Maria's Radio Interview: Life Lesson Radio

It’s been a while! I wanted to share a radio interview with Rick Tocquigny, host of Life Lesson radio. I hope you enjoy the interview:

I will be back writing to you about upcoming events and some tasty dishes!

a presto,


Mammaretti: Artisan Amaretti from Maria Filice

In this new video, I talk about the ideas that inspired me to create my signature amaretti cookies. Order your tin of Mammaretti for the holidays in the Food & Fate store.

Introducing Mammaretti by Maria Filice

mammarettiWhen she released Breaking Bread in L’Aquila in 2010, Maria Filice infused her cookbook with her family’s old-country, old-school values, emphasizing the importance of fresh, local ingredients and encouraging her readers to follow her rule-breaking cooking philosophy: “a little of this and a little of that.” As she promoted the book, Maria, a first-generation Canadian-American Italian, showcased the importance of hospitality. At each of her events, Maria made sure to provide plenty of her delicious signature amaretti cookies, a modified version of one of her mother’s recipes. The cookies were such a hit that her friends and family encouraged her to make them available for purchase. And so it was that Mammaretti was born.

What better gift to honor her mother than to announce on October 1st, her mother’s birthday, that Maria is launching her own line of cookies? Mammaretti by Maria Filice, dedicated to Amelia Filice, will be available for the 2013 holiday season. These artisanal bite-sized almond cookies, a popular treat among Italians, are gluten- and lactose-free.

In addition to being perfect for hosts who are conscious of their guests’ dietary needs, holiday gifts, or for parties, these cookies are also a great way to give back during the holiday season. Maria’s passion for food and entertaining is matched only by her passion for children. Just as a portion of the net profits of her cookbook went toward the construction of an elementary school playground in the earthquake-ravaged Abruzzo region of Italy (click here to see pictures), each purchase of Mammaretti by Maria Filice will contribute to the creation of playgrounds, providing children with safe places to be active and enjoy the outdoors.

To receive your cookies in time for Christmas, place your order by November 22nd and your decorative tins of Mammaretti by Maria Filice will be shipped by December 15th. This is a firm production date as each batch is hand-made with care; last-minute orders will not be accepted. US orders only.

Critical Acclaim for Mammaretti by Maria Filice

“Maria Filice’s Mammaretti cookies are to die for—light, sweet, and chock-full of delicious almondy goodness. They are the perfect accompaniment for a rich cup of coffee, after dinner, or maybe even with breakfast. I can’t stop eating these little delights!”

—Tim Penner
(Retired) President of Procter & Gamble Canada

“I first met Maria when she joined me on ‘Sonstein Sunday’ to talk about her book Breaking Bread in L’Aquila and the money she raised to help earthquake victims in Italy. As a gift, she brought up her amaretti. My co-workers could not stop eating or raving! And we get food gifts all the time. Maria’s amaretti are heaven on earth. Magical. Watch it, they’re addictive.”

—Shelli Sonstein
Q104.3 NYC

“Mammaretti by Maria Filice is one of the best cookies I’ve ever tasted. And I’ve tasted a lot of them. Once you eat one, you just can’t stop!”

—Marcel Cocit
Private Chef/Caterer/TV Personality

“I am so grateful to have Maria as a neighbor, she is the quintessential Italian cook. These Mammaretti cookies are chock-full of everything great Italian food has to offer: character, love, and flavor. These are by far my favorite cookies ever (sorry mamma…)”

—Marco Canora
Chef/Partner, Hearth Restaurant, New York City

“When I tried Maria Piccone’s Mammaretti cookies, I knew that I was hooked. A perfect indulgence without the feeling of guilt! Sweet, light, and the perfect size to enjoy without feeling like you have overdone it. My wife and I live in LA, and we get to try all kinds of fantastic foods in this city. However, I know we will be placing an order for Maria’s Mammaretti cookies to share with our friends over the holidays.”

—Les Hine
Chief Strategy Officer, Pharmavite LLC

Eggplant Salad


One of my favorite vegetables is eggplant (available all year).  So simple to prepare and a delicious side or meal.

I like to grill eggplant with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh mint.  In this recipe, I cubed one eggplant (leaving the skin) and grilled in the oven (10-15 minutes), until tender.

In a bowl, add some chopped fresh basil, pitted kalamata olives (1/2 cup), 1/2 cup of julienne sun dried tomatoes.  Add a pinch of red chili flakes (optional), drizzle extra virgin olive oil (or 3 tbsp.).  Squeeze a fresh lemon and rind 1tbsp. of lemon.

Mix and ready to serve!  A perfect side for your favorite grilled fish, chicken or meat.  Adding goat cheese for a vegetarian meal is also delicious!

a presto,

maria features my Orange Glazed Pork as Recipe of the Day!

orangeglazedpork featured my Orange Glazed Pork as recipe of the day and Chef of the Day! Wanted to share it with you. I also altered the recipe with chicken, beef and fish. The citrus taste of orange is a fresh flavor that you can use in your favorite dishes! This recipe is in my cookbook, Breaking Bread in L’Aquila.

Maiale all’Arancia

Depending on the appetite of your crowd and what else you will be serving, you may want to double this recipe as it really allows for one chop per person. This orange-scented pork is perfect served with an arugula salad.

Yield : Serves 6


  • 2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 6 center-cut pork chops, about 1 inch thick, trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 oranges, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest for garnish


Orange glaze: cook orange juice in a saucepan over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until it is reduced by half and there is about a cup of glaze. Set aside.

Sprinkle the chops with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the chops (you’ll probably have to cook them in batches, and it is important not to overcrowd the pan) and turn the heat to high. Cook the chops for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until they are brown.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the wine and garlic and cook until the wine is almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add the orange glaze and sliced oranges, and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, turning once or twice until the chops are tender but not dry.

Remove the chops to a serving platter. Continue cooking the pan juices, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the liquid is reduced slightly. If you need to add more liquid, add a bit more orange juice combined with water or chicken stock. Pour over the chops, top with the orange zest, and serve.