My bags are packed and I’m ready to fly~

What will 2011 bring?

Ah, the last post of 2010 and what a year it has been!

It started off with our house being published in House Beautiful’s Feb 2010 issue. With that came a huge designer-blog interest and led a publisher to my then manuscript of Beyond the Pasta: Recipes, Language & Life with an Italian Family.

On the way toward being published, I met some fantastic people – a trend that is still continuing. With Beyond the Pasta’s release in September, the international culinary and travel community has opened up and embraced the book.

Here are some of my now favorite Italian-themed websites. Some feature food, some travel and some are just plan Italian fun.

Frutto della Passione – an Italian food and cooking blog written by an American now living in Italy, it featured Beyond the Pasta with a review and a book giveaway. Read it now –

Italian Recipes Blog – a recipe blog that features an endless list of Italian dishes. Looking for a new Italian dish? This is a great place to look. They featured my Mushroom Brushcetta recipe in November. This is a perfect fall through winter antipasta –

Italian Mama Chef – a fun blog written by an American exploring her Italian heritage and letting us in on her daily life here in America. Her review of Beyond the Pasta can be found here:

Eye on Italy – this is a great blog written by three fun American women – 2 of them happen to live in Italy (one north, one south). Their podcasts will keep you up-to-date as to the latest happenings in Italy and all things Italian-themed here in the states. I had a great time chatting with the about Beyond the Pasta and you can listen to it here:

Why Go Italy – this great Italian travel-based website is written by the one “Eye on Italy” woman who lives stateside on the West coast. Here you’ll find all kinds of travel tips, hotel info, sightseeing suggestions, etc. If you are planning or thinking about a trip to Italy, here is the place to check out first!

Bleeding Espresso – written by Michelle of  “Eye on Italy,” this blog comes right from her home in southern Italy. Her review of Beyond the Pasta can be read here:

These are just some of the fantastic people that have fallen into my now Italian life. I hope you’ll take a moment to enjoy their tips, perceptions and recipes!

I am about to board a plane for Italy – 10 glorious days with the Stefanis in Viterbo. Don’t know who they are – check out my book, Beyond the Pasta, to find out what it is like to live and eat with an Italian family.

I land on New Year’s Eve in Rome and I am looking forward to returning home in mid-January with more stories, recipes, and video footage to share with you!

Felice Anno Nuovo~


To see all of the press about Beyond the Pasta go to the Press/Media page on this website: and for Radio/TV appearances visit:

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 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. Thanks for the shout out Mark…buon viaggio, buone feste, and buon anno! In short, I hope there’s lots of buono coming your way 😀

  2. Well say hello for me! Some day I’ll be boarding a plane to Italy as well. Thanks for the mention. Enjoy your trip and have a happy new year!

    • Mark LeslieMark Leslie01-03-2011

      I can’t wait to read of the day that you will be going to Italy. You might never return home! Buon anno e auguri!

  3. Thanks for the link love Mark, hope 2011 is just as, if not more, wonderful for you!

    • Mark LeslieMark Leslie01-03-2011

      Grazie, Joanne. Auguri e buon anno! I am truly enjoying this visit to Italy and staying with the Stefanis is even more amazing this time. I will take your well wishes to heart for this coming year!

"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.