Mary Ann invites good friend, Dr. Kenneth Ciongoli nella cucina and together they prepare favorite foods they serve when having friends over for dinner. For Ken it's a hands down favorite; Bucatini all' Amatriciana. For Mary Ann, it's Quick Chicken Cacciatore. They agree on the perfect dessert, Mascarpone Cheesecake, to finish an impressive but simple meal for your favorite friends that is easy to prepare, a breeze to serve, and guaranteed to please.
Mary Ann visits Silvia and Anna Imperato, two dynamic sisters in Montevetrano, Italy. Silvia is a successful vintner while Anna is an equally accomplished chef. Mary Ann spends time with them both at their family estate, learning about Silvia's unique wine, then she helps Anna create a crunchy, Bruschetta topped with orange marmellatta and lardo, then a fresh Springtime Soup made from selvatica (wild greens,) and to top it off, a Torta filled with cocoa, ricotta, eggplant and lemon marmelata. Buonissima!
It isn't a holiday unless you're eating Torrone, a nut-filled, nougat candy that's hell on earth when it's not made right, but heaven on earth when it is. Mary Ann travels to Scialo Brothers Bakery in Providence, Rhode Island to find out how head baker, Horacio Garcia, creates heavenly torrone that's fit for the gods - and us.
Pastry baker and cookbook author, Jim Dodge, brings his talents -- and almonds -- nella cucina to create his famous Almond Lemon Torta with Strawberries. Then he helps Mary Ann create her Almond Paste Cheesecake topped with luscious apricots. Along the way, Jim shares many secret tips to successful baking, including how to cut a perfect slice every time.
Mary Ann returns to Azienda di Majo in Italy where vintner Alessio di Majo gives her quick tour of his farm's thousand acre field that's filled with tens of thousands of asparagus spears ready for harvest. They take what they need and go nella cucina del'Azienda to create three taste-tempting frittatas; Onion and Sweet Pepper, Asparagus, and Potato Frittata. Just as Alessio finishes, his father, Luigi arrives to prepare his famous Spaghetti Omelet Without Eggs.