Adventures of an Italian Food Lover

July 22, 2007 | Filed Under Books, Food Blogging Events, Italian Cuisine, Italian Recipes 

Penne with Fish Sauce

Adventures of an Italian Food Lover


Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice and Catherine of A Blithe Palate joined together to host a food blogging event in celebration of the release of cookbook/travelogue, Adventures of an Italian Food Lover by Faith Heller Willinger.  The rules for this event were simple:  Instead of writing a review, participants were asked to choose and prepare a recipe from the book and share a story about a friend or family member with whom they’d share the dish.  Or the participants could share a story  about a friend or family member who inspired them to prepare the dish.   

Many recipes, from this book with beautiful watercolor illustrations that took me to Italy, caught my eye.  I decided to make the Penne with Fish Sauce.  Penne is one of my favorite pasta types and I was intrigued with the idea of the fish sauce. 

My friend Francine inspired me to make this dish.  A wonderful cook, I think it’s something that she’d like.  She’s one of  my best friends from my college days.  I still remember the times when we  suffered breezed through our Classical Latin classes together, trying to remember those damned challenging declensions and conjugations.   We studied very hard and prayed (very hard) that our translations of the authors and poets’ works, like Virgil, were correct.  We prayed that our professors wouldn’t pick on us.  *Sigh* Those were the days.  Thankfully, we passed our Latin classes with good marks. 

For many years when I didn’t cook, my friend would invite me over her place and prepare meals for me.  She’d encourage me to cook and give me simple recipes with which to start. 

The recipe calls for fish to be cut in small strips.  I cut the fish in strips but as it cooked and I stirred the pot, it crumbled.  Probably it was because of the type of fish that I used — blue fish (one of my favorites).  However that didn’t detract from the taste.  The combination of the fish sauce, lemon zest, parsley and penne make the meal delicious.

I think that if Francine tasted this meal I prepared , she’d like it alot and I hope think hope that she’d say I did a good job. 



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20 Responses to “Adventures of an Italian Food Lover”

  1. what a wonderful dish and post! good job!

  2. Hi Kat: Thanks! Have a great week!


  3. That is a lovely food friendship memory Paz.

  4. Hi there, Barbara! Thanks. She’s a good friend. I enjoyed your story about your friend very much. Beautiful story.


  5. I KNOW she would say you did a good job!

  6. Ilva: Thank you! 😉


  7. I do hope your friend gets to sample this dish with you some day! I had fun with this event too, though the friend I planned to cook with came down with a horrible cold, so we never did cook it together.

  8. Oh yes Paz, you did a very beautiful job.

  9. Dear Paz, here it’s still very hot!
    I like your recipe and i enjoyed your story. You reminded me my latin and greek classic!!
    Baci, S.

  10. I studied Latin for 7 years! The first year by law, the others by choice. I kind of liked it. I love Latin poets, especially Horace. The dish looks really yummy!

  11. Hi Lydia: Thanks! I hope you and your friend will have a chance to get together again.

    Thank you, Tanna. 😛

    Saffron! Thanks! Nice to see you here. I bet you were a good student.

    Hi Simona: Seven years? Wow! That’s long! But it’s good that you liked it. Today, I’m grateful for my experience. Thanks the dish was tasty. 😉

    Thanks everyone for stopping by!


  12. Paz,

    I think that Francine would absolutely love this dish! And penne are my favourite too! Thanks so much for taking part!

  13. Francine UNITED STATES

    I’m so proud of you! The dish looks great. Better than anything I’ve seen in the finest Italian restaurnats. You’ve far outdone me! These days with my 7 year old daughter I’ve been cooking a lot of macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets! We have to get together and have a cooking party. I can’t believe its been more than 20 years since we struggled through Latin class. Those were fun days! Call me! Let’s get together this summer! Love you, Francine

  14. Thanks, Ivonne: And thanks for putting this event together.

    Francine! Nice to see you here. You see why you’re one of my good friends? You give me a swell head. :mrgreen: Yes, I’ll call you!

    Lots of love,

  15. Wow, that penne just made my mouth water. Seriously! This should make you a very confident cook indeed. Nice to meet you and take part in this event with you.

  16. Hi Mia: Welcome! I really enjoyed preparing this meal and I’m happy to have participated in the event with you, too.


  17. […] a chance to take part in this event and she readily agreed. After receiving her copy of the book, Paz decided to try penne with fish sauce. She explained that she would share it with her friend Francine who has been an inspirational force […]

  18. What a lovely pasta dish and lovely post. I enjoyed hearing about your struggles with Latin. I also studied a “dead language” when I was in college and had to translate classical (Chinese) poetry.

  19. Hey there, Blue Plate: Oh, my goodness! Classical Chinese poetry? Wow! 😯 You did good, gurl! I’m really impressed.


  20. being another italian food lover as i am, i think this is something interesting paz!

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