Tag Archives: summer

Beer Americano

Happy Labor Day holiday to all of my friends in the states. I hope everyone is enjoying a day of rest and relaxation. Here’s an easy, Italian-inspired beverage to make this day extra fun: the beer americano. This cocktail is perfect for the last blistering days of summer.

It pairs perfectly with the salty goodness of potato chips and other cookout fare. Look for this and other amazing summer cocktails in my book Cocktail Italiano!

Beer Americano
Serves 1

You will need:
– 1 ½ ounces Campari
– 1 ½ ounces sweet vermouth
– 3 ounces lager beer
– lemon zest, for garnish

To prepare:

Combine Campari, vermouth and ices cubes in a tall tumbler, stir to combine. Pour the beer into another glass, stir to create a stiff foam, reserve the foam with a spoon top the cocktiail with the beer foam, about 3 ounces.

**Note: For a lighter Americano feel free to pour 2 ounces of the beer in to the cocktail as well. However, this should be done before you top the cocktail with the foam.

xx Annette

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Labor Day Burger Recipe

Every now and then, I’m reminded of recipes from my previous books that are old favorites. One of them is this lamb burger. I don’t know about you, but I love burgers and I love lamb. What makes this burger even more unique is that is has a delicious Greek twist.

As our grilling days of summer get fewer and fewer, consider mixing things up with this lamb burger recipe. It’s perfect for Labor Day weekend.

As an added stylist tip, I thought I’d share a little secret with you: I love serving burgers in a pita. It makes for a really pretty presentation and a clever twist to something that is perceived as a ho-hum burger. Plus, it contains all of the messy burger goodness to one neat little pocket. Genius!

Photo from Picture Perfect Parties Rizzoli NY

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La Fortezza Tomato Sauce

I know you have all been watching me deal with our incredible tomato harvest in our La Fortezza garden this year. Let’s just say we will have tomato sauce for every pizza party until October. Today I am sharing one of the recipes from my upcoming new cookbook, based on the region I live in La Lunigiana, located in the northwest corner of Tuscany. My cookbook, La Fortezza Cookbook, will feature the local cuisine, as well as the house specialties we serve during our workshops and retreats on the property. It will be released in fall 2022, by Rizzoli NY, and I cannot wait to share it with all of you. This is a recipe you can jar or simply bag up and put in the freezer to enjoy a little taste of summer in the winter months. Let me know how it goes. xx

Our tomato plants are very prolific; we make about 3 batches of this simple tomato sauce recipe every season. We jar it and enjoy it through the fall, winter, and spring. It is a very simple recipe that highlights the sweetness of the tomatoes. It is used in so many dishes, you will be amazed at how easy and versatile it is. The only piece of equipment needed is a food mill, which is something that is a fixture in Italian kitchens mainly used for “the sauce”.

La Fortezza Tomato Sauce
Makes about 4 quarts 8-16 oz jars

*equipment food mill


You will need:

– ½  cup extra-virgin olive oil

– 1 ½ cups finely chopped yellow onion

– 4 pounds tomatoes, chopped

– 3 clove garlic, lightly crushed

– 1 tablespoon  salt1 tablespoon dried oregano

To prepare:

Place the onion and olive oil in a large saucepan and set it over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring often until the oil starts to sizzle. Cook for 5 minutes, to soften the onion. Add the tomato and the minced garlic to the onions, add the salt and oregano. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the sauce to a simmer, then lower the heat to low. Allow to simmer gently, stirring from time to time, for 40 to 50 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Run it through the food mill and store in the freezer or jar according to the directions below.

For jarring your sauce these are the directions:

Step 1: Glass jars can also be put through a hot cycle in your dishwasher.

Step 2: Sterilize metal seals in boiling water for 5 minutes and then leave in water.

Step 3: Once you fill the jars, top with lids, put the filled jars into the boiling water for 10 minutes, remove with rubber tipped tongs place on the counter to cool. The lids are sealed when the middle of the lid has an indentation. Note if all the jars do not have a proper intentdation, store in the refrigerator.

  • Note if you don’t want to jar your sauce it is good in the freezer for 6 months.
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Boozy Summer Dessert:: Campari Sorbet

Campari is bitter and can be an acquired taste, so that’s why you must try this recipe. It is simply incredible. I have convinced many people to try this and give Campari another chance. The end of summer is near, so this Campari sorbet is the perfect farewell. Make it today, so you can enjoy it tomorrow and the rest of the weekend. A few things to note: because of the liquor, this is a soft sorbet, so be sure to make it ahead of time and then chill it overnight to achieve the best texture.

Don’t forget to let me know what you think!

Campari Sorbet
Serves 8

You will need: 
– 1 cup water
– 1 cup sugar
– 3 Tbsp. orange zest 3 oranges, I use a microplane
– 2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice (squeeze it yourself; it’s worth it)
– 3/4 cup Campari

To prepare:

In a saucepan combine water, sugar, and zest, making a simple syrup

Bring to a boil, turn off the heat, and cool

Add Campari and orange juice to the syrup. You need to chill in the refrigerator at this point, the colder the better before adding it to the ice cream maker

Place into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturers instructions, place into a loaf pan lined with plastic wrap, put into the freezer until ready to serve.

Recipe from : Picture Perfect Parties Rizzoli NY

Photo by: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

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Homemade Guacamole and Salsa Verde

Hi everyone! It’s Nicole, Annette’s web manager and friend. It has been so incredibly hot in Atlanta recently (or if it’s not hot, it’s raining and therefore, humid). I’ve been sticking to recipes that keep the oven off and the house cool. I’ve been deep in Annette’s archives looking for inspiration, and I found these recipes for guacamole and salsa verde. Tacos and fajitas are a quick meal that I can usually convince my husband to prepare on the grill. I love the idea of adding homemade salsa and guac to make the meal extra special.

Find the recipes for both below!

Guacamole
Serves  6-8

You will need:

– 4 ripe avocados
– 3 tablespoons lime juice
– ½ cup chopped tomatoes
– 2 cloves of garlic minced
– 1/3  red onion diced fine
– ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
– ¼ teaspoon sea salt
– 5 drops hot sauce * optional

To Prepare:

Half and scoop avocado into a bowl and smash the avocado with a fork. Next add the rest of the ingredients and combine with the fork.

Salsa Verde

You will need:

– 3 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 12-15 tomatillos, husked
– 5 garlic cloves
– 2 green chilies
– 1 yellow onion peeled cut in half
– 1 cup fresh cilantro
– 2 tablespoons lime juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

To Prepare::

In a bowl toss tomatillos, chilies, onion and garlic cloves in olive oil and salt.

Place on a cookie sheet and in the oven for 20 minutes.

Let cool and then place roasted vegetables into the bowl of the food processor with chopping blade, with the cilantro lime juice and pulse for 5 seconds.

All Photos from Picture Perfect Parties, Rizzoli NY

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