27. OOh I want to join to join you on completing the 50 things in Italy sounds heavenly!!

  28. I'd be happy to do half of the things on your list! You will have a wonderful time, I'm sure.

  29. Delicious pastas! I hope you get to do all 50 things on your list!

  30. What an amazing trip you have planned! You're making me dream about Positano and the south of Italy too.

  31. I am so excited for you to be going to Italy!
    I really enjoyed my time in Capri, although the bus is only 2 euros I do suggest traveling in style to Anacapri in a convertible car. The narrow misses of buses and the views are worth it!
    I took the single chairlift up to the highest point in Anacapri as well and it was exhilarating!

    As for pasta, the best I had was in Bologna - pumpkin filled tortellini with balsamic reduction

    Can't wait to read about your adventures!

    PS an uneducated palate, Laura, directed me your way as you are a fellow Okanagan blogger

  32. I missed all these posts now I have to read each one after the fact. Who planned your itinerary? I want to go to these places some I recall but not all of them. Sounds like an incredible journey! Wish you could pack me in your suitcase.

  33. Hey Vicki. I planned my own itinerary on researching where I would like to go over the past year of dreaming.. fro other peoples suggestions and stories.

  34. I've never heard of a tuna meatball! Traveling to Italy one day is my dream and I'm going to steal your list of 50 things to do because everyone of them sounds just like I'd love to do!

  35. What a wonderful list of things to do in Southern Italy. Several of which I was fortunate to do during my week there. I wish you "Buon viaggio" Val and will look for your posts while there.

    Ciao, ciao,


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