Hey all, this giveaway is for one lucky winner (picked by my daughter) and ends on 10/1/10. The winner will receive a beautiful new addition Beyond the Pasta from Gemelli Press. I just started cooking and really want this one. I am not getting it, but you could. Remember to leave a comment and sign up for our newsletter to enter.

After a trip to Italy in 2001, author Mark Leslie reluctantly returned to his home in Alabama. But he couldn’t get the splendor of the country out of his head. In 2005 he returned to Viterbo, Italy–only this time, he immersed himself in a cooking and intensive language course where he would live and study with his teachers. Each day, “Nonna” a charming Italian grandmother taught him to cook authentic Italian recipes while her daughter, Alessandra, taught Mark colloquial Italian.

In Beyond the Pasta: Recipes, Language & Life with an Italian Family, Mark shares his experience in a day-to-day journal format and offers his charming story in English with enough translated Italian woven throughout that, by the end, even non-Italian speakers will feel as if they have learned the language. (It is also perfect for those looking to refresh their Italian.) Readers get to know and love this kind-hearted, generous, and often dramatic Italian family and with Mark’s artful description of every meal, conversation and experience, they feel as though they are actually there, eating and laughing along with Nonna and the entire family.

In the tradition of Under the Tuscan Sun, Pig in Provence and Eat Pray Love, Mark’s book takes the reader through his journey and shares how he developed a new, more enjoyable and uniquely Italian way of looking at the world.

Each day begins with a special experience Mark had with Nonna, Alessandra, or their colorful family and friends, and ends with a recipe. The book is peppered with Italian idioms and translations to make the reader feel that they are right along on Mark’s day-to-day adventure.

The book includes photographs of the sights, food, and people he encountered, along with 29 authentic, delicious family recipes Nonna shared with him.

About the Author
Mark Leslie, a self-proclaimed “foodie” who loves to cook for anyone with an appetite, works across the country in professional theater as a stage manager. Every year he vacations in Italy and lives to eat his way through every plate of pasta and cone of gelato placed before him. He shares those Italian experiences on his popular blog at www.mark-leslie.net. A Chicago-area native and “Yankee” by birth, Mark has lived in Alabama for over 23 years, and celebrates the fact that he started life eating farina, progressed to grits, and finally arrived at polenta. Buonissima!

Beyond the Pasta: Recipes, Language & Life with an Italian Family
By Mark Leslie
$32.95 • Hardcover • 6 x 9 • 330 pages • September 2010 • Gemelli Press, LLC

Praise for Beyond the Pasta

“Mark has captured the essence of the Italian people.”

–Biba Caggiano, TV chef, cookbook author, and Sacramento restaurateur.

“Alabama and Italy—what a delightful and delicious combination.”

–Fannie Flagg, Best-selling author and actress.

“Mark understands and so beautifully conveys the transcendent nature of true cooking, cooking that comes from the heart and feeds not just the body but the soul. There is something universal about this that goes beyond culture, age, race, and gender—real food, real cooking, real sharing is something sacred and often under appreciated. His writing is smart, sensitive and wittily observed. Beyond the Pasta exemplifies how the act of cooking is intrinsically an act of sharing and affirmation, and has the potential to be an open expression of the heart.”

—Scott Peacock, chef and co-author with Edna Lewis of “The Gift of Southern Cooking: Recipes and Revelations from Two Great American Cooks.”

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