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Ciao Italia

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The region of Emilia Romagna is the "go to" region for some of the best comfort food in Italy. Mary Ann prepares an unforgettable Balsamic Vinegar Glazed Pork Butt that would soothe the soul of anyone. And on the off chance that more comfort is needed, she turns her talents to creating her Nona Galasso's "take another slice" Swiss Chard and Potato Pie.

Author and food critic John Mariani joins Mary Ann nella cucina to pair fantastic wines with an equally fantastic dinner, starting with a clever Chickpea Flatbread, then under the broiler goes Marinated Lamb Shoulder Chops with Fresh Mint Sauce. For dessert, what else? Buttermilk Panna Cotta with a dessert wine to send you to heaven - and keep you there.

Peter Scognamillo is one great baker and he's just a kid! When Mary Ann invites him to stop by nella cucina to make cookies, Peter brings his recipe for Maddalena Raspberry Cookies; two buttery, crisp wafers filled with raspberry jam. Then it's Mary Ann's turn, and she shows Peter how to make Almond Crisps. Open up that cookie jar!

Mary Ann surprises good friend and Italian Specialty grocery store owner Joe Pace by preparing his favorite Abruzzi recipes: a traditional Spaghetti, Saffron and Asparagus dish, then sumptuous Roast Lamb with Rosemary, and ends Joe's perfect meal with the perfect dessert, a gelato and espresso favorite: Affogato.

Mary Ann travels to Parma, Italy, where she teaches her students at Barilla Cooking Academy, beginning with Veal Cutlets Stuffed with Artichokes. Then the students go off to prepare the rest of their memorable meal; Green Lasagne Bolognese with Ragu Sauce, Stuffed, Oven-baked Zucchini, and for dessert? Don't be frightened, it' Almond Snake Cake.

It's Sunday when Mary Ann visits Christina and Carla Pallotta, two sisters who are the driving force behind Nebo Restaurant in Boston, MA, where they're preparing their mom's favorite recipes for visiting friends. Ricotta Gnocchi with Rabe and Pignola Nut Sauce, followed by Stuffed Breast of Veal, with Fontina Cheese, Polenta and Wild Mushrooms on the side. Great sisters. Lucky friends.

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