“All it takes is some flour and a couple of eggs…”

“There is nothing as simple as, or more difficult than, the beginning.”~

Starting something completely new is never easy. There is the fear of not getting it “exactly” right or not meeting expectations. For the longest time I was terrified to make pasta. What can be so complicated about some flour and a couple of eggs? Nothing. But after a rather rough first attempt, and slowly perfecting my technique in Italy, there is now nothing difficult about making pasta.

This is the first post…the first attempt at a blog…my blog about Italy. My Italy. What can be so complicated about that? Hopefully, nothing.

Through photos, recipes, La Parola del Giorno–The Word of the Day, and commentary on the progress of getting my manuscript published, I am going to share my Italy with you, and in doing so, hopefully take us all on un bello viaggio

Ciao, ciao, ciao, ciao…


-the manuscript is entitled “Beyond The Pasta: 28 Days of Recipes, Language, and Life with an Italian Family.”


About the Author

Mark LeslieMark Leslie, seen cooking on NBC’s "The Today Show" and Hallmark Channel's "Home & Family," loves to cook for anyone with an appetite, vacations in Italy every year, and lives to eat his way through every plate of pasta and cone of gelato placed before him. His first book, “Beyond the Pasta: Recipes, Language & Life with an Italian Family,” tells of his life in Italy while cooking with an Italian grandmother. He shares his food experiences on his blog at www.beyondthepasta.com and has taught cooking classes in California, Georgia, Minnesota, Texas, and across Alabama. While judging for high school culinary events, he was chosen by the US Department of Education to judge for their "National Education Startup Challenge." Mark can be regularly seen cooking on NBC-affiliate, WSFA-TV 12's "Alabama Live! each Friday, bringing easy, locally sourced recipes to central Alabama. His iTunes app “Beyond the Pasta” features helpful videos and more of Nonna’s family-style recipes that she shared with him, plus, upon its release, it was named “New & Noteworthy” by Apple. DaVinci Wines chose Mark as their "2012 Storyteller" in Language Arts—where they sent him to Vinci, Italy, to write about wine, food and life. Mark, his home and book have been featured in such national publications and blogs as House Beautiful, Paula Deen, Food Republic, The Kitchn, Apartment Therapy, Field & Stream, and The Daily Meal. A Chicago-area native and “Yankee” by birth, Mark has lived in Alabama for over 24 years, and celebrates the fact that he started life eating farina, progressed to grits, and finally arrived at polenta. Buonissimo!View all posts by Mark Leslie →

  1. Kris KendrickKris Kendrick10-16-2009

    Yay! I love this, it’s fantastic. (Mark – Don’t you love Posterous? It’s just so sublime… I love an easy solution to any problem…)

"Beyond the Pasta" is owned and operated by Mark Leslie. Unless otherwise specified all content, writing, recipes and photography is original and held in copyright through the Library of Congress. It may not be used without the express written consent of Mark Leslie.