Ciao'd while sipping limoncello made by my British friend (British!), Susan. 

This frittata, bursting with spring flavors, is a super easy solution for brunch, lunch, or dinner. Add a green salad and crusty bread and the meal is complete. Omit the ham for a vegetarian version.

Serves 4

3 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces fresh mushrooms (any variety you like), thinly sliced
10 asparagus spears, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup diced ham
8 large eggs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat the broiler. In a 12-inch ovenproof or cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Toss in the asparagus and ham and cook until the asparagus is bright green and barely tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. 

While the vegetables are cooking, in a medium bowl whisk the eggs and thyme. Stir in the goat cheese and salt and pepper, to taste. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet; do not stir. Cook, undisturbed, until the eggs have set and thickened and only the surface is runny,  about 5 minutes.

Put the skillet under the broiler (about 4 inches from the heat) and cook until the center is set and the top is golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the frittata from the oven and let it rest 5 minutes before serving. Loosen the frittata with a spatula and slide onto a plate. Cut in into wedges. Serve the frittata hot or at room temperature. 


Ciao'd with hot chocolate and whipped cream.

The secret to stovetop steaks? Dry them well, season generously with salt, and cook in a super-hot pan, preferably cast-iron. Turning the steaks frequently after an initial sear develops the deep brown crust that complements the juicy tenderness of the meat inside. Pesto Mashed Potatoes, enriched with buttery, herbal flavor and a hint of garlic, bring the classic mash side dish to another #dolcevitadelish level. 

Serves 4

2 boneless beef steaks, 1- to 1 ½-inches thick (about 2 pounds total), such as New York strip, rib-eye, or hanger
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil, for brushing pan
Pesto Mashed Potatoes

Pat steaks dry with paper towels. Generously salt on both sides, and season with pepper. Place on a paper towel-lined plate and bring to room temperature, about 30 minutes.  Pat the steaks dry again. 

Place a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet over high heat. Brush the skillet lightly with olive oil. When the oil begins to smoke, add the steaks and cook without moving them, 1 minute. Flip the steaks and cook 1 minute more. Continue cooking, flipping steaks every 30 seconds. When the steaks are deep brown and crusty on each side, about 4 minutes total, check for doneness.  For medium-rare, the meat should register 120 to 125 degrees on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the steak. (Steaks will continue cooking after being removed from the pan.)

Remove steak to a cutting board and tent lightly with foil. Let rest 5 minutes. Slice ½-inch thick on the diagonal or serve whole.  


This is a take on the classic Portuguese dish, Alentejana, a brilliant combination of pork and clams. It's a classic example of how simple, rustic ingredients can orchestrate perfection. Linguica is a Portuguese smoked, cured sausage flavored with paprika and garlic, If you can't find it, substitute chorizo. Serve the clams with crusty bread for mopping up the broth. Just, yum. 

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