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Ciao Italia

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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.

Mary Ann takes to the stage before a live audience with FoodTV Celebrity chef Robert Irvine and pastry wizard Chef Lynn Mansel to create an autumn-themed program. In between laughter and good natured teasing they create a hearty Minestrone, a Stuffed Turkey Breast with prosciutto di Parma. And Apple Carmel Bread Pudding.

Mary Ann's cooking students travel to Casa Artusi, in Forlimpopoli, Italy, to learn the secrets of Romagna regional cooking. Mary Ann leads the way with Cappelletti in Capon Broth, and the student continue with Turbo in Paper, Piadina, Whipped Mortadella, Lenten Spinach, and delicate dessert called English "Soup."

Mary Ann meets a group of eager students who want to learn the art of making pasta from scratch. She shows them how to make the playful-looking Farfalle (Butterflies) and off they go to do it themselves. Then it's on to a Sicilian cookie treat; Cuccidati, a tart, citrusy delight with a lemony frosting. Class dismissed! and happy too.

Mary Ann travels to Modena, Italy, the heart of balsamic vinegar country, to cook with good friend Beatrice whose simple Omelet with Onions, and a salad go from simple to divine with the addition of fifty year-old, syrup-thick, caramel-colored, sweet and pungent artisanal balsamic vinegar tradizionale.

The tables are turned when Mary Ann invites Ciao Italia's Director of Photography Bob Tomaselli to come out from behind his studio camera and join her nella cucina to make Halibut in Lemon Sauce, Baked Fennel in White Sauce with Cheese and Herb Flavored Crumbs, and colorful, tasty Green Focaccia.

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