A Note from the Editors:

We are delighted to introduce our newest column, F&M Foodies, where we will feature members of the F&M community who are avid cooks, experimental bakers, or aspiring restaurant critics. Our first contributor is Jonathan Izzo ‘24, also known as @jonny_apple_seed_ on Instagram. He documents some of his meals from his semester abroad in Italy and his culinary experience overseas thus far. 

First, we have a risotto with seasonal greens and butternut squash. This dish is from a restaurant in central Italy called Stella. The restaurant values slow food, meaning locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, bought from nearby farmers who use organic farming practices. Because almost everything is locally grown, the restaurant swaps out its dishes with the changing of seasons; this was a option from their winter selections.

This is a Pizza Diavola from Pizzeria Mediterranea with mozzarella, tomatoes, spicy salami, black olives, pecorino cheese, and basil. The pizzas are made traditionally in a stone furnace, and you can watch your pizza being handmade from your table. It is common practice to eat Pizza with a fork and knife in Italy.

This is sliced veal with potatoes and rosemary, salt, and olive oil in a restaurant in Assisi. There are so few ingredients in this dish, but because they are all of the highest quality, the dish was immensely flavorful. I think that’s the beauty of Italian food: not much is needed to make something taste divine.

I have been doing a lot of cooking at home, as the prices for groceries in Italy are half the price as in the US. Italian grocery stores primarily sell traditional Italian ingredients, so being creative with meals at home is key. This is a creamy kale Cesare salad with roasted chickpeas. The dressing for the salad includes anchovies, a key ingredient in traditional Cesare salad recipes. I used to hate anchovies, but now that I have learned how to pair them with ‘lighter’ ingredients, I love unique flavor.

Last, but certainly not least, is one of my favorite dishes I have ever made, gnocchi with caramelized onion, truffle sauce, parmesan cheese, sage, and rosemary. The star of this meal, the gnocchi, is freshly made. Though simple to make, the flavors of this dish will stay with me for a long time. I look forward to making this for my friends back at home with truffle sauce I bring back to the States in my carry-on bags.

All photos and captions are courtesy of Jonathan Izzo. You can follow along on his culinary journey at @jonny_apple_seed_ on Instagram. His email is jizzo@fandm.edu.