Pretty in Pink

Lounging against a rail over the Hudson River on a warm late-winter day

Wearing a pink JCrew Cardigan and a pink bag on the Hoboken waterfront

Allie stepping forward in a pink cardigan, pink Balenciaga bag, and check skirt

Downward shot of Chanel ballet flats

Shot of Allie's pink Balenciaga, long buffalo check skirt, and Chanel shoes

Looking stylish in pink and a

Allie looking down and dressed for a spring day on the Hoboken waterfront

Allie rocking Chanel sunglasses, Chanel shoes, and a spring outfit

Skirt Madewell, sold out, but Madewell dress available here and similar skirt on sale here, Madewell Tee, Jcrew cardigan, Chanel flats, similar here and here, Balenciaga Bag

Chris and I were so happy the sun was out this past weekend! We were able to get outside both days and roam around Hoboken and New York City.

On Sunday I was excited to wear my new favorite skirt since it was 60 degrees! I bought this skirt earlier this month and fell in love with its versatility. Since we were simply grabbing a coffee I wore casual flats, but I love to dress it up for dinner with cute heels, and even sandals once it gets even warmer. I also think that it would be fun to wear a bit more rugged, like with this military vest or cargo jacket.
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Hope you enjoyed the sunshine this weekend. We’ve got lots more coming soon!   -Allie

Butternut Squash Farotto

Butternut Squash farotto, a form of risotto, garnished and ready to eat

“Hey, look… we’ve finally got squash!” I say to Allie in early fall, when we’re circling through the Uptown Hoboken farmers’ market and butternut is back. And we make soups, salads, pasta, and so on into the next year. The end of winter comes. We hit a market or a grocery store. There’s a pyramid of squash. “Man,” I say, “if I have to eat another squash or root vegetable I’m going to go insane!” Even then, when we’re tired of the rest, we like to get one last butternut risotto or farotto in before winter ends.

Two roasted halves of a butternut squash

Pancetta pan-fried until brown

Farotto is farro cooked like risotto. Allie doesn’t eat many grain-based foods, but loves farro, which is essentially whole heads of hard-wheat grain. Farro is nutritionally rich. It has better flavor than rice. It can, for me, provide a portal to another world. I spent a summer working on farms and vineyards in Italy. At the end, right before I left for home, I watched a colossal harvester sweep through a hillside wheat field on a farm high in the Apennine Mountains. That grain was of the ancient, hard-wheat variety that comes under the lexical umbrella of “farro.”

Standard risotto is dope. I don’t think I need to elaborate here. Farotto is much easier to cook than risotto, especially when you’re incorporating squash. The reason is that you don’t have to stir constantly, like you do to create the chemical changes in risotto rice that make the standard dish creamy. Here, we’re getting creaminess through olive oil, squash, and (when Allie isn’t looking!) a mountain of cheese.

Plain Butternut squash farotto before any cheese or toppings have been added

Above is a picture of plain butternut squash farotto. I went two ways with this one. First (and first below), I added pancetta, fried sage, and a balsamic drizzle. Second, for the meat-averse, I went old-school with sage and Parmesan. Hope you enjoy this simple but good recipe. You can sub other squash in other seasons. Recipe below!

Butternut Squash farotto, a form of risotto, garnished and ready to eat

Butternut Squash Risotto with f

Actually, we’re going to try something new: farotto recipe after this jump.

Sicilian 75

The ingredients for a Sicilian 75: blood oranges, Prosecco, Campari, and gin

Happy Friday. For this week’s happy hour we’re dipping back into our Campari series and sipping a cocktail called the Sicilian 75. We’ve had a lot of orange coverage lately here on Made in Rome. Allie and I usually go on a citrus kick this time of year. We both eat a ton of fruit, and nothing beats a fresh blood orange in late winter. Nothing but a fresh blood orange turned into a drink!

The Sicilian 75 is a refreshing riff on the French 75. Allie and I are fans of the classic French 75, made from Champagne, lemon juice, and sugar. We like to fill pitchers with French 75 variations. And this Campari-spiked variation may be the best of them all.

About to pour the Prosecco into a Sicilian 75 cocktail

How does a Sicilian 75 differ from the classic? We skip lemons for blood oranges (juiced and sliced). We add a splash of Campari that itself adds musk and mystery and an elusive flavor that can take you to lounge-chaired docks on foreign seas.

We skip Champagne for Prosecco. We watch the frothy, white-foam, citrus-fragrant, to-the-top, glorious meniscus pour!

A variation on the French 75, a Sicilian 75, being poured

The Champagne fizz of a Sicilian 75 cocktail subsiding

This is a great drink for brunch. This is a great drink before, during, or after dinner. I adapted a Sicilian 75 recipe from Saveur. You won’t regret filling up a glass or two of these this weekend. Hope you enjoy yours.

What you need:

3 parts blood orange juice, plus a slice for garnish

2 parts gin

.75 parts simple syrup (or honey syrup)

Splash of Campari

2 parts Prosecco

What to do: Put everything but the orange slice and Prosecco into a shaker with ice. Shake for 15 seconds. Pour into a flute. Add 2 Parts Prosecco… or however many parts bring the surge of froth to the brim. Drink.

A glass of Sicilian 75, an Italian version of the French 75 cocktail, with an orange slice garnish

Escape to Philly

Back view of Allie wearing a blazer and a slung-back bag in a silent alley on a Philadelphia morning

Allie standing in an alley in Philadelphia, wearing a blazer, sneakers, and a Celine bag

Wearing leopard sunglasses and a blazer on a tiny back alley in Philadelphia

Sitting in front of ivy in Philadelphia, wearing sunglasses, a blazer, an

Allie walking as par

Philadelphia street style: Allie with a black Celine bag, a blazer, and sunglasses in Center City

Posing in a blazer in front of a brick all in Philadelphia

Looking down and wearing sunglasses in front of an ivy-covered wall in Philadelphia

J. Crew Regent Blazer, Madewell oversized tunic, Illevesta sunglasses, Adidas sneakers, Celine bag

This weekend we escaped to Philly for a quick trip to visit friends and explore. (Chris and I love exploring cities together, as you may remember from our first post.) We spent most of our time in the heart of Center City, roaming around Rittenhouse Square.

The photos were taken before brunch on some quaint side streets. Since it was just above 50 degrees I was able to ditch my parka and stroll around in a blazer.  I kept my look casual with an oversized button down.

We enjoyed a nice brunch at the Fitler Dining Room, a cute spot with comfort food and drinks.  After brunch we walked through the farmers’ market at Rittenhouse Square and were thrilled to stumble upon our favorite chocolate stand, John and Kira’s.

John and Kira’s is local to the Philly area and makes some of best chocolates we’ve ever had.  They also are beautifully decorated and come in fun designs, such as hand-painted bees, ladybugs, and flowers. Chris sampled a minty white-chocolate winter truffle. We left with 3 praline ladybugs that we’re going to get into this week.   -Allie

Shakshuka

Shakshuka (eggs stewed in tomato sauce) with smoked paprika, parsley, and feta cheese

Readers of Made in Rome know by now, a month in, that when Allie and I open a can of tomatoes we’re usually headed straight for our comfort zone: pizza, pasta, or another tasty staple of the country where we met. Ah–but not always!

Shakshuka, one of our favorite foods, comes from the Middle East. It’s a nice meal to have in your recipe arsenal, especially on weeknights when you don’t want to do much more for dinner than crack eggs in a shallow pot of sauce, wait, and let the eggs cook while you relax (maybe with a drink).

For our most recent batch, we used a shakshuka recipe from Saveur.

If you can fry or scramble eggs, you can cook shakshuka. And why not? There aren’t many recipes that reward you so much for sitting on the couch.

A piece of work I do recommend is using bread to swipe the leftover sauce clean from your plate (and pan). Best part of the meal. This bread-swiping finale is called fare la scarpetta in Italian, and it definitely translates to Middle Eastern.   -Chris

A side shot of a pan of shakshuka, a popular Middle Eastern food

A plate of Middle Eastern Shakshuka

A close up shot of cooked egg yolks in a pan of Shakshuka

Classic Negroni

A classic Italian cocktail: the negroni

Welcome to parte due of Made in Rome’s Campari series! Dust off your cocktail shaker, break out that electric red bottle, and be sure you have ice. You don’t need much more for today’s drink, the classic negroni, one of Italy’s oldest and best.

A classic negroni is gin, vermouth, and Campari. (You see thousands of variations today, with bartenders mixing in rosé and mezcal, chocolate and pumpkin, smoke… anything they can get their busy hands and creative minds on.)

The ingredients for a negroni cocktail: campari, gin, and vermouth

A classic negroni is gin, vermouth, and Campari–but also something deeper. If you’re a negroni drinker, wind back the clock to your first taste. What did you think? Here’s what I thought: this nice bitter drink with its sweet citrus edge and fancy glass tastes how I imagined, when I was young, cocktails would one day taste. This was what came out of unknown bottles from unknown places. This was what people in suits and black dresses sipped to jazz. This!–even now–is the impression the negroni creates: a vague sophistication that’s at the wild heart of what a cocktail is.

A classic negroni cocktail with an orange twist

Allie and I served negronis at our wedding. During cocktail hour, we did “his” and “hers” drinks passed around in addition to what was available at the bar. Allie did a nice mulled cider. (It was late December!) I served a variation on the negroni–a negroni sbagliato, which softens the drink’s punch by swapping in Prosecco for gin.

You can try that if you want. I’m a sucker for classics. Here’s how you make the original hard-hitting, Campari-spiked, century-old negroni.   -Chris

What you need:

2 shots gin

1 shot vermouth

1 shot Campari

Orange twists (optional)

What to do: Pour everything (but twists) into a shaker with ice. Shake hard for 15 seconds. Pour into glasses with or without fresh ice. Add twists. Makes 2 drinks.