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Jewish Italian Cooking

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I hope you enjoyed traveling with me, with a taste of Jewish Rome, Jewish Florence and Jewish Venice.  I want to share with you a wonderful experience I had cooking in Rome with Lisa.

Lisa is an amazing woman who knows her way around the kitchen -- even if that kitchen is no bigger than my bathroom, with a tiny oven and no microwave!   I guess I can’t complain anymore about my “small” kitchen.  Lisa does everything with a small paring knife in her hand, refusing the cutting board below.  Talk about knife skills!

Lisa was born in Rome and inherited the cooking traditions of Jewish Rome from generations of family that came before.   She can prep an artichoke faster than you or I can spell it.  She is married to a man from Tripoli and has learned the art of Libyan cooking from her mother-in-law.  I met Lisa through my friend Alessandra Rovati, blogger at Dinner in Venice.  I can‘t thank Alessandra enough for this introduction that has changed the way I cook Italian food and hopefully will inspire you, too.  Also,it would not have been the same without Lisa’s friend Sherry, who graciously agreed to translate for us.

Lisa works in Rome at a small shop full-time, but on the side she helps the local Chabad prepare meals for guests.  The day I met Lisa she had spent the entire morning cooking for a large party and she still had lots of energy.  Lisa is usually available to make kosher meals and deliver them to your hotel in Rome for Shabbat.  Email her at

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Fried Artichokes

She started by teaching me to make the classic Roman Jewish recipe for Fried Artichokes - Carciofi Ala Giuda.  The artichokes in Italy are a little different from the ones we get here in America, we have to peel a bit more off get inside to scoop out the fur, but they are absolutely amazing.

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Italian Fried Zucchini

Then I learned to make Concia of Zucchini, another classicly JewishRoman dish that is basically pan-fried zucchini with vinegar.  So simple and yummy.

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Finally, Lisa taught me a Libyan recipe that they typically eat on Shavuot because it looks like Mount Sinai.  It is called Bazin and is basically a large dumpling served with beef stew.  Our translator said that you can even make it with a mix of white and whole wheat flour.

Enjoy these recipes:

Fried Artichoke

Fried Zucchini