In This Issue
Pasta Primavera
Sugo di Piselli, Pancetta & Cipollini Recipe
New classes in US
2015 Tuscany Tours - Naples & Amalfi Coast
At the Italian Table Supper Club

 Spring Peas
Peas and Pancetta   
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Trip Advisor reviews



2015 Food & Wine Tours


May 29 - June 5, 2015 

June 5 - June 12 - 2 spots left 

Sept 26 -Oct 3 - 4 spots left!   


Bologna & Tuscany

October 4 - 11

Sept 16 - 22, 2015

Join us next year for a full immersion to the regions of Tuscany and Emilia Romagna - great food, wine, history and culture!   


Vacation Villas
& Farmhouses

Casa Marta
Great accommodations for either a night or a week. When planning your stay in Italy, begin your 'country living' on a Saturday and depart the area the following Saturday for the best selection of villas and houses! 
Call for more information.
Contact Mary: 972.342.8308 
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Ecco La Cucina Cookbook

gina's cookbook  


Gina's revised and updated cookbook is available. It has more than 20 new recipes! This collection of traditional Tuscan cooking, features dishes of the Siena area and some of her favorites. 


Ciao a tutti,
Spring has arrived! The hills in Tuscany are green and yellow. Its one of our favorite times in Italy with the countryside waking up after it's long winter nap.

We are looking forward to being in Italy this year. We'd love to share our little corner of Italy with you, if you're interested call Mary (972.342.8308) or email us. Good availability still for this fall! More info below!

Buon Appetito!
Gina and Mary

Primavera & Piselli - Spring and Peas  

We take fresh peas for granted.  With sugar snap and snow pea pods in the produce section of any grocery store all year long, it's easy to do.  Seeing peas all year long removes us from the fact that peas are a spring vegetable. What we should be seeing now, in April and May, are piles of fresh English pea pods. Sadly, they're difficult to find. I asked the produce manager at the local Kroger here and he looked at me with a puzzled expression and pointed out the packaged snow pea pods. They're nice too, but nothing says "spring" like a big crate of English peas. Unless it's the spring onions, sweet and juicy; the fresh garlic, with its soft, new skin and light flavor; or new arugula and lettuces!  Spring means breaking away from heavy winter greens and going light, easy and fresh.


In Tuscany, fresh peas, in the form of the classic English pea pods which you have to shell, are available only in the spring and only for a short period of time. The arrival of English peas at the corner vegetable store or produce section means spring is in full swing and summer isn't far away! Once they're gone, you have to wait a whole year

Pasta Primavera 

to eat them again.

In Venice
, they make a soupy risotto called risi e bisi, which uses both the fresh peas and the little green pods they come in. There is a tough membrane on the inside of the shell, protecting the peas, which is carefully peeled away to free the tender, sweet outer pea pod..... Click here to read more and get the recipes... 
Sugo di Piselli, Pancetta & Cipollini (spring peas, pancetta & new onions)
1 cup diced pancetta

2 spring onions, chopped, or 8 scallions
1 ˝ cup fresh peas
Extra virgin olive oil
6 fresh sage leaves, torn in two
Sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
If you can't get English peas, get sugar snap peas and slice them 1/4 " thickness on the diagonal.
Gently sauté the pancetta and onion in olive oil until soft, adding freshly ground black pepper if the pancetta has been cured without it (which is usual in the US). Add the sage leaves and fresh peas and sauté a few minutes, adding salt to taste, until the peas are just cooked through. When the pasta is al dente, toss it with the sauce, adding a little of the pasta water and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Top with grated Parmigiano before serving.

Spring Dates - if you're in the area!

Near Louisville, KYA wonderful B&B in Jeffersonville, IN is hosting Gina with 2 cooking classes. The first hands on class will be a pasta class this Saturday, May 9th 11-2 p.m. and cost is $65. Always fun and entertaining to see Gina explain how and then to try it on your own!  

June 27 Saturday @ 5 pm another hands on class making 3 courses and fresh pasta plus an antipasti during class, followed by dinner. $95  

Market Street Inn
Please call Carol at the Inn to make your reservations! 812.285.1877
2015 Tuscany Tours
We're dreaming of escaping back to Tuscany this
June and September/October and hope you'll join us on our highly rated food and wine tours! Whether you're looking to celebrate a life event or Italy is on your bucket list, our small intimate food and wine tours are a excellent way to experience the real Italy. It is a wonderful balance of wine, food, culture and history.
Join us this year. Click here to see a sample itinerary. 

We've scheduled our tour to Naples and Campania and the Amalfi Coast! This beautiful area with the picturesque seas and Mt Vesuvius are a foodie destination with it's pizza, seafood and mozzarella of that region...did we mention the wines too? Our tour is scheduled for Sept 16 - 22, more information on our website or call Mary 972.342.8308.
Tuscan countryside
At the Italian Table   
"At the Italian Table" will open a retail space with a commercial kitchen offering cooking classes and small private dinners! Look for an opening later this summer. In the meantime - Gina's private dinner series - "At the Italian Table" will continue while she works to open her retail space. 
Click here to learn more about the supper club on our website and how to be a part of it. Each month Gina hosts a small, intimate dinner party. Call it a "pop-up", a supper club or underground dinner club, but whatever the name - Gina is delivering excellent food and a unique experience. Contact: Gina -