Mayor of Boston, the late (and great) Thomas M. Menino and Mary Ann celebrate their Italian American heritage by preparing a Christmas Eve banquet called "The Feast of the Seven Fishes." Starting with Baccala, then Skillet Fried Shrimp, then tuna, smelts, swordfish, calamari and clams, the tradition continues, and so do their appetites!
Good friend an attorney Ciro Poppiti visits Mary Ann nella cucina, with an ample supply of freshly made ricotta. They proceed to make a stupendous pastry-encased, Ricotta and Mozzarella cheese-stuffed masterpiece; Pizza Carnevale. Then Mary Ann takes up the baton and creates a light-as-a-cloud, orange-flavored Ricotta Cheesecake. Did somebody say "cheese?" Please.
It's Sunday when Mary Ann visits Christina and Carla Pallotta, two sisters who are the driving force behind Nebo Restaurant in Boston, MA, where they're preparing their mom's favorite recipes for visiting friends. Ricotta Gnocchi with Rabe and Pignola Nut Sauce, followed by Stuffed Breast of Veal, with Fontina Cheese, Polenta and Wild Mushrooms on the side. Great sisters. Lucky friends.
Seafood Super Chef Jasper White brings enough freshly-caught clams to make two fantastic dishes, starting with Mary Ann's Spaghetti with Clams and ending with Jasper's unique and unforgettable, Clams Minestrone - yes, you heard right. Minestrone. One spoonful and you'll agree; fantastico!
Mary Ann travels to La Sosta del Rosselino, a small restaurant near Florence, Italy to discover the secret of chef/owner Damiano's signature Potato gnocchi; simple to make, soft as clouds, drifting in a butter sauce and utterly unforgettable. Inspired, Mary Ann goes nella cucina to create - just as heavenly - Gnocchi di Spinaci e Ricotta (Spinach and Ricotta Cheese Gnocchi) with a hint of mint and nutmeg.