• Boboli Gardens - Tuscan Countryside - Florence, Italy

  • Piazzele Michelangelo - Sunset Through the Storm - Florence, Italy-2

  • cropped-Ponte-Vecchio-at-Night-Florence-Italy.jpg


Don’t turn your nose up because there is no meat! Try it, you’ll like it! It’s best to put it together the night before you are going to cook it. It’s great for a dinner party because it is prepared and all you have to do is pop it in the oven! This will easily feed 8-10 people. I usually only make 1/2 the recipe in an 8 x 8 pan for 2 meals for 2 people.

Olive oil
1 large onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 (16 ounce) jar tomato sauce
1 can of chopped tomatoes
12 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
1 package of frozen spinach thawed
2 cups chopped raw vegetables (I suggest mushrooms, red peppers, zucchini)
1 (8 ounce) package mozzarella cheese
grated parmesan
Oregano, basil, salt pepper, parsley

Directions:

Saute the onion, garlic, and mushrooms (if used) in olive oil. When the onions are soft, add the can of tomatoes and the tomato sauce. In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta cheese and the spinach. Add salt and pepper to the ricotta mixture. Add the spices into the tomato mixture and the other vegetables that you have selected. Let some, of the liquid cook out, but not all (about 20 minutes)

Cook the lasagne noodles according to the package instructions. There are some that you do not need to cook before putting into the lasagne. These work just fine.

In a large 13 x 9 baking pan, put a little of the tomato sauce on the bottom, and then a layer of the noodles. Follow with a layer of the ricotta mixture, a layer of mozzarella and then half of the tomato sauce. Repeat with the noodles, ricotta, mozzarella, tomato mixture and end with a layer of noodles and a tiny bit of tomato sauce. Top with Parmesan. Cover with foil and put in fridge overnight.

In 425 degree oven bake for 45 minutes covered with the foil. Take off the foil for the last 15 minutes. Let stand 10-15 minutes after cooking so that it is more firm when you cut it. Enjoy!


This dish can be prepared in less than 10 minutes! It’s fabulous! Pesce Spada is swordfish. When I have found it in the states it is usually sliced thicker than this, which is fine, just take a little longer to sauté it.

Prepare the fish on the grill when the weather warms and serve it with the sauce over a bed of greens for a great light meal. In the cooler months, I serve it with a nice risotto, a salad, and some crusty bread.

Swordfish fillets

Minced garlic
Oregano
Olive oil
Pepper
Salt
2 lemons juiced (reserve a couple of slices for garnish)
Fresh Parsley, minced
Salt

Lightly coat the fish in olive oil, and sauté in a hot pan until slightly browned, turning once. Combine the oregano, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and parsley in a bowl. Pour over the fish to serve.

This is the open air art museum in Piazza della Signoria. The loggia’s of the past were used for outdoor festivities such as weddings, and parties, and for the nobility to watch ceremonies in the piazza. It was built between 1376 and 1382. This loggia is full of very famous statues!
There is Perseus, by Cellini, a bronze statute, The Rape of the Sabine, by Giambologna, and many others. The structure of the loggia itself is beautiful and the lions on each side of the staircase are some of my favorite. They were the heraldic symbols of the Medici.
The loggia is a great place to sit for a rest, get out of the rain or the sun, or just people watch.