July 2015 – Pope Francis, Turin Italy Highlights, Italian Food,

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Off to Torino Italy

Listen, Love, Learn !


 A Papal Visit to Turin, Italy on June 21st, 2015


Pope Francis on Video Screen – Torino Italy ……………Papal Mass with 100,000 people.


100,000 People Viewing Papal Mass from a Distance in Piazza Vittorio Veneto Square

It was a trip of discovery, experiencing the spirit, and listening to the world. Across the ocean in Torino, Italy, Pope Francis would be visiting a place where his father was baptized; his grandparents were married; and many relatives still live. There would be a Papal Mass, visitations to the Shroud, stops at the Basilica of the Consolata, along with visits to churches and holy shrines. But we were there to see the real Pope, the one coming to visit the home of his ancestors. I know you are wondering, what did we really find? Who was the person behind those printed messages that appear in national papers?

The Pontiff himself called this visit, a homecoming characterized by a welcome that exceeded expectations. For him, every meeting that he had was very important: the Waldensian Temple, the Salesian family, young people, laborers, unemployed, a lone woman struggling with economic woes. He responded to all of them with personal caring. He was like a rock star embraced as a hometown hero.  The people of Torino loved him and  you could feel it in everyone around us.  And it was mutual, he loved them and you could see it on his face as he tirelessly rode through the crowd in the Popemobile.


Our Tour Group


The Cathedral of Milan (Duomo)


Father Charlie of our Tour Group


Attending a Mass one morning, Charlie appeared, wearing priest’s vestments. When I saw him standing there in the church giving his sermon, I knew, as with all things, everything happens for a reason. As he spoke that morning, I remembered each of his three guiding points. In a spirit of sharing and caring we are part of a community. He challenged us to remember.
1. Use your resources; learn from each other. We are given what we need.

2. Have a vision; a clear direction; know where you are going.

3. Always have hope – it will be there. Look up; hold on even when there are challenges.

Message from the Spirit


From Church to Chocolate


The Basilica of Sanctaurio della Consolata – Turin, Italy


Located Adjacent to the Basilica della Consolate is world famous chocolate shop – Turin is noted for its chocolate confections.


Caffe Confetteria is written about in a book highlighting standout caffe’s in Europe


Al Bicirin is a layered drink of Warm Dark Chocolate, an Expresso Coffee layer, and finally a whipped cream topping. A Delicious Treat!


My Version of Al Bicirin Chocolate Drink wih Biscotti Cookies

The Caffe Confetteria is located in a small square close to the Consolata Church. It was founded in 1763 as a citron-water and confectionery shop by Giuseppe Dentis and became known for making the coffee and chocolate drink with strong Italian coffee and topped with a froth of whipped cream. I stood in front of the building and could almost feel what it was like so long ago. The building has its original wood paneling, wooden floor, cast iron door and window frames. Inside there are beautiful marble tables and a marble bar. While they were preparing our drinks, I leaned over to see how they were preparing them, but I never could see the whole secret process. When the waitress brought my drink, it was so hot and yet cold with three delicious layers of velvety smooth chocolate, espresso, and frothy cream. One sip and they had me as a fan forever.

Recipe for Al Bicirin Torino Italy Chocolate Drink


“Borgo Medievale” Village in City Park – Turin Italy.


Recreated Medieval Hamlet with Drawbridge  in Turin City Park built for 1884 Torino Expo


Interior of Recreated 1400’s Hamlet in Turin

Our guide asked us if we wanted to see Borgo Medievale, an imitation medieval village. It represents an average Medieval hamlet and castle from the Italian Piedmont region in the 1400’s and was originally built for the 1884 “Torino Expo”.  As we walked down this one street, you could easily imagine living there. It has different kinds of buildings, a church, sturdy walls, and even a drawbridge.

Things Not to Miss in Torino


“Porta Palazzo” –  Turin City Farmer’s Market


Turin City Farmers Market – Citizens prefer purchasing fruits,vegetables and herbs directly from the growers to ensure freshness and low prices. Many Turin citizens shop on a daily basis.


Turin City “Farmers Canopy” – One of the Largest Open Air Markets in Europe

But if there is one place you need to stop in Turin, Italy, it is “Porta Palazzo”, one of the largest open-air markets in Europe. It has about four sections, where you can find fruits, vegetables, other food products, household supplies, and even clothing or shoes. Some venders are inside and others outside. The part that I enjoyed the most was “The Farmers’ Canopy”, a place where local farmers sell their local products and seasonal produce. The carts of juicy fruits, fresh fragrant herbs, picture perfect vegetables are so attractive that its hard not to stop, sample, or buy the fresh produce.


“Herbs in Bulk”  are available for sale at Turin City Farmer’s Market


City Farmers Market – Fresh Fruits                         (i.e. Cherries) being sold

‘As we walked along, I saw oceans of squash blossoms, Beef Heart tomatoes, candy striped beans, and snipped fennel. I felt almost like I had a Alice in Product Wonderland moment.


An italian tomato Called Beef Heart – “Cuore di Bue” in Italian

‘A “WOW” tomato sold in the Farmer’s Market in Torino, Italy and grown in many home gardens there.

Information about Beef Heart Tomatoes:
Heart shaped large meaty tomatoes with very few seeds; make the most delicious tomato salad. One of the most popular and tasty tomatoes types around but you have to grow them yourself as they do not store or travel well and cannot be found on the supermarket shelves.


Candy Striped Beams on display for sale at Turin City – Farmers Market


Snipped Fennel neatly stacked on display for sale at Turin City – Farmer’s Market



Fresh Eggs being sold by 10’s and 15’s vs US dozens and half dozen


Fresh fish is available because of Italy’s proximity to the Mediterranean and is in a building adjacent to the Turin City Market


Zucchini Blossoms at Turin City Farmers Market.


Zucchini Blossoms as sold at West Lafayette Farmers Market


Italian Foods


Broccoli Rapini with Crisp Potatoes and Smoked Sausage


Broccoli Rapini with Crisp Potatoes and Smoked Sausage’

‘Try a new delicious vegetable in an Italian stir-fry supper. The veggie is loaded with vitamins and tastes like caramelized turnips. Double cooking the rapini reduces its natural bitterness, making the tender buttery florets sweeter and a perfect partner for crisp potatoes and smoked sausages.

 Recipe for Broccoli Rapini with Crisp Potatoes and Smoked Sausage


Simple Italian Tomato Cheese Salad


Simple Italian Tomato Cheese Salad

‘This simple side salad with fresh juicy tomatoes is perfect to serve with the Italian Ham and Cheese. A real touch of summer!

 Recipe for Simple Italian Tomato Cheese Salad


Spinach Salad with Crunchy Zucchini Sticks and Stuffed Blossoms


Spinach Salad with Crunchy Zucchini Sticks and Stuffed Blossoms

‘Take a salad trip to Italian. Locate some petite zucchini blossoms; stuff them, and give them a crunch coating. Sauté the petite zucchini lightly with Parmesan crisp flavor and with some thin tomato wedges arrange attractively around vibrant spinach leaves.


Recipe for Spinach Salad with Crunchy Zucchini Sticks and Stuffed Blossoms


Birth of a Super Food Retailer – Eataly


Central Turin “Eataly” Location on Via Lagrange Street. Initial Eataly location


Eataly Location on the Southside of Turin

‘Since visiting the Eataly store in Chicago, Illinois USA., we have looked forward to seeing where this idea was born. As we stood in front of the first “Eataly” store/restaurant in Torino, it was hard to imagine that it was created in 2007 from a shuttered vermouth factory into this vibrant store that was now celebrating Italy’s rich dining culture.

Oscar Farinetti a local Turin resident, who transformed Uni-Euro into a giant electronic retailer in Italy, founded the “Eataly” chain desiring to create a place that would make high quality Italian foods available to everyone.


Eataly Bulk Cheese Storage Room on Bottom Level


“Eataly” Lagrange Street Location Wine Room

“Eataly”, an upscale food retailer and eatery, celebrates Italian food and culture. All the attention is to the products, process, and personal touches have created long lines from its very beginning.
Sensory delights of an old-world Italian marketplace multitude of gourmet meats, cheeses, pastas, breads, produce and desserts, bringing mouthwatering appeal to the masses.

Note: When receiving pizza made in Turin, the pizza pie is whole and not cut into eating size pieces.  Therefore, you will have the pleasure of slicing your pizza which our Tour Guide, Alexandrianna told us was a Turin specialty.  Well I was up to the challenge but quickly found out there were some techniques to artfully cut the pizza. As they say in Italy, “Go for It” with your knife and fork.


“Eataly” Turin Style Pizza with Buratta Cheese Ball at center of dish.


“Eataly” Salad Extradionaire


“Eataly”Italian Style Ham and Cheese

‘ This is a ham and cheese with an attitude. So delicious! The sliced Buratta cheese will melt as you spread it over the rustic wheat bread. Accompany it with slicers of ham, lettuce, and juicy tomatoes. The extra dressing makes a perfect dipping sauce for those extra chunks of bread.

Yes……it’s that yummy! ‘

Recipe for Italian Style Ham and Cheese


Italian Style Antipasto Pizza


Italian Style Pizza with Prosciutto with Buratta Cheese with Tomatoes and Basil

‘The Artisan crust is covered with creamy pesto sauce. A light sprinkle of shredded Parmesan cheese and sliced seasoned Roma tomatoes add that delightful roasted tomato taste. Cut the pizza in slices for easier serving. A topping of thin prosciutto slices and chilled buratta cheese are served with fresh tomatoes and sweet basil leaves. A quick spray of balsamic vinegar wraps up one delicious pizza.

 Recipe for Italian Style Antipasto Pizza


Italian Fennel Flavored Farfalle Pasta


Italian Fennel Flavored Farfalle Pasta

It’s ready for summer! Filled with fresh Italian vegetable flavors, celebrate red, white and green favorites. Flavored with fresh fronds and light lemon vinaigrette, it can be served at room temperature or even chilled. Perfect for that outdoor picnic.

Recipe for Italian Flavored Farfalle Pasta


Creamy Casarecce Pasta with Tomatoes, Zucchini and Radish Pods


Creamy Casarecco Pasta with Tomatoes, Zucchini, and Radish Pods

‘Fresh basil puree with ricotta cheese flavors this “homemade” tasting Italian pasta. The pasta originates from Sicily and marries perfectly with mini halved cherry or grape tomatoes and fresh garden zucchini slices. Finishing the dish with some lightly pickled radish pods adds a vibrant flavor “pop” and crunchy texture.

Recipe for Creamy Casarecco Pasta with Tomatoes, Zuchinni, and Radish Pods


Radish Pods purchased at West Lafayette Farmers Market

There are times that you just need to make your recipe “pop.” This is a great way to solve that dilemma. It’s so easy! Just mix the ingredients and set aside to absorb a sweet pickled flavor. The best part is radish pods bring their own “flavor kick” to the party. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator. For a more vibrant pickle flavor, use a stronger vinegar for pickling.

Let Radish Plants Go to Seed:

When they go to seed, they form young seed pods that are delicious raw, pickled, or even stir-fried. A great garden treat! Any type of relish seems to work and rewards you with some flowers too. They crunch like a pea but have a nice radish bite and are not overly hot.

Recipe for Pickled Radish Pods


White Chocolate Limoncello Cake with Fresh Strawberries and Mascarpone Cream


Mother’s Day White Chocolate Limoncello Cake with Fresh Berries and Mascarpone Cream


Limoncello is a Lemon Flavored alcoholic drink native to Italy. It is an ingredients used in this cake recipe

‘ It’s a real winning flavor combination, lemoncello, white chocolate, mascarpone whipped cream, and fresh juicy berries. The bottom of the cake has a light crisp sugar crisp texture. It’s perfect for any celebration and can be served with plain mixed berries if desired. Time to celebrate!

 Recipe for White Chocolate Limoncello Cake with Berries and Whipped Cream

Recipe for Grilling Strawberries


Iannarone Italian Cookies


 Personal Note from Steve Iannarone

The two recipes (shown below) were the cookies that my Great Aunts, Connie Bravaco & Grace Cillis used to make for us in NJ and ship them to us for the holidays each year. They learned to make these recipes from their mother Rose Iannarone when they were little girls. I was always excited to see the big boxes arrive from UPS and more excited to help open them knowing what was inside. One of my fondest childhood memories is having these special cookies each year…and now sharing the recipes with others.


Iannarone Pignoli Biscotti


Iannarone Pignoli Biscotti Cookies

‘The round biscotti cookies surprise you with their crisp crust, chewy texture, and sweet pine nut sugared top. It’s the perfect companion for hot coffee or that glass of Italian wine.

Iannarone Pignoli Biscotti Cookies


Iannarone Anise Cookies


Iannarone Anise Cookies

‘ These cookies pop with anise flavor and bring you right into the Italian celebration mood. The crisp crust captures a tender consistency inside inviting you to have more than one. You won’t be able to resist the flavored sugar glaze the top with those celebration decorations.

Recipe for Iannarone Anise Cookies