Episode 27: Going Beyond the Pasta with Mark Leslie

This week, hosts Sara, Jessica & Michelle have a few news updates from previous episodes – and then we chat with special guest Mark Leslie, author of the new book “Beyond the Pasta,” about his experiences in Italy learning the language and the cuisine from one special Italian family.

Eye on Italy News Stories:

Special Guest:

Mark Leslie, author of Beyond the PastaMark Leslie is a self-proclaimed “foodie” who loves to cook for anyone with an appetite and works across the country in professional theatre as a stage manager. Every year he vacations in Italy and lives to eat his way through every plate of pasta and cone of gelato placed before him; he shares those Italian experiences on his popular blog at www.beyondthepasta.com. A Chicago-area native and “Yankee” by birth, Mark has lived in Alabama for over 23 years, and celebrates the fact that he started life eating farina, progressed to grits, and finally arrived at polenta. Buonissima!

Mark provided us with a copy of “Beyond the Pasta” to give away to one lucky Eye On Italy listener – leave a comment on this post to be entered to win. [US mailing addresses only]

Eye on Italy Angolo d’Italiano:
  • cucina

    • both cuisine and kitchen –  la cucina italiana is Italian cuisine.

Thanks Amy for the addition to last week’s angolo d’italiano!

Eye on Italy Picks of the Week:

Video of the week:
  • Sara Musella has 75,000 FB Fans…she’s 8.
  • Fabri Fibra is a signed Italian rap recording artist with 7 albums and 355,000 fans.


  1. Mike Kobielsky

    I LOVED Mark Leslie’s experience – I’ve been thinking about that exact thing, but hadn’t heard of any suggestions as to the ‘how to’ – and frankly I was probably ‘scared’ of trying that sort of thing… Now, I’m even more excited about that tpye of ‘in-home’ scenerio. Great podcast ladies – I love them all.. Keep up the great job. Thanks.

  2. Haha, love that you featured Fabri Fibra. He’s big news right now on the Rome underground scene because his latest video heavily featured the Roman street artist JB Rock creating a giant poster in the background while he rapped.

  3. Great interview. The book sounds awesome. Mark’s experience is something I’d love to do with husband. He’s the cook, I’m the language student. It is on my Amazon wish list, in case I don’t win. :^)

  4. Malcolm Segal

    I truly enjoyed episode 27. Mark Leslie’s book sounds wonderful. I would love to read it.
    I spent three wonderful weeks in Italy in 2008 and look forward to my next visit.
    Your podcast is excellent and keeps my memories fresh. It is always interesting. Thank you for the effort it must take to keep it up.
    Best wishes for another great year.

  5. LuAnn

    Loved hearing Mark’s story about looking for an opportunity to cook while on vacation in Italy. I’ve had a similar desire while spending time in Spoleto and enjoying meals at our favorite osteria – Osteria del Trivio. Next time I’m there, I think I WILL ask Mirella to teach me to make her wonderful gnocchi con funghi – simply delicious. Your story has given me courage to ask!

  6. catherine

    Buon Natale, I just wanted to say thanks for all your hard work putting this terrific podcast together; including the links in the show notes. I have enjoyed each and every podcast. On my lunch break, I go for a (power) walk to get away from workplace stress; and nothing makes me happier to listen (sometimes several times over) to your show. Keep up the good work….and I’m looking forward to #28! Cheers, Catherine

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