About Us

Thanks for visiting our blog on the food, wine and other marvels of Italy. We are Italian expatriates living in the wonderful city of Minneapolis. Our mission is to share our favorite recipes, pairings, and other tips with you, so that you too can have a taste of La Dolce Vita.

Stefano wine

Ciao!  I’m  Stefano.  I was born and grew up in Rome, where I helped my family tend to our olive groves and make olive oil each year, learned the secrets of homemade cooking from my mother and grandmother, and watched my father and grandfather make wine with grapes grown in the hill towns outside of Rome.  Since then, I’ve studied wine formally through the International Sommelier Guild.  I love sharing my knowledge of wine with others, especially when accompanied by authentic  Italian food.

Cucina 1

Buon Giorno! I’m Cara.  I am from the U.S., but I lived in Rome for 9 years, becoming enamored first with the Eternal City and then with Stefano. I married Stefano, became an Italian citizen, started our family in Rome, and while I was there I learned from family and friends the art of preparing Italian food and of appreciating life Italian style.  I unwind in the kitchen, and find pleasure in serving delicious food to friends and family.

Caffè Sant'EustachioCara and Stefano kitchen

48 Responses to About Us

  1. Holly Windram says:

    Wow! This is so super cool. And what gorgeous website. So tell me – is this what you are doing in your “spare” time ? I can’t wait to try some of these receipes – in my “spare” time :)

    Holly

    • duespaghetti says:

      Thanks, Holly.

      Yes, I’ve joked with my colleagues that now I’ve become two-dimensional rather than just one-dimensional, and that they should be glad about this!

      If you do try any of the recipes, let us know how they turned out.

  2. Monica says:

    Stefano e Cara,
    What an amazing thing you have created here…I will make sure to check in every time you post something new..I love this idea!

    Bravissimi!!

    Bacioni, Monica

    • duespaghetti says:

      Grazie, Monica! Ci stiamo divertendo.

      Please give us your advice and ideas from time to time. I mean, you’ve learned from the best of the best – and by that we mean your mamma Francesca AND your papa’ Filippo!

  3. Ben and Sharon Baratto says:

    Hi Cara and Stefano,
    We are good friends with Shannon and Jim Hanzel. We go out to eat with them once or twice a week. Great website. I will visit often and of course as you can tell by my last name I love Italian food.
    Ben

    • duespaghetti says:

      Hi, Ben.
      Wonderful! I’m so glad Shannon and Jim passed our site along.
      We’ll do our best to keep the recipes and ideas coming.
      Let us know of anything you’d like to see on the blog – we are happy to take requests.
      Cara and Stefano

  4. Bridget says:

    Hi Cara,

    Ethan encouraged me to visit your website after he RAVED about the pasta he had at your house the other day. I’m a HUGE foodie and Dan is an avowed wine geek, so I’m so glad he steered me here to your blog! It’s fantastic! OK… so now my question is, which fabulous pasta did he eat over there? I want to make it!

    I’m sure I could never compete with you and Stefano’s cooking, but I think it would be fun to have you and your family over for dinner this summer sometime… We’ll make sure to pop some good wine and do our best at preparing a passable meal!

    Ciao,

    Bridget

    • duespaghetti says:

      Hi, Bridget.

      That is so sweet of Ethan! We had the Carbonara when he was over. I’m so glad he liked it – we enjoy introducing the boys’ friends to our family’s favorite meals. We’d love to come over for dinner some time; thank you! For the record, Sean has also told me how good your cooking is. In fact, he suggested that Ethan tell you about the blog, because he remembered that you liked to cook. If you try the Carbonara, let us know how it comes out.

      A presto,

      Cara

  5. Paolo Caffari says:

    Bella ragazzi!! I like this!!! Complimenti.

  6. Luigi Vitali says:

    Bravissimi Stefano e Cara ,avete fatto una bellissima cosa
    COMPLIMENTI

  7. Brigid says:

    Hi Cara & Stefano!
    Our entire family is loving your website. The recipes, pictures, and thoughts are beautiful. Now we just need to get back to Italy!
    Thanks so much!
    The Cantagallos

    • duespaghetti says:

      Hi, Everyone.
      We’re glad that you are enjoying Due Spaghetti. Stefano and I are having a fun time with it. Yes, we do all need to get back to Italy sometime soon. One of our upcoming posts will feature villas available for rent on a weekly basis. Keep an eye out for it – perhaps our next get together can be in Umbria, or perhaps on the Amalfi Coast!
      Cara and Stefano

  8. meg says:

    Hello,
    I came across your site today by way of a comment in the LA times regarding coffee. I love your it! It offers me good suggestions on how to break away from the monotonous selection of pork and potatoes here in Germany, and my former home in Italy was in Veneto, not the best culinary destination.
    Anyway, I had recently found this contest for nonprofessional cooks on the website of the istituto italiano di cultura, praga: “Il Premio Marietta, istituito in nome della fedele cuoca, è riservato a tutti gli appassionati di cucina, non professionisti, che vogliono mettersi alla prova con ricette e piatti tipici che contengano riferimenti alla filosofia e all’opera del grande gastronomo di Forlimpopoli.” http://www.pellegrinoartusi.it/premi/premi-marietta/
    Just wanted to let you know in case it might be of future interest.
    Meg

  9. duespaghetti says:

    Hi, Meg. Thanks for stopping by Due Spaghetti. We’re glad you enjoy it! Thanks also for the tip on the Premio Marietta; it looks quite interesting. We may just have to throw out hat in the next round. We’ve both spent a little time in Germany, and while we also prefer southern European and Mediterranean cuisine, a favorite recollection is breakfast at a friend’s house in Berlin with nutty, dense bread and all the jams, cheeses and spreads one could wish for.

  10. Jene says:

    Cara,
    Love the blog! Mary B. From Benson, introduced me to it. Congrats-good job. I was in Rome twice last year, I’ve fallen in love.

  11. duespaghetti says:

    Thanks so much, Jene! Yes, Roma has that effect on people. You can spend a lifetime there and and never run out of new places to discover. Did you toss a few coins over your shoulder into the Trevi Fountain when you were in Rome last? Legend says that doing so guarantees a return!

  12. Lisa says:

    Ciao Stefano e Cara,
    vi ho appena trovati! My name is Lisa and I am the daughter of a Roman father and an Italian-American mother whose parents came from Basilicata. I have spent a good bit of my life in Rome. Una romanaccia, insomma….I grew up in NYC and spent all of my summers in Rome with nonna, nonno e zia. Get back to see zia when I can, as well as friends in other parts of the country. I’ve been living in Madison, WI for about 25 years now and also have family in Minneapolis, though I rarely get there. I look forward to following this lovely blog.
    Tanti auguri,
    Lisa

  13. duespaghetti says:

    Ciao, Lisa!
    We are so glad that you stumbled upon Due Spaghetti. We have a few things in common, it seems (e non solo il fatto di essere romanacci). We hope you will weigh in from time to time on the blog, and when you are in Minneapolis next, fatti sentire!

  14. Noelle Starr says:

    Stefano & Cara,
    At one of our past wine sales, Stefano told me about your blog…this morning I sat down with coffee to peek at it. Two hours layer, I am still reading. Great pictures, excellent writing and fantastic recipes. I can’t wait to read your future posts.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Noelle Starr
    Wine staff @ Surdyks

  15. duespaghetti says:

    Thanks, Noelle!

    We’d love to hear your thoughts from time to time on Due Spaghetti’s recipes and recommended wines.

    Stefano and Cara

  16. Scordo.com says:

    Hello,

    Wonderful blog and thanks for adding us to your blog roll, we’ve done the same over at http://www.scordo.com

    Vincenzo

  17. duespaghetti says:

    Grazie Vincenzo.

    We’ve enjoyed your posts on Scordo! We appreciate the exchange.

    Stefano and Cara

  18. valerio says:

    Stefano ………. forza Roma
    sono Valerio, amico di Nicola, che una volta l’anno viene a cena da Filippo a Minneapolis ….
    ci siamo conosciuti lo scorso anno, io avevo da fare con una matriciana !!!
    Nicola mi ha indicato il tuo blog … fighissimo, bravo !!!
    Speriamo di vederci asap

    Valerio

    • duespaghetti says:

      Ciao Valerio, sempre forza Roma!
      La Capitale mi manca proprio, sono contento che ti piace il nostro blog, seguici e fatti sentire quando vieni che la matriciana e’ d’obbligo.
      A presto

      Stefano

  19. Debi Dupre says:

    Stefano,
    Just wanted to say thank you for helping me chose the correct wine’s lastnight.
    Our address for the Oilerie is 1045 Grand Ave.St.Paul. Come check out our Olive Oils and let us know what you think. :)
    Thank You!
    Debi Dupre

  20. ambermix says:

    Hi both of you, what a lovely blog! I am often on the look-out for easy-simple and delicious recipes, and Italian kitchen has all of this to offer. I have read everything you have posted so far and made a daily menu for the upcoming 2 weeks :) looking forward to new posts!

    Marina

  21. Terrence French says:

    Ciao, Stefano.
    I must confess that I just now finally came to your site. I love it! I can’t wait to try out some of the recipes. Keep writing. I hope to see you in July.

  22. duespaghetti says:

    Thanks for stopping by Due Spaghetti, Terrance. We hope that you’ll give our recipes a try – we’re sure that you’ll choose excellent wines to pair with them! See you in July.

  23. Jene says:

    Cara,
    Living in AZ I have a lemon tree. I have lemons this year to feed all of Italy I think! Any good recipes you recommend? How about lemoncello liqueur? I have looked up some on the internet, (all very easy) but wondered if you had any additional thoughts.

  24. duespaghetti says:

    Jene,

    We’d give anything to have lemons right in our back yard! Stefano’s grandma Pierina had very prolific lemon tree, and we never wanted for them at our home in Rome.

    We use lemon zest in pretty much all baked goods – many of the recipes for baked goods on Due Spaghetti call for it. We also routinely squeeze lemon juice over cooked fish and seafood, red meats and green vegetables, often with olive oil. There is nothing more delicious than a grilled steak seasoned only with salt, with lemon juice and olive oil drizzled over it. Some people also use lemon juice, rather than wine vinegar, to season salads. If you choose to do this, just sprinkle a little salt over your salad, add a drizzle of olive oil, and then squeeze some lemon juice on top. One of my favorite Italian treats is lemon juice squeezed over watermelon.

    If you want to use up a lot of lemons, then I’d recommend either lemon gelato (italian ice cream) or limoncello. We make our own limoncello, and it is in fact quite simple. It’s also nice to have a bottle of homemade limoncello in the freezer to offer guests on a hot day. We are planning on a limoncello post sometime this summer, but you could certainly look up a recipe and try it, or we could share Stefano’s recipe with you if you wanted. As you probably know, limoncello is made with the lemon peel, but not the lemon juice itself.

    Good luck!

  25. Amanda says:

    Just discovered your blog- and so far…my mouth is watering! :) To be honest, I don’t have a lot of knowledge of Italy or how to best prepare the food- but it’s my dream to visit it one day. Your blog seems like a helpful, visually tasty-resource!:)

  26. duespaghetti says:

    Hi, Amanda! We’re so glad that you like Due Spaghetti. We hope you’ll continue to enjoy our posts, and that you realize your dream of visiting Italy someday! It is truly a marvelous place. Your blog, Eat Cake, is delightful, also. We will be keeping our eye on it!

  27. Franco Mortari says:

    Ciao Stefano e Cara:

    Avete fatto un vero capolavoro. Bravi e complimenti.
    Franco (da Colleferro)

  28. duespaghetti says:

    Grazie Franco seguici e speriamo di vederci presto.

    Ciao

  29. Jene says:

    C, Loved your posts on your trip to Italy, looks like you had a wonderful time. Months back I asked you for a recipe for lemoncello. You said you’d be making some during the summer. I know with everything else you had going on, including moving back into your home (congratulations by the way) I doubt that happened. Now is the time I need it. Can you help me by posting a recipe for lemoncello? Thanks! Jene

  30. Stefano Cinquina says:

    A belli . . . Ste so so Cinquina, avete fatto proprio una bella cosa . Marco mi ha detto del blog e sono subito venuto a vedere. Insomma mi sei diventato un somelier . . . Un abbraccio a tutti e due a presto, Stefano.

  31. Art Buesing says:

    Can you pass along a recipe for smelts for Christmas Eve? We have to go to a relatives home, so we are thinking of baked smelts. Love your blog!
    Art Buesing

  32. Hi, Art. Thanks for your question and for following Due Spaghetti! Although smelt, called “sperlano” in Italian, is not common in Italy, it is quite similar to anchovies (alici) or sardines (sarde). Stefano’s mom, Maria, prepares them often, in one of two ways.

    Most often, she fries them. Slice the heads off of the fish, wash them and dry them. Dust them in flour and fry them in hot vegetable oil. To eat them, pull them open from their underside and remove the spine first. If you wish, you can also remove the spine before flouring and frying them. In this case, slice the fish open from the underside, remove the spine, and splay the fish flat when dusting with flour and frying. Sprinkle salt and squeeze some lemon juice over them, and serve them hot. For an excellent demonstration of this procedure (narrated in Italian) search You Tube for “Alici Fritte – Ricette della Nonna.”

    Maria also prepares them “alla pizzaiola,” in a tomato sauce. Sauté garlic in a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add canned whole tomatoes, passed through a food mill to render them smooth. Alternatively, you can used quality strained tomatoes such as Pomi brand. Remove the heads of and if desired the spines of the fish, and add them to the sauce along with a dash of finely chopped flat leaf Italian parsley, and salt to taste. Use just enough tomato to make a light sauce for the fish – not so much tomato that they are drowning in it! We approximate one 28 oz. can of tomatoes for each pound of fish. Let simmer for approximately 20 minutes.

    Maria never baked alici or sarde, but there are a few recipes out there. Most indicate to marinate the cleaned fish for a few hours in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and chopped flat leaf Italian parsley. Then, coat them in bread crumbs (unseasoned) and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. If you wish, you can turn on the broiler for the final few minutes to render them golden and crunchy.

    Good luck!
    Cara and Stefano

  33. Art Buesing says:

    Thank you so much.
    Art

  34. loredana66 says:

    Is a pleasure for me to find your site.
    It’s very important that an Italian transfer the knowledge of the cuisine of another country.
    By

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