Fresh From Nancy's Garden

A Fun Place For Gardening Tips and Great Recipes

Everything Italian

"Italian Beer" Braised Pot Roast With Carrots and Potatoes

    Here’s another one of my accidental dinners. I found a great recipe for pot roast using 2 lbs. of chuck roast and went to the market to get all the ingredients only to realize when I got home it called for red wine and I didn’t have any. How that was possible is a whole other story.   Once again, I improvised. I had some Italian beer in […]

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Green Pepper and Onion Arrabiata Pasta — Ready In Less Than 30 Minutes!

  Ever have one of those days when you’re really too tired to cook, there’s nothing to make at home but you don’t want to go out to dinner? That’s the mood I was in last Monday on my way home from a long day at work.   I had nothing — and I do mean nothing — to make at home. Jake had gone back to college and I […]

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It’s a Pizza Throwdown–"Lorenzo" Nokes vs. Franco "Del Tartufo"!

The pizza wars have begun. It’s Larry “Lorenzo” Nokes vs “Frank” Franco del Tartufo. Larry’s no stranger to pizza or Italy for that matter–he lived in the Emilia Romagna region for two years and tasted a lot of pizza. In fact, one of my early blogs was about Larry and his BBQ’d Pizza. But Larry, always seeking to outdo himself, has come a long way since using the plain BBQ.  Thanks […]

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Italian White Bean Salad With Alessandro’s (D.O.P.) Parmigiano Reggiano

We’re going back to Italy this week and making an Italian white bean salad topped with Parmigiano Reggiano that’s aged for 36 months. Not just any cheese, but cheese that has the coveted D.O.P. stamp! Never heard of D.O.P.? Keep reading–you’ll learn all about it and Alessandro’s Food Tours. This bean salad is really simple, but make it a day ahead so the flavors can blend. I like to serve […]

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Franco’s Authentic Italian (BBS) Pizza You Can Make At Home!

Just look at this pizza! Fresh dough, perfectly formed, topped with the perfect amount of tomato sauce and mozzarella, then baked in a wood-burning pizza oven. Doesn’t it make you want to jump on a plane and go to Italy right now?    Good news–you can make this at home. So put away your passport and skip the jet lag. Franco, the chef at Tuscookany, shared his secrets to making a […]

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Italian Grilled Halibut…La Dolce Vita

Park your Vespa and heat the grill…we’re going on a food adventure!  It doesn’t get any easier…or tastier than this. I like to think of this meal as a little trip to Rome…not as good as being there, but if you listen to the original soundtrack of La Dolce Vita while you’re cooking, you can almost picture Fellini, Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg. One of the things I love best […]

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Classic Tomato Caprese Salad

Want to make a beautiful dish in a hurry and it’s too hot to turn on the stove, let alone think about cooking? This is definitely it! Tomato Caprese is always a cool and refreshing salad during the hottest days of summer when tomatoes are at their peak–ripe and juicy.  Start with great tomatoes, add some fresh mozzarella, a few basil leaves and a drizzle of good Italian olive oil […]

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Best-Ever (And Easiest) Tortellini Salad

Need an easy, crowd-pleasing dish to serve at home or bring to a summer pot luck? This is it!It takes almost no time to make and best yet…it tastes even better the next day after all the flavors blend overnight. INGREDIENTS DRESSING: NOTE: DOUBLE THE INGREDIENTS IF YOU’RE MAKING THE PASTA SALAD IN ADVANCE. IT WILL NEED MORE DRESSING!  2 TBS chopped shallot 1/2 tsp grainy Dijon mustard 1 clove minced […]

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Mangi Con Amore: Chicken Piccata

In Italy “Mangi Con Amore” literally means “Eat With Love”, but in Laguna Beach it mean Stella’s booth at our Farmer’s Market where you can buy some of the best fresh pastas, sauces and olive oil. I used her olive oil this week to make my chicken piccata and (after dealing with a pan problem–I’ll explain) it was the best ever. I’ve truly perfected it now, so try this recipe. Not only […]

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Mini Mushroom Lasagna inspired by Franco, Tuscookany and Big Night

Doesn’t this look delicious?  I admit, it’s fairly time consuming and yes, there are lots of ingredients, but it’s really easy to make. And after one bite, you’ll agree it’s worth all the effort! It’s just that good.  When I was at my cooking vacation at Torre Del Tartufo, tuscookany.com, Franco, our chef, taught us how to make an authentic porcini lasagna. It was September and porcini mushrooms were abundant and inexpensive and […]

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