Pasta Party Giveaway: Enter to Win a Pasta Machine & Lasagna Baker (Contest Now Closed)

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.*


Ya know, The Hungry Mouse is almost 2 years old (!!!), and I still haven’t gotten around doing an article on making fresh pasta.

Now I have no excuse.

The good folks at Bertolli just sent me a complimentary, shiny new Imperia hand-crank pasta machine and a beautiful Emile Henry lasagna dish. It’s a really nice package worth $125. (Thanks, guys!)

And they want you to have one, too. Read on for details on how to enter to win the Bertolli Pasta Party Giveaway!

The Prize Package

An Imperia Pasta Machine
I’ve owned one of these pasta makers in the past, and can absolutely vouch for its awesomeness. It’s sturdy, old-fashioned, and totally easy to use. If your grandmother likes to cook, chances are she has one of these tucked away in a kitchen cabinet.

An Emile Henry Lasagna Baker
I haven’t used this particular dish yet, but I have other Emile Henry pieces and just love them. They’re thick and hold heat really well. (Plus, they’re pretty enough to go from oven to table.)

emile henry lasagna baker

Thanks, Bertolli!

Bertolli is actually doing a pretty cool series of webisodes with chef Rocco DiSpirito and the fabulous Marisa Tomei.

Marisa Tomei & Rocco DiSpirito

Check it out. In this episode, they track down Italy’s “Egg Man” and learn to cook a traditional rustic dinner.

How to Enter to Win

To enter, leave a comment on this post answering the following question:

What’s the most memorable Italian meal you ever ate?

That’s it. (No really, that’s it.)

Contest Rules

  • You must enter a valid e-mail address on the comment form. (That’s how we’ll contact you if you win.)
  • Only one entry per person.
  • This contest is open to U.S. residents only.
  • Deadline for entries is Midnight (EST) on Friday, April 23, 2010.

One winner will be chosen on Saturday, April 24 by random number generator and notified by e-mail. The winner will receive a package with an Imperia Pasta Maker, an Emile Henry lasagna baker, and a coupon for a free Bertolli frozen meal for two. Color of the pasta maker and the baking dish are not guaranteed.

Good luck!

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie works as an advertising copywriter in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.


  1. The most memorable Italian meal....mine of course! And...if I win, I will be able to make my own pasta!! Oh how happy the kiddies will be... P to the S...LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your website and recipes. Many thanks!
  2. I think the most memorable Italian meal I ever ate was actually in Spain! I had a really pasta sausage dish in Barcelona. I don't know if it was the food or the atmosphere or both, but I won't forget it!
  3. My most memorable Italian meal was in Florance Italy while staying at a youth hostal. After treking around all day we would come back to a simple pasta with a choice of sauce already mixed in with the pasta - thats all but it was wonderful! Or course the wine and bread that came with it was pretty darn good also.
  4. Well I will be honest I can't choose just one memory. I am Italian and we always had amazing meals! I think some of my favorite though were when I was still little and the whole family would get together on Christmas. We would always have the whole fish dinner on Christmas Eve (which being a little kid wasn't my favorite part lol) then have a huge dinner on Christmas including fresh homemade pasta of course! I used to love spending the first few days before the Holidays with my Grandma making all the food. One Christmas I even spent there so I could help her make the pasta and everything, I had to beg my parents and they ended up having to bring my Christmas presents to me that day lol. Good memories :)
  5. OMG, you are so lucky to have been given that! I wish my food blog could be so lucky! Anyway, my meal was for my son's birthday. I made double dipped homemade parmasean chicken with spaghetti, garlic bread with cheese. The works & it was the best dish ever, he loved it!
  6. The 'last date' I had with my first serious boyfriend. He took me to this great Italian place in the North End, then to Mike's pastries for dessert, before dumping me on the way home. At the time it seemed major, now I'm happy for the free meal, and glad he is gone :)
  7. OMG two memorable Italian meals come to mind..Once in Chicago with my hubbys family, dont even remember what the pasta was because the gravy was UNBELIEVABLE! I asked for a togo container to take home on the plane! and then in NYC a little place down in little italy, the caprese salad and seafood dish were both DELISH!left that place about 30 lbs heavier, but happy! thanks for the opp to win!
  8. The most memorable italian meal I ate would have to be when I had pasta at Patsy's in New York City four years ago. I was there with my mom, my sister and my sister-in-law on a girls weekend and we decided to stop there for a wonderful dinner. The best part is that Tony Bennett came in and was eating at the table next to us! :)
  9. When I was little I would visit my grandparents in England. We would always be sure to stop by the grocery shop and my grandparents would let me pick out food I liked. One time I picked out a couple fresh cold pizzas, the ones you just throw in the oven (not frozen). When we were back at their home, I popped it in the Aga (oven). when it was all done I took one bite and was wondering where the sauce was. I was then told about how a pizza in Italy is much different than the pizza we get in the US. And looking back now, Living in states you eat so many different cultures where the foods have been changed to fit the flavors and taste for the country. The pizza I had that night was actually quite good, even if it was a grocery shop one. But just that one experience opened my eyes to trying new things.
  10. My most memorable italian meal I ever ate was when I made my own pasta sauce. Not from any jar real tomatoes that I picked. My parents gave me a food strainer/sauce maker that you attach to your counter for Christmas. It has a been a big hit with my family especially when we have Spaghetti and meatballs night. Now pasta making is not something I have tackled yet, but I would love to learn.
  11. Memorable Italian meal would be a summer of meals at Ermilio's when we lived in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. There's a small family-owned (Ermilio, the family name, of course) restaurant in a remodeled Victorian home, the first place we ever feasted on home-made bread slathered in roasted garlic and dipped in olive oil, followed by fresh pasta with gorgonzola sauce. Mmmm....I can almost smell it now! On a funny note, a friend of ourse lived next door to the restaurant and she would typically get several calls a night, particularly on weekends, from friends saying "Is the line out the door at Ermilio's?" And whether it was or not she would invite you over for a glass of wine on her front porch while you waited. Now THAT'S Italian hospitality!
  12. The most memorable italian meal was mine and my now husband's first date at a local italian restaurant. We celebrated our 13th anniversary of that first date last month, and tomorrow we will be celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary! And, we both still love italian food! Thanks for the chance to win, and CONGRATULATIONS on your Breakstone's winning blog!
  13. My first day in the Italian countryside I had a Caprese sandwich from a random local mom & pop store. Sat on a bench with some friends, looking over the ocean. I was 20 and was blown away by how good such a simple sandwich could be.
  14. We had lunch in this in Rome (few blocks away from the Vatican) we ordered this deep fried bacalao and it was so good !!!! and of the margherita pizza is to die for ... craving them right now !!! :) dreamin' of making my own pasta ...! thanks for the giveaway !!!!
  15. The first time I had gnocci made the way gnocci is supposed to be made -- so soft, so delicate, it melts in your mouth. This was probably a decade ago at the Tuscan Grill in Waltham, and if memory serves, it came with rabbit in a garlic & white wine sauce. The entire restaurant had a garlic aroma in the air that used to make me swoon, and I believe I began using olive oil and balsamic as a bread dipper, for the first time there, which has since become a habit. I have only had gnocci that memorable on two other occasions, one in the South of France, and one here in Boston, but both times were home cooked. But that first time, 10 years ago, became the standard for good gnocci ever since. If it is too chewy, it isn't made or cooked correctly.
  16. It was a family dinner that I hosted. I had recently seen the movie Big Night and was bound and determined to make the same dish. It was a fun night!
  17. The most memorable Italian meal I ever ate was during a simple work lunch at a local eatery I had never tried before but WOW did that meal pack a punch. A simple fusillli in garlic and oil and homemade garlic knots became my favorite meal and I go back all the time :-)
  18. When I was a kid my friend's grandmother made spaghetti and sauce from scratch, and it was the first time I'd had fresh pasta. I'll never forget the smell of her kitchen and the great taste!
  19. Not just a meal, but an entire experience. The women in the family got together to make my great-aunt's homemade ravioli. We had a blast and the ravioli was fantastic. Still haven't attempted to make it on my own. I will have to soon.
  20. my most memorable italian meal is at this little local restaurant called davia's. they make the most incredible penne with vodka sauce. it's got sun dried tomatoes in it and is so delicious. i love it!
  21. Hmmm... Probably making homemade lasagna for the Daring Baker's challenge last year...homemade noodles, a couple of homemade sauces - a lot of work but it was fantastic!
  22. Most memorable would have to be a wide noodle Linguini with picked lobster in the lightest cream sauce at the White Hart Inn, Salisbury, Connecticut.
  23. At a little restaurant in Italy....pasta with a simple marinara sauce and baskets of warm bread. I really like it when you can just tell a sauce is homemade--fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic! Then tiramisu for dessert...what could be better? Unfortunately I don't remember the name of this place, but it will always remain a treasured memory of my trip to Italy.
  24. Every summer, when the home grown cherry tomatoes ripen, sliced in half, gently sauteed in olive oil with chopped onion and garlic, tossed over fresh linguine.. simple and fresh.
  25. A little restaurant called Grano in Toronto, on the first vacation my now-husband and I took together. We stumbled on it while wandering around the city - fabulous food, beautiful courtyard, generally a perfect meal.
  26. I have always wanted a pasta machine! this is such a great giveaway :) The most memorable italian meal I ate when Hurley and I were in Little Italy, NYC and I remember the dish we had was a simple vegetable primavera but it was SOO SOO GOOD! Very authentic italian. I remember the restaurant is family owned as well.
  27. Bizzarely, my most memorable Italian meal was in Sweden. We were out for the day and found this tiny little restaurant tucked away. The food was just mind blowing. Fresh tasting and beautiful.
  28. In the mid-seventies I went home with a college classmate in Everett, MA. His family was Italian of course and his mother put out a spread that was unbelievable! The food just kept on coming and coming. I was 6' 1" and 165 lbs at the time and could eat like a machine. She served up homemade pastas and sauces, meat, fish, you name it. I can remember the smell to this day. The people, food and wine that evening will be something I will never forget.
  29. So hard to choose just one memory... Probably my favorite was an impromptu lunch in Sorrento while on our Honeymoon. While admiring all the sights in Sorrento and doing some shopping, we ducked into a Salumeria and picked up a baguette, some thinly sliced prosciutto and soppressata, and the most perfectly moist ball of fresh mozzarella for a heavenly afternoon treat. Hmmmmm....
  30. The most memorable Italian meal I ever ate was the first one I had with my now husband John. It was our first big date and the amazing food helped spur on the evening. He had this rustic pork dish with sundried tomatoes, herb potatoes and other seasonal vegetables while I had a chicken-ricotta-spinach tortelloni dish. We shared both parts of the meal with each other and it opened up conversation about our different tastes in food. I now have a soft spot in my heart for those dishes and try to recreate them on special occasions, so we can relive that moment.
  31. My favorite Italian meal… After I graduated from college, I decided to backpack through Europe for a few weeks. While I was in Italy I decided on a whim that I wanted to visit the island of Elba, where Napoleon had been exiled. Not a bad spot to end up if you’ve been exiled! I found myself in a state of panic shortly after arrival when I realized it was way more expensive that I had counted on. So after a stressful day, I decided to have a nice dinner at Casanova in Capoliveri. It was the best lasagna I ever had in my life. The pasta sheets were so thin, the sauce was perfect and the filling was warm and cheesy with the perfect amount of meat. Apparently they didn’t get too many American tourists there so I spent some time chatting with the waitress and manager who were just the picture of hospitality. I went back the next night as well. That was over 7 years ago and I still remember that lasagna!!!
  32. My favorite pasta dish would be my cousin's families spaghetti and meatballs. They are of italian descent and make a mean meatball. The recipe is a secret so I love when they have us over! AND I would love a past machine!!
  33. The most memorable that I've had was the first time I ever made lasagna. It was very non-traditional but yummy. What made it more memorable was the fact that a good friend and I were making it together so it was more the cooking experience that made it memorable rather than the eating (although that was good too!)
  34. My favorite Italian meal? How about day inItaly? After dealing with hot weather, lousy hotel with no a/c and hot water, and a broken flipflop I sat down for some melon gelato. Best ever. Canteloupe made me so happy with how refreshing it was. I decided to press my luck and for the first time had spaghetti carbonara. I didn't even mind that my soda was lukewarm.
  35. When I graduated from college, my whole family celebrated at Joe Tecce's in Boston's North End. It was an amazing meal with the people I care about most.
  36. I'd have to say my most memorable Italian meal was my brother's rehearsal dinner before his wedding. He married into an Italian family, and that evening the meal our two families shared together was everything thing an Italian meal should be....loving, loud and delicious!
  37. I think my most memorable Italian meal was an Italian Thanksgiving that my sister made one year. It was a wonderful change (as she's the only one in the family who's Italian). Everything tasted like parsley, rosemary and garlic. It was wonderful! I still to this day make the same pasta dish and stuffing that she made, only I make it monthly!! LOL!
  38. Some DIVINE gnocchi at a restaurant in the North End. I don't remember the name of the place, but there was a fork, knife, and spoon embedded in the sidewalk in front of the restaurant. I moaned a little, and said, "Oh my God," a few times. My dining companions were eating too rapturously to notice.
  39. The most memorable Italian meal I ever had was at a local restaurant, Rino's, in Salt Lake City. The appetizer was a type of quiche that melted in my mouth. The main dish was a lightly breaded chicken, served with artichokes and a light crema rosa sauce. All this served outside, underneath a canopy of grape vines. Just a stone's throw was the owner/chef's garden. He plucked a zuchinni flower, battered it and fried it. Delizioso!
  40. One of the most memorable Italian meals I've had was at Mario Batali's restaurant Pizzeria Mozza - the food was simple yet so delicious. The eggplant caponata was outstanding!
  41. hi! My favorite Italian meal memory happened when I was very young. My Aunt Dolly passed away. She was the first person I'd know to pass. My mother wanted to make a positive memory for my sister and me so we had a huge Italian meal in her honor! We went all out- candle light, fancy plates, big meal! It was a great way to remember Aunt Dolly and became a yearly tradition on her birthday. I remember everytime I see that candle holder :)
  42. My most memorable Italian meal was last night, actually :) Went over to my future in-laws' for dinner and enjoyed some delicious lasagna with hand-made noodles and Italian sausage with green peppers. The food was memorable, yes, but as with all great Italian meals, the highlight was the company shared. Had a wonderful time discussing wedding plans while stuffing our faces ;)
  43. My most memorable Italian meal was at Carmine's in New York. Oh, it was so good my mouth is watering just thinking of it! It was a lot of fun, too! A big group of my co-workers and myself, who were all in New York for a meeting, met and it was fabulous! We had family style platters of several different things. It was amazing! I was pretty young and had Chicken Marsala for the first time! Yummy! Congrats on your recent win! How exciting!
  44. pesto gnocchi at an italian restaurant in NYC little italy..........gave me food poisoning!!! not pleasant but certainly the most surprising, and unfortunately memorable :)
  45. My mother-in-law's lasagna, omg, the best. The worst? She had a major stroke before I could get her recipe from her. A true tragedy all the way around.
  46. By far the most memorable Italian meal (or series of meals) I've had was in a true Italian villa in Tuscany, where the staff made fresh pasta and home made sauce every day we were there... it was a totally surreal experience. Phenomenal food, incredible environment. Congrats for winning!!
  47. the best Italian meal was at small mom and pop Restaurant ...Anthony's in gov. center.. in Boston... I had the dish there first and spent many evenings trying to duplicate it and then SUCCESS after 4 tries.. my favorite for company dish...
  48. It was at a restaurant, years ago, in Carmel (where I live). It was a veal dish, with the most heavenly sauce. It was served with a beautiful pasta and fresh veg. My plate was so clean, because I polished off any trace of sauce with relish.
  49. My wife and I were on our honeymoon in Los Angeles in 1979. We went to a place in L.A. although the name of the restaurant escapes us. We had pesto sauce on pasta for the first time and we thought we had gone to heaven. We returned to Kansas City and started growing basil plants on the window sills of our tiny apartment.
  50. Most memorable: the one before a tragic breakup -- come to think of it, I have no idea what we ate, but I remember every word of the conversation. Most delicious: from-scratch manicotti (pasta, ricotta, sauce, everything) on Christmas Day two years ago, in a beautiful dining room looking out into the snow.
  51. My most memorable (recent) Italian meal was at Lupa restaurant in NYC. I have the simplest tomato-based pasta dish, but it was absolutely out of this world. Of course, while I lived in Italy for a few months in college, I can recall MANY a memorable meal.
  52. My Grandmothers family had the first macaroni factory in the North End in Boston though sadly I never learned how to make pasta! My favorite memory is 20 people sitting around my grandparents dining table on Sundays eating authentic Italian food. BIG bowls of pasta and home made cannolis were always my favorite. Thanks this is a great contast!
  53. I would say the most memorable was in France - Hubby and I were on our honeymoon and grabbed a table at an incredible cafe and the food was amazing... I have never made pasta at home but this baby would change that real quick!! Great giveaway! (Will RT for you as well)
  54. The most memorable Italian meal was somewhere in Florence...can't tell you where, as we seemingly turned at every corner to find the place my husband was bent on finding. We had bistecca alla fiorentina and it was heavenly. (And I grew up eating grain-fed, 'homegrown' beef, so I am somewhat a beef snob!) Our Italian being close to non-existent, we kept trying to ask from which part of the cow it was. Finally they took us in the kitchen to show us the hugest side of beef I have ever seen sitting on the counter!
  55. My most memorable Italian dish is the lasagna I made for my then-boyfriend, who promptly proposed. We are celebrating our 30th anniversary this October.
  56. I cooked Alfredo Petuccini for my husband's 4oth birthday. I also had grilled pork ribs and a green salad with olive oil dressing. I also toasted a couple slices of French bread brushed with olive oil and dusted with some Parmesan cheese. And of course, I bake a classic Italian Lasagna for my 7-year old twins! It was an unforgettable dinner for the entire family
  57. It was at a small Italian restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark. We sat outside by the canal. It was a beautiful day, but the building was under some exterior construction and we sat under scaffolding and a garbage chute. I had some amazing spaghetti carbonara.
  58. For the best Italian meal, sweetbread risotto at Alto restaurant (in New York). It was divine! The most memorable (and stressful) one was completely and utterly different--when I made pasta and rolled it out by hand. Yummy, but also lumpy and strange...a pasta maker would have made things infinitely easier!
  59. On my first trip to Italy we went to this restaurant where the owner completely catered to us. one after another came out dish upon dish of fresh made pastas, antipasto's, breads, and fresh veg along with many carafes of wine. One of the things we had quickly leaned was the best dishes were often the simplest; bow tie pasta with red sauce, noodles with olive oil & basil. The owner even brought in a vendor off the street and purchased and presented the women in my group with a rose. I'll never forget that meal and the many laughs my friends had eating and talking and laughing.
  60. My mom & I went to NYC for my last spring break with a paycheck (I was a teacher), and we went to Carmine's after a show one night and ordered a plate of penne alla vodka. We ate and tried to figure out if there were any famous people in the room. (The food was so good that I had to go home and look up recipes. Seriously salivating just thinking about it.)
  61. I have eaten in great Italian restaurants in St. Louis (yes Charlie Gittos is incredible), New York (live here), Paris and London - and I still remember the best tasting dish I ever had - tortellini in gorgonzola sauce at Epcot - in the Italian section - SO INCREDIBLY great. Wonderful giveaway and I'm so happy you won the Breakstone - all my votes went for good! Still love the panko chicken.
  62. Most memorable Italian meal-my Italian mother-in-law's homemade ravioli.Melt in your mouth doughy little cheese-filled goodness!
  63. The Olive Garden for my husbands birthday. I made them sing Happy Birthday and bring him one of those chocolate cakes. He was so suprised.
  64. The most memorable Italian meal I ever ate was with my 94 year old aunt in Rome. She had never been out of the state of Massachusetts and my family took her to Italy. We had a wonderful dinner at a tiny restaurant in the Piazza Navona. We made friends with the owner. He brought out the most amazing dessert of fresh figs. I've been a fig fan ever since.
  65. The most memorable meal was on my first trip to Italy four years ago. In Florence, we had lunch at a small restaurant called Buco Mario. It was during porcini mushroom season and we had ribbons of fresh pasta enveloped in a velvety porcini mushroom sauce that blew us away. Here in the US, it's almost impossible to get fresh porcini. So good was this meal, that we went back to Buco Mario for dinner the following night! Everything about the lunch was divine; from the house wine to the bread to the service, to the cantucci dunked in vin santo for dessert. I still dream about that meal. Separately, congratulations on the Breakstone contest!!
  66. Some of the most memorable Italian meals were at my Grandmother's during the holidays; often it was a large chafng dish with Bagna Cauda with lots of cut fennel and other assorted vegetables and good crusty bread or when she poured the polenta on the linen tablecloth in the center of the large table with lots of sauce and sausage and fresh Italian bread. Those are great memories of the family dining together.
  67. My most memorable Italian meal was the one my aunt made for my 18th birthday. Being a post-New Years Day baby in Western New York, the days are frigid cold and the world is cash-strapped from the holidays. Still, she knew how special this birthday was to a me as a teenager, so she made the biggest pot of spaghetti, seasoned with her own secret spices, sausages and sauce for me. The temperature outside was an arctic five below (and that was the actual reading, not wind chill!), yet she rented the movie "Sparkle" and made it a warm Girls Day In for the two of us. I don't even remember a cake, which just goes to show how incredibly amazing her pot of spaghetti was as a celebration!
  68. The most memorable Italian meal was when I had a bunch of my friends over for a huge traditional spaghetti dinner with my homemade sauce, salad, lots of garlic bread and copious bottles of red wine. I've certainly had better Italian food at restaurants but you couldn't recreate the atmosphere again.
  69. It was at a potluck. A radio DJ (who was working two DJ jobs in a town 60 miles away AND working fulltime as a temp at our bank) brought in his grandmother's recipe for meat sauce, which he'd been cooking for three days. He had the most amazing voice, and he told me the whole recipe. For some reason, his DJ voice wasn't all that sexy, and neither was his regular speaking voice, but his recipe-reading voice must have been previously used for seduction :)
  70. The most amazing Italian meal I've ever had was at Dom's in Boston's North End (Italian district). The head chef, Dom, came into the dining room, pulled up a chair to our table, and began by asking each of us what "we were craving". He then continued to make suggestions while gladly taking any special orders (i.e. "I would like to mix the cream sauce with the mushroom sauce and marinara all in one please"). It was a fabulous atmosphere, fabulous food, and the good company helped :)
  71. The most memorable Italian meal I have had was in my early 20's when one of my closest friends taught me how to make homemade fettuccine alfredo, (we used store bought pasta) we were so young and I didn't know how to cook anything except for toast! We sat in front of the tv scarfing down the creamy pasta and killed a whole loaf of bread to dunk the sauce in! It was really delicious! So that dish became my go to recipe for years! It was one of the first meals I ever made my husband too!!!
  72. The most amazing meal had to be in Paris. There was a tiny restaurant down the rue from our hotel. It didn't even have a sign of any kind. We passed by there one night and could see through the lace curtains that it was a tiny restaurant (maybe 24 seats?). The meal was amazingly good - who'da thunk it? Good Italian food in Paris.
  73. Hmmm.... not exactly a meal, but I'll never forget my first ever cannoli that I had from Modern Bakery in the North End. I was about 8 years old and it was some sort of festival with fireworks in the North End and I never knew cheese could taste so good! I think my most memorable actual Italian meal was eating Troffiette with pesto in a little restaurant in the Cinque Terre (Italian Riveria and the birthplace of pesto)... they were cooked perfectly al dente, and boy were they amazing!
  74. The most memorable Italian meal I ever ate was not due to the food. When I was 18 years old, my boyfriend invited me to dinner and cooked spaghetti and meatball. I am pretty sure that his Mom made the meatballs and the sauce was from a jar but he had never cooked before and the fact that he wanted to give me that gift, as well as the fact that he always requested lasagna on his birthday (just like me) hooked me for life. Since then we have shared many far more delicious Italian meals but that one still touches my heart more than 30 years later.
  75. I hated eggplant as a child, when I grew up(did I?) I went to a party and someone said try the Eggplant Parmesan and being a mature person I said "YUK, no way." My current boyfriend insisted his Mom made the best. It was the best, I married the boy just for his Mom's cooking. She is still big on sharing and makes the best eggplant Parm ever! Thanks.
  76. The most memorable Italian meal I ever ate would have to be the stuffed shells I made for my Dad's 57th birthday. It was slow cooked and took two days to complete--cooking the sauce all day the first day and the shells all day the next. It sounds like they would fall apart, right? Well they didn't and they were absolutely wonderful! What made it memorable though is how much everyone loved them, especially my Dad--which was most important since it was part of his birthday celebration.
  77. The most memorable Italian meal would have to my homemade lasagna I make every Christmas Eve. My daughters and I spend the day making the sauce together and the rest of the meal. It is a great way for us to kick of the holiday together as a family.
  78. My most memorable Italian meal was at Cafe Marliarve's in Boston when I was about 8 years that was 43 years ago. My Nana and Papa took me and I ordered ravioli. When my Nana asked how it was, I answered "Great, but not as good as yours". She was laughing and crying at the same time. Everytime we revisited, she asked the same question and my answer was always the same. I've never returned as an adult because the memory is best left at that.
  79. Back in the late 60's I visited Mama Leone's in NYC. Being a country bumpkin, I was impressed with everything from the statuary, the menu choices, a delightfully prepared duck with grape sauce as my entree to the whoppin' big chunk of cheese served at the end of the meal. More recently, I had a marvelous al dente penne with 4-cheese sauce that rocked my world. I don't care for veined cheeses but this had only enough to add a welcome nip to the creamy sauce. Awesome!
  80. Hands down the most memorable Italian meal I have ever eaten, well I got to eat it rather frequently. Every sunday , as a child, we went to my father's parent's ( my Nono and Nona) for dinner. Nona made the best sauce and hand rolled and hand cut pasta I have ever eaten. I have tried and tried but I can come no where near the taste she managed and it's a shame I never got the chance to have her show me her secrets.
  81. My most memorable Italian meal is one that I have not been able to get out of my mind since 1997 when I visited Italy. Weirdly enough I found it at a roadside stop between Rome and probably Pisa. It was a green lasagna with a bechamel sauce and sausage. I have never found a lasagna that rivaled it, let alone green/spinach lasagna noodles. With the pasta maker I can make my own lasagna noodles and attempt to reinvent this delectable dish.
  82. My most memorable Italian meal was whenever my mom made lasagna. It wasn't made extremely often, but when it was, I always felt like it was the most special thing ever.
  83. I studied abroad in Florence during my last semester in college and pretty much everything we ate (we lived in a villa and had an in-house chef who made all of our meals) was beyond memorable. Though my favorite meal would have to have been the pork, peas and oven roasted potatoes. Simply but so, so, so delicious!
  84. The most memorable was at a little Italian restaurant nearby. We don't get the chance to eat there that often, but every meal I've ever eaten there has been spectacular. My favorite is their linguine tossed with garlic and olive oil..... mmmmmmmm
  85. My most memorable Italian meal I ever ate was in the 80's at a lovely restaurant on Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf. Breaded chicken stuffed with smoked provolone, mozzarella and prosciutto served with yellow squash and broccoli .. I was in heaven and have never had another dish like it ..
  86. My most memorable Italian meal was one a friend from work made for me and my children. She made the pasta from scratch with her pasta machine and it was fun to watch. Her pesto sauce was also incredible.
  87. my most memorable Italian meal i ever ate was on my sweet 16 when me and my whole family went out to olive garden had the Tour of Italy.
  88. Actually, my dads girlfriend's sister-in-law made lasagna for some occasion last year and while I usually avoid ground beef like the plague, I thought this was seriously the BEST pasta dish I had ever had!!
  89. The most memorable was in Monterosso, Italy at a little cafe. I can't remember what it was called, but it was a linguine type pasta with lots of mushrooms and fresh herbs in a white wine sauce. And for dessert...Nutella gelato. YUM! Thank you for the giveaway :)
  90. The most memorable Italian meal I ate was at Olive Garden (yeah, no joke!) Not b/c of the food though. B/c it was my first date w/ the love of my life and b/c when the server went to put cheese in my salad w/out asking first, instead of just saying no thank you, I dove for the salad w/ my hands cupped to catch the falling cheese and said NNOOOOOO!!!!! Kinda loud... But it broke the ice b/c him and me and we had a great dinner after that and many more great dinners since!
  91. the most memorable italian meal I ever ate was during a bike tour of Tuscany. We started at a winery and took off on our bikes from there. Needless to say, the combination of the wine and the heat caused me to fly over my handle bars. Bleeding and dizzy we stopped off at a small family restaurant where they didn't have a printed menu, but rather a list of specials of the day. I had a penne with tomatoes and basil and a touch of oil. It was so simple, but the ingredients were so fresh and refreshing. During my whole time in Italy, I'd say that was my favorite meal.
  92. For a friend's bachelorette party we took an Italian cooking class and we prepared my most memorable Italian meal. The most delicious/memorable/decadent part was ricotta gnocchi with peas, tomatoes and leeks!! It still makes my mouth water!
  93. The first time I had pesto. I was in Europe for several weeks and at first was afraid to try it. But once I did, it was so incredible that every time there was a chance to order it, I did.
  94. The most memorable Italian meal I ever ate was the first time I had a classic margherita pizza. Sounds simple right? Well it would be, if it hadn't been in France! I can't remember where precisely I was in France (being 17 at the time), but I do remember every restaurant we went to either had too long of a wait (we had an hour to eat before the bus left), or I wasn't sure if we'd like them. Finally I stumbled onto a quaint pizza shop run by a traditional Italian couple. Years later, it's still the best margherita pizza I've ever had!
  95. The lasagna at a family run Italian restaurant in Seattle. First time I had ever tried it, I think I was 7 or 8. It was loaded with cheese and what I'm sure was homemade pasta. Yummy!
  96. My stepdad was italian so I've had one or two REAL italian treats. However, you asked for most memorable and that was plain ol' pizza with hubby on our first date. We ate it at my apartment on the couch. Or I should say he fed it to me. Christine
  97. I found a little hole in the wall Italian restaurant in downtown Chicago that was oozing with charm. I had spinach stuffed ravioli in a wonderful sauce and fresh baked bread dipped in fresh grated parmesan and olive oi,l and a salad that was divine. I think the environment had as much to do with the memorable-ness of the experience, but the food was divine!
  98. Florence, Italy. The richest, most indulgent spinach and cheese stuffed ravioli i have ever had. I can still taste it, over 10 years later.
  99. Lasagna at a little Italian restaraunt in Heidelberg, Germany. Mmmm!!! But then, almost anything with cheese, pasta, cheese, pasta, cheese, get the idea!
  100. The best Itallian meal I ever ate was at a local restaurant where I had spinach ravioli. It was so good! I've wanted to make my own ravioli ever since!
  101. i had a beautifully memorable meal outside of Florence up in the hills of Sardines, a lobster pasta with an extraordinary anise pesto sauce, prosecco, and then some sort of strawberry "holy" wine with a hazlenut orange cake. It took several days to come out the food coma. Really Exceptional.
  102. rome, italy. we found this cute little restaurant a few blocks away from the colosseum. we had a pasta sampler. they brought us out a plate of pasta with an incredible broccoli sauce, and after we finished, they would bring us a new pasta dish. it kept going until we were too full to get more. it was amazing.
  103. My most memorable Italian meal was at a Two Boots in New York. Their pizza is a mix between Italian and Creole flavors and was surprisingly amazing! My favorite was the "Night Tripper" and was made of whole wheat dough, white sauce, sun dried tomatoes, with jalapeno pesto drizzled on top. It was the most delicious pizza I have ever eaten.
  104. My most memorable italian meal is probably a tie between Rosa's in Pismo beach (they have the best ravoli & meatballs or Abba's Pacific Cafe in Morro Bay where I had my first Cioppino.. i love love Cioppino, so much that I make my parents make it for Thanksgiving now every year :)
  105. The most memorable Italian meal I ever ate was at a Mario Batali restaurant in Vegas. It sounds strange, but I had the most perfectly cooked bucatini in a chunky tomato sauce - so good!
  106. I have had so many memorable Italian meals. But the one that most sticks out in my mind was when my boyfriend took me to Terragusto in Chicago for my birthday last year. He brought flowers and surprised me with the restaurant. It was delicious! What a guy...
  107. The most memorable italian meal we ever had was around Christmastime this year. A good family friend decided to surprise us and brought us Italian casserole for supper! With eight people living in our house, this was the perfect gift!
  108. Most memorable italian meal ever was a super flat pizza with the freshest buffalo mozzarella imaginable on top. I could eat it every day, all day.
  109. Most Memorable would, for sure, be when my best friend made me home made fettuccine Alfredo! It was a wonderful night with wonderful food!
  110. I have never had the pleasure of going to Italy, and likely will never, but my most memorable Italian meal was when I went with a date to his family's home for a traditional, sit down 7 course dinner - all the way from the antipasto to the limoncello! It went on for hours, was delicious, amazing and a wonderful experience I will never forget! What a fantastic giveaway!! I have been wanting to get a pasta maker so this would be incredible ... I'm crossing my fingers over here!! mary at deepsouthdish dot com
  111. My aunt makes pasta often from scratch. Once, when we visited (We live about 300 miles away) she got out her pasta machine and made sweet potato ravioli. I'd never heard of such a thing. She let me boil down the potatoes and put sugar in them and she let me press the ravioli through her pasta maker and cut and stuff the ravioli. I had never been in the kitchen much before this moment, but she is who got me really interested in cooking. It is my most memorable, because it was a labor of love, a quiet moment with my aunt, and the spark of a new hobby.
  112. Unfortunately, I have never been to Italy nor any really fancy Italian Restaurants. Sounds cheesy, but probably the most memorable Italian dinner was at Olive Garden -- because it was our wedding anniversary! I do love the food there also, especially the Chicken Scallopini! digicat{AT}sbcglobal{DOT}net
  113. my favorite Italian meal was at the restaurant Ago at the Hard Rock in Vegas. The grilled calamari and fresh mozzarella in homemade marinara w/ crispy bread were out of this world. i cant wait to go back.
  114. Most memorable would be the time I made a spinach lasagna for a group of friends. It was a great time of laughs, stories and great food!
  115. When I was a kid, I had a friend who was Italian and I went to her house for dinner. I thought I knew what spaghetti was until I ate her mom's cooking. Wow. So simple and so perfect.
  116. Growing up we lived next door to an italian couple who took on the role of "grandparents" to my sister and I. Fannie (Grandma) made the BEST homemade pizza with almost no cheese. It was always a special treat when she'd make it for us. Even today, I can't find pizza that compares!
  117. My most memorable Italian meal was takeout - believe it or not. Handmade Fusilli with a simple garlic tomato sauce from La Summa in Boston's North End. I used to live above the restaurant with one of my closest friends. We split the dish with some fresh bread and a bottle of red wine. It was one of the most relaxing, comforting nights I've had.
  118. My most memorable Italian was probably one that my father made. He has always been passionate about cooking and went on a huge pasta kick a few years back. He made these incredibly amazing homemade mushroom ravioli's with a white wine sauce.
  119. The most memorable Italian meal I've had was when my boys and I were last together. I made a fresh Spaghetti alla Puttanesca while the boys kept busy with an antipasto plate. I then plated up a roasted sea bass with herbs and then finished the evening with coffees and some of my homemade Limoncello. Italian meals for me are about sharing with the people who are important to you. A truly memorable meal and evening.
  120. Romano pizza and sangiovese wine, with traditional cannoli and strong coffee for dessert from my new, local, and now most favorite Italian restaurant in Chicago last Saturday. Yum.
  121. Okay, so since my experience with REAL Italian food is extremely limited, I'm going to have to say my most memorable Italian food experience was when I was a kid and we went to Olive Garden for my birthday (a treat - hour long drive!) and our cook's car caught on fire in the parking lot. The food, understandably, took ages, but I don't remember much about the ravioli...just the car directly outside our window up in flames.
  122. Definitely at Kuleto's on Union Square in San Francisco, CA while on my honeymoon in 1997. I had a lovely fish dish and the best walnut bread ever dipped in some fantastic olive oil. The wine, the coffee after dinner.......ah, the best memories ALWAYS involve food, don't they?
  123. Good Ole fashion Lasagna is the first thing that came to mind. Then my head started swirling because I started thinking of all the italian dishes that I have had and loved. Now, if you will excuse me I am off to the kitchen to see what I can make italain. Thanks, and Good Luck to everyone.
  124. I can't think of one but I use to love going to a little Italian place in my home town. They always brought out a big bowl of ziti to every table as a starter.
  125. My most memorable italian meal was the first time I tasted my husband's lasagna. He make the very best meat sauce and then uses a combination of 7 different cheeses and I have never had Lasagna that was better than his. Man many times the food I eat at home (cooked by me or John) is far better than something I could order in a restaurant.
  126. Most memorable Italian meal - sitting in a sunny olive grove in Assisi, near the stone church of San Damiano, picnicking on local cheese and meats from the village, with freshly baked bread. Sometimes, it's the simplicity of Italian food that makes it so amazingly good! But I should also mention the Spaghetti Carbonara from Old Bear Ristorante in Rome, because it's delish. ...Otherwise, since I'm stateside, Carmine's of Manhattan's Manicotti is my fave. Nom, nom nom.... (Or as they say in Italy, "Gnum!") Mand NY, NY
  127. The most memorable Italian meal I ever ate was at Capricciosa in Guam, my hometown. Every time I visit home (which is thousands of miles away now that I live in Chicago), I have to get their tuna and calamari salad (so simple yet unreproducible)... their corn soup (sweet and creamy) and their frutti di mare pasta (so good -- there are just no words!) and their 4 scoops of different types of gelato to finish out the meal. Oh and their garlic bread with roasted garlic. Mmmm! :: Excuse me, I'm drooling! :: Their walls are decorated with empty Chianti bottles that have been signed by past patrons of the restaurant, and I just miss it dearly. *sigh*
  128. I find it silly, but my most memorable Italian meal was at Disney World. My then boyfriend, now husband, and I used our college Christmas break to take our first vacation. We had dinner that night in the Italy themed part of Epcot. I really don't remember what he had, but I had veal stuffed ravioli and gelato for desert. Finished the night off watching fireworks and taking ridiculously touristy photos with the faux statues. I really don't remember what else we eat that trip, but the ravioli really was delish :)
  129. My husband and I once went to a very authentic Italian restaurant, and had all sorts of amazing things. I don't remember what exactly was on the antipasta, but it blew my mind! Also: when trying to access this page via Firefox one of the ads crashed my browser sufficiently that I had to reboot my computer. I will be reluctant to access your blog often as a result, unfortunately.
  130. The first time I made sauce from scratch! I make it all the time now but the first time was so memorable since I realized how much better it was than the canned stuff or even better than most \Italian\ restaurants.
  131. The most memorable Italian meal I've had was when I was on a date and we went to this little place in Carmel, CA called Little Napoli. The food was amazing and I learned about mixing the oil and vinegar to eat with bread. We were in a tight little table next to a lot of people that were dining there. The old couple next to us made good conversation and were so sweet!
  132. mmmmm, my most memorable and tastiest Italian meal is from my sister's kitchen. She made this amazing seafood alfredo that would make your head spin. Fresh seafood from our favorite seafood market in Freeport, Long Island, fresh veg and homemade alfedo sauce. We are from the island of Barbados so the blend of spices from the caribbean and the rich Italian sauce and pasta was amazing!
  133. The first time I had pasta. While I can't remember the exact details, it was definitely a special moment because I fell in love at first bite, and have stayed in love with carbs for 20 years, or so.
  134. I ate at a friend's house when I was a kid, and they were italian. Her mother made stuffed manicotti and it was the best food i have ever put in my mouth!
  135. Best Italian meal that I will always remember was sitting at a small cafe in Venice eating a pizza during the middle of the world cup and hearing the entire neighborhood errupt with joy as the Italians scored a goal.
  136. In 2005, my husband and I were lucky enough to take a trip to Italy. It was the most amazing trip filled with so much history and amazing sights. We were in Rome for a day, and wanted to see all the sights but had such limited time. We hired a tour guide to drive us around the town and show some of the more popular attractions. He also took us outside the city walls to a catacomb, which was amazing. On the way we stopped for lunch. He took us to this little outdoor restaurant in the middle of nowhere. We were the only people there and we sat on plastic outdoor chairs. This was no upscale restaurant. We had a three course meal with wine and cheeses. The most amazing part of the meal was the chicken dish we were served. It was a half a chicken that had been seasoned and pressed flat with an iron with pasta on the side. The flavors were out of this world, and of all the places we visited and all the great food we ate on our trip, that was by far the best.
  137. The most memorable Italian meal I had and will always stay in my heart is when I made homemade sauce and then I had my sons making lasagna with me! We had so much fun and sitting down to dinner was even better! They enjoyed making the meal and the boys were so proud of them selfs!! It was delicious!!
  138. I think the most memorable Italian dish was at a place called Lucca in Sacramento. I had never been a fan of Italian food but that fresh made rosemary pasta changed my world view.
  139. Spaghetti al Limone from Supper Restaurant in NYC! By far my favorite Italian meal, and for $13.95 it was certainly the cheapest as well. The dish is a wonderful creamy collection of flavors tied together with fresh lemon & Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, devine!
  140. I've had thousands of great Italian meals with my family over the years... the problem with this question is that it makes me think of you, which makes me think of the night that the Angry Chef brought me over to meet you. You had whipped up a ton of food, and demanded that I eat!!! :) I can honestly still picture the food in my mind, and it makes me hungry just thinking about it!!
  141. My most memorable Italian meal had to have been at Mario Batali's Babbo back in 2002. My husband and I had come to NYC from Chicago for a wedding. Our plane was late and we bailed on the rehearsal dinner and went to Babbo spur of the moment. It was late so we were seated right away without a reservation and proceeded to have an amazing meal. The pumpkin lune remain one of the best things I have ever eaten. We even met Mario and he signed a menu for me!
  142. It would have to be when I first discovered lasagna. When I was in the first grade, my family and I were still living in a tiny apartment and I would look forward to eating out at this Italian joint. But we always ordered pizza, so I didn't realize I could order something else! I know, sounds silly, but it's true. Then after reading Garfield (yes, the comic) I realized this "lasagna" he always ate was on the menu, and asked my mother if I could order it. The first bite...bliss.....
  143. We hosted a 9 course Italian dinner last month, and it was a feast! We made a creamy, cheesey Italian sausage manicotti for the first time, and it topped everyone's list for their favorite dish. People have asked for the recipe a few times now, which is a good indication that something went right. Delicious!
  144. Oooh, I know this one. Every year I got two great Italian meals from my grandma, one for Thanksgiving, and one for Easter. This Easter, however, marked one year since she died, so I did my best to recreate her trademark meal, down to making my own pasta from her recipe. My mom almost cried when she sat down to eat. I'll always remember that.
  145. My dad and I went to Del Posto for lunch during our visit to New York. I had been trying to share my interest in restaurants and dining with him for a while, but I couldn't really find a place that he was really jazzed about until Del Posto. The meal was delicious, interesting, and fun. The bread basket, which came with a amazing side of lardo, was my favorite part of the meal. I remember my dad sitting back at the end, with an almost blank expression on his face, and sighing as he said, "Wow!...That was an awesome meal."
  146. My husband made a Garlic-Basil Shrimp dish with Orzo...a meal made to satisfy all of the senses!!! He is Sicilian, so he must have added some Sicilian magic to the food to make it absolutely heavenly!
  147. The most memorable meal I've had was on a Princess Cruise! The food on those ships are unbelievable! Even the buffet was memorable! The desserts are the die for, like the flaming Cherries Jubilee! Wow! HobartsMama {AT}
  148. My most memorable Italian meal is the one with my first Italian language class in Florence. We were students from all over the world and could only converse in Italian. All being beginners to the language, it was of course quite a challenge, but very rewarding. We were also new to true Northern Italian cuisine so each student had to make something for our final class/party. It was so much fun and really delicious. And we had great Italian music to accompany the meal. We ate, danced, laughed and were truly one big family--so typical Italian. : - ) Thanks for the contest!
  149. Hmmm... I'd have to say this divine baked gnocchi at a local italian restaurant here in Philly. Sadly, with the recession, it went under but that place had the BEST Italian food. I've tried feverishly to replicate but no luck. I've been eying that pasta machine at Fantes for forever - hmmm....
  150. I will never forget my first taste of pasta (penne rigati) with sauce prepared by my next door neighbor's mother who was "off the boat" from Florence. the pasta was al dente and the sauce was so simple and delicious. The sauce never covered the delicate flavor of the pasta which had texture. Who knew pasta could be like that, it changed my approach to food forever.
  151. The most memorable Italian meal you ever ate was actually in Rome. It was my first trip to Europe and I was celebrating my 30th birthday! We found out about this restaurant off one of the piazzas from Gourmet magazine. There was no name, only an address and just a mess of tables with everyone sitting together. The pasta and sauce were made fresh everyday. I had an eggplant and rigatoni dish with a red sauce. It was so light and yet packed a great deal of flavor. I still think about that dish everytime I eat pasta....nothing really compares to it!
  152. My most memorable Italian meal was in a restaurant in Seattle that sadly, no longer exists. It was twenty years ago back when I had little experience with a lot of different kinds of foods which might be why it lingers in my mind, but I can honestly say, I have never had an Italian meal that made the same impression since. The appetizer was my first experience of prosciutto and melon, something common place now, but was totally new to me then. The pasta, orecchiette with rapini, garlic and breadcrumbs. The meat was the most perfectly cooked osso bucco on a tiny pillow of polenta, just enough to soak up all the flavorful juice from the meat. For dessert the owner of the place made a table side zabaione. I felt so special with the attention and the taste and texture of the dish was like nothing I had ever had before. He later brought out tiny biscotti cookies and a small glass of Vin Santo as we lingered over our coffee. Just thinking about it brings back a time in my life that seems like yesterday.
  153. The most memorable Italian meal I have ever eaten was Seafood lasagna at an Italian restaurant in Madison,WI.
  154. The most memorable Italian meal I have ever eaten was when my boyfriend made his all time favorite meal for me; prosciutto wrapped pears and shaved manchego cheese with arugula. He also prepared Italian greens with kale, garlic, and olive oil. To top it off, we enjoyed this meal with a bottle of sangiovese. Perfetto!!!
  155. Oh my, I remember it as though it was yesterday. This incredible restaurant is no longer in existence. Rex Il Restaurante in LA was sublime. From the Lalique crystal table bases lit up from inside to the funky interior, a fully restored Men's Upscale Haberdashery, my head was spinning. Delicately roasted veggies with a hint of balsamic vinegar started the meal followed with by a fish dish that featured a roasted halibut and a white wine based sauce. The best however was the pasta dish - a tortelli filled with tiny bits of foi gras. The sauce was a very light white sauce. I still dream of that meal.
  156. The most memorable Italian meal I ate was at an Italian restaurant in LA with all my graduate classmates. It was all family style and we left very stuffed!!!
  157. The most memorable Italian meal I've had was my first meal at my boyfriend Michael's (later husband) Grandma Borgia's house in Brooklyn NY circa 1985. She made ziti and kaldun and Eggplant Parmesan for Sunday 2 o'clock dinner. It was a hot day and a big crowed so all the grandkids and parents and aunts, uncles and cousins ate outside in the little back yard under the shade of the garage door. The food was simple, hardy and made with so much love. And yes, she had a pasta machine just like the one I'm trying to win. I know because all I could contribute, being a wasp from Florida, was that I could clean up the kitchen while everyone played cards and drank coffee and Sambuca. After I cleaned the whole kitchen with Grandma Borgia she said I was "one of the family". It's the best Italian meal I ever had because it was a right of passage into a family I really wanted to be part of. I still make her Eggplant Parmesan recipe. It's the best!
  158. We used to live in the Bronx and our neighbor Anna the Italian Lady made us Eggplant Parmigian. It is the best. I always request her to make when we have potluck dinners. It so delicioso! Then we moved to Kentucky and St. Louis. We received a bad news Anna was mugged by the mailbox retrieving her Social Security check and hospitalized and passed away. That was 1972, until this date I still remember Anna's Eggplant parmigian.
  159. The most memorable Italian dish i ever ate was my mum's spaghetti. She couldn't even cook toast but when it comes to spaghetti she is the all out master!!!!!!!