Beyond Pasta

Beyond the Pasta; Recipes, Language and Life with an Italian Family
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He participated in nearly every aspect of family life - daily trips to the market and food preparation with Nonna, afternoon language lessons, family dinners, and frequent postprandial strolls Mark also spent several days in Rome and attended social events with the family. The book is set up in a journal format, with every day a separate chapter. Of course food planning, shopping, preparation, and eating plays the most prominent role. The easy, conversational tone makes this memoir immensely readable.

I enjoyed reading about Mark's trips to the market and detailed scenes from the kitchen I cheered his increasing language proficiency, and especially appreciated discussion of the culture, and general philosophy surrounding food and eating - la dolce vita. Growing up with my very own Italian grandmother, this book made me nostalgic for childhood days spent in her kitchen.

First, the author does not use the oxford comma. I always do and never imagined its absence would bug me so much, but it really did - starting with the title, in fact. Second, the photography could have been better. Granted, pictures aren't the main attraction, but the black and white photos weren't very clear. I also would have appreciated pictures of the food. Favorite Passages: With Italian, you always pronounce all of the letters in the word. The only silent letter is "h"; otherwise, each and every letter gets pronounced.

For example, ciao - hello and goodbye - is pronounced "chee-ah-ow.

Beyond Pasta - Ristorante Pizzeria Il Saraceno

Every syllable, every bite! I am learning the importance of this type of preparation. First, the food always come sot the table hot and perfectly prepared. Second, it gives you some time between courses to digest your food, drink some wine and feel as if you have eaten a lot when actually, because the portions are smaller, you have eaten less than you would sitting at an American table. View all 5 comments. Apr 02, Linda rated it it was amazing Shelves: cookbook. So much more than a cookbook!

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Because life is not only made of cooking and eating, but also of crafting! I thought for a while about this title: New Year in Rome, trip to Rome, Rome and Italian food, Amazing Rome. Another recipe that is a super classic in Italy: potato gnocchi (dumplings). Beyond The Pasta: Recipes, Language and Life with an Italian Family Paperback – January 1, He would travel to Viterbo, Italy and live with an Italian family. Though the book contains authentic, delicious family recipes Nonna shared with Mark, Beyond the Pasta delves into food.

This is a captivating diary of the author's stay in Italy learning the Italian language and taking an intense Italian cooking class. There are recipes, but this is not primarily a cookbook. Reading about the author's Italian experience made me feel like I'd traveled to Italy on an extended vacation. Within the pages, you'll visit 41 churches in Italy! You'll walk around Italy at night! You'll learn how to pronounce bruschetta correctly brew-sket-tah.

You'll di Wow! You'll discover that, in Italy, it is considered high treason to have pasta not used and served immediately after being cooked. Don't get me wrong. There are recipes and lots of useful tips like how to easily flip a frittata and how to debone a chicken while keeping it whole. The recipes are not complicated. You'll even learn how to describe kitchen mishaps!

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This is a treasure trove! After you've had a glorious day laughing and learning with this book, you'll want to shout "Bellissimo! May 01, Nance added it. Beyond the Pasta is an engaging, inspiring, fun, and at times very moving, account of a month that changed not only the author's life, but also touched his host family's life. In fact, the book is dedicated to his host family in Viterbo, near Rome, who opened not just their home to the author, but their warm hearts.

Leslie comes across as a respectful, serious, warm-hearted, funny, kind and sweet man, so it is no wonder that the family embraced him. Beyond the Pasta is created from Mr. Leslie Beyond the Pasta is an engaging, inspiring, fun, and at times very moving, account of a month that changed not only the author's life, but also touched his host family's life. Leslie's journal, which he kept while in Italy.

The book is divided by day, and includes events from that day with the family and other Italians, and his advances and setbacks in acquiring the Italian language. His gentle humor adds to the book, as I am sure it added pleasure to his host family's month with this American in their home. I would suggest the book be read in sections, a few "days" at a time. Then take a few days to try out those "day's" recipes.

Recipes, language, and life with an Italian family

I love the personal tone that this book takes, showing one person's perspective on immersion into the Italian culture with respect, awe and determination to experience everything to the fullest. Indeed, I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves Italy and all things Italian; it would make a perfect gift for the Italophile on your list. Unless otherwise specified, all content, writing, recipes and photography is original and held in copyright through the Library of Congress. Enlarge cover. Four out of the five recipes have been absolute hits and the other one was still pretty good.

Then move on to reading a few more "days". The recipes are for Italian home-cooking specialties, and they are very clearly explained in the recipe sections at the end of each "day", and at the end of the book. Jan 23, Lyn rated it really liked it. Much more than a cookbook this is a lovely journal of life with an Italian family — a visit that has gone on to include yearly visits.

A glimpse into the day to day life that a typical tourist would never see. The family embraces cooking and trips to the market become adventures to explore and share. This is a well written book that is a pleasure to read.

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Jun 26, P. This was a good cookbook with good stories to go along with the recipes. The author taking a trip to Italy and learning to cook from an Italian family mostly from the grandmother or Nonna. The area in which he was learning was a little different from where my family was from, so some of the recipes were different.

Yet some of the ingredients were the same. I found that to be interesting. He was the eldes This was a good cookbook with good stories to go along with the recipes. His love of stories and food was passed down to me and that was what this book brought back to me. The smells of the kitchen when cooking certain Italian foods is like no other, with a glass of wine while cooking and then sharing with family or friends or both is what cooking is all about.

I got that from this book. The recipes were all easy to follow and overall this was a very good book. I received this book from Netgalley. Follow us at www. Oct 20, Angela Ryser Bahling rated it really liked it Shelves: memoir , net-galley , travel , cultural. What a great memoir! Complete with travel observations and recipes from an Italian Nonna. I also learned a little Italian along the way. Mark Donovan Leslie has a wonderful way with words, describing everything from daily tasks to historical sites to family gatherings to personal emotional moments.

He has a wonderful sense of humor and easily laughs at himself. I will use this book in reference to future travels and cooking!

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My thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a digital copy of this info What a great memoir! My thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a digital copy of this informative and highly entertaining book! Mar 12, Sara Hulford rated it it was amazing. Loved it! Fun, easy to read, and I laughed along with him as he adapts to living with an Italian family for a month, in their home, by their rules. Nonna's rules to be precise. Feb 15, Darren rated it really liked it. Could this have been the start of a plot for a feature film?

Read the following from the book's publicity material with a deep "Hollywood Trailer" voice: "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 Could this have been the start of a plot for a feature film?


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. Here is a book that mixes the author's memories, a bit of a cultural travelogue and a lot of recipes. Whilst the book seems interesting and has potential, it felt a bit too much of a muchness, a bit of a book whose direction was lost in part.

Not quite lost in translation. You need to focus on this book a lot more than perhaps should be necessary. Maybe the design, or lack thereof, played its part even though it shouldn't.

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Cutting to the chase, if you drill down to the recollections of cookery lessons you stand to gain a fair bit of useful history, background information and techniques to help shape your own Italian cuisine skills. It is, however, not a traditional "teach yourself" type of book. The recipes that accompany the book are different and not necessarily mainstream or typical - and that is a good thing - and you really get a lot more context and understanding.

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It is akin to sitting on the author's shoulder during his time in Italy. Unless you have a particular affinity to Italian cuisine or to the country as a whole it is probably not going to be one of the first books you pick up, particularly with its price tag. It is not full of colourful photographs of finished dishes, Italian scenery or travel photographs.