Spaghetti carbonara

When Liz gets to Rome, the first meal she eats is spaghetti alla carbonara (not to mention veal, a side of sautéed spinach and garlic, fried zucchini blossoms with cheese, warm bread with olive oil and salt, tiramisu and a bottle of red wineshe is seeking pleasure, after all!)

To start your tour of Italy off right, try cooking your own pleasing pasta meal with this recipe for Tom Cruise's Top-Secret Spaghetti Carbonara.

Got a sweet tooth? On her fourth day in Italy, a friendly bus driver informs Liz where she can find the best gelato in Rome. Liz visited the tiny gelato shop three times—in one day!

Claim the best Italian ice cream in your own town with this recipe for Homemade Vanilla Bean Gelato.
Art Smith's Margherita Pizza

Although you can find pizza all over Italy, Liz knew that only in Naples could she taste the very best. Her new friend Giovanni gives her the address of his favorite pizzeria in Naples and tells her, "Please go to this pizzeria. Order the margherita pizza with double mozzarella. If you do not eat this pizza when you are in Naples, please lie to me later and tell me that you did."

The trip is well worth the effort. "I love my pizza so much, in fact, that I have come to believe in my delirium that my pizza might actually love me, in return," Liz writes. "I am having a relationship with this pizza, almost an affair."

Have a fling of your own with this yummy recipe for Art Smith's Margherita Pizza.
Venice, Italy

Even though Liz is looking for pleasure in the form of food, not love, she takes a side trip to one of the most romantic cities on earth—Venice! The November skies during Liz's stay call for a bleak forecast of "more rain," but you can experience Venetian cuisine in the comfort of your own home. And what do you eat in the city of water? Seafood, of course!

Try this recipe for Marinated Seared Tuna Carpaccio with Capers, Lemons and Parsley.

When Liz makes a stop in Lucca, she finds that the tiny Tuscan town is celebrated for its butcher shops. "But it's not just the meat that's wonderful in Lucca; it's the chestnuts, the peaches, the tumbling display of figs, dear God, the figs"

For fantastic figs of your own, try this recipe for Herb-Roasted Black Mission Figs with Prosciutto di Parma.
Mushroom Risotto

Liz notes that Lucca is famous for more than just figsit's also the birthplace of Puccini. "I know I should probably be interested in this, but I'm much more interested in the secret a grocer has shared with methat the best mushrooms in town are served in a restaurant across from Puccini's birthplace."

After finding the house of Puccini (and promptly crossing the street), she dines on risotto ai funghi. Make your own with this recipe for Risotto with Wild Mushrooms and Chives.

While in the beautiful city Bologna, Liz writes that the "prosciutto drapes over pizzas like a fine lace veil draping over a fancy lady's hat." As all prosciutto lovers know, this tasty meat can adorn much more than just pizzatry in sandwich-form with this recipe for Prosciutto and Provolone on Sourdough Bread.
Italian buffet

With a natural talent for making friends wherever she goes, Liz is invited to a birthday celebration just outside Rome that lasts almost until dawn. Throw a party with Italian flairsee how Paola Navone created this beautiful buffet of Italian favorites so that you can spend an evening with good food, good wine and good friends.