Skip Lombardi is a professional jazz musician and cookery author: La Cucina dei Poveri, Recipes from My Sicilian Grandparents.

He writes about contemporary Italian and American cooking and food-related issues. He also publicizes happenings in the arts around Sarasota, FL at http://skiplombardi.org

Writing and lecturing on the arts and cuisines of the Muslim world, Holly Chase has worked in the Middle East, South Asia, Africa, and Europe. She organizes yacht charters and specialized tours of Turkey. http://hollychase.com

Holly’s CV

Send e-Mail to: info AT almostitalian DOT com

19 thoughts on “About

  1. Andrea Hollis

    I discovered your site in a search for a recipe for sugo finto. I look forward to following that recipe and others you offer, thanks.

  2. Holly

    Ciao, Andrea,

    I’m Skip’s collaborator.I’d urge you and others to check both our sites–AlmostItalian.com AND SkipLombardi.org when searching for a recipe for an Italian family favorite. The line between la vera cucina italiana and Italian-American has been blurred for decades as Italian-Americans have gone back to Italy— as tourists and residents.

    One of our about-to-be-posted recipes for an unusual Sicilian salad will give you the idea of how recipes migrate, change, and– in rare cases– remain virtually intact.

    We’re please that you enjoy the fruits of our work!

    Buon appetito!—- Holly

  3. Skip

    I’m afraid I can’t give you a good answer on that one. It sounds like a term of endearment and affection. (Of course, I feel a great deal of affection for scungilli.) On the other side of that coin, though, my grandparents used to call people who had caused them some displeasure ‘cucumber’ or ‘baccala.’ Wish I had a better answer.

    Best regards,

  4. Gina

    I was searching for a Pepper and Egg sandwich recipe and your site popped up. I love it! I’m from Chicago and P&E sandwiches are very popular around lent. I now reside in Alaska. πŸ™‚

  5. Anthony Baker

    Hi Skip,

    Hey, just love your site! Keep those Italian tradition going man! Making big meals and sitting at the table for long periods of time just sharing lots of love with family and friends is becoming a lost art! Keep the recipes coming, you have some goods ones on here! I particularly likes your article about Italian Americans and the Sunday Sauce. Wonderful! I can so relate! Anyway, you might enjoy my site. It’s a labor of love of mine and an effort to keep my Italian grandmothers recipes and traditions going on into the generations to come πŸ™‚ http://www.spaghettisauceandmeatballs.com/

    Missing the old days but trying to keep them going,


  6. Chakieta

    As Easter approaches, my cousin and I want to make “Easter Pizza” (pizza rustica,,,pizza chien,,,etc.) We cannot find our mothers original recipes. Think they took them to their graves,,,,good ole Italian women. What we want is a pizza pie that is thick, crust top and bottom, filled with ‘farmer’s cheese’, sausages, hard boiled eggs, etc. Can anyone help us? Thanks!!!

    Chakieta in Texas

  7. Susan

    Came across your site while looking for a lasagna recipe with sliced hard-boiled eggs, the way my mother used to make it years ago. Not only did I find that recipe, but reading your blog and all the recipes takes me back to my childhood days when on Sundays I would wake up to the smell of sauce & meatballs cooking on the stove and chicken roasting in the oven. I couldn’t get home from Mass fast enough for our feast that always was at 1:00 PM. My Greek friend would love to come over at around 5:00 for leftovers too and didn’t mind eating room temp. pasta (before microwaves were a part of every kitchen)! Keep up the good work here – this site is awesome!

  8. thomas cappiello

    I came across your blog by accident really, through Nigella’s website from listening to her NPR interview today. Anyway, my paternal side is Italian from Hamden CT, my great-grand parents immigrants from Naples. So I thank you for this information and recipes.

  9. Susan

    Hi Skip;
    Hoping you can help me with a recipe that myself & other family members are searching for. When we were kids (60’s & 70’s) there was an Italian immigrant woman who lived near us who made the best home made pizza ever! There was no cheese; just tomato fillets (canned if I recall correctly), olive oil, garlic, oregano, black pepper and maybe some basil. The dough was thick and she baked it on a sheet pan and cut it in squares. It had an almost sweet taste to it too. This woman has passed away and there’s no one else in her family surviving that can give us this amazing recipe. Are you familiar with this and if so please post it on your website. Thanks so much!

    PS – I enjoy reading your posts and recipes. Keep up the great work!

  10. Linn

    In the late 1940’s my parents boarded with a wonderful woman in Boston that was Italian. Since they are both gone now, I am spelling the name as it sounded to a small child, which was Mrs. Serrano (she was always Mrs. to me). My mother would take me back to visit her when I was a little girl; she was always so kind and of course, fed us no matter what! I was just eating a pepper and egg sandwich and decided to look for additional variations which led to your site. Since my parents were of Irish and Swedish heritage, I am now assuming this delicious, simple recipe came from the days they lived with Mrs. Serrano. Loved reading the history, and have bookmarked your wonderful site for future use. BTW, I still use Mrs. Serrano’s Italian Meat Sauce recipe that was given to my mother 60+ years ago.

  11. Debbie Christie

    Just wanted to write and tell you I couldn’t believe it when I found a website that sold cucuzza. I grew up with my grandparents who came here from Sicily. My grandfather was from Vicari, Sicily. We lived in the country and had a huge garden and he always planted many things including cucuzza and fava beans and lots of tomatoes. I sure do miss those days!

  12. Francine

    I found your website while searching for “Cucuzza”. My grandfather used to grow them here in the Houston, Texas area and I was hoping to find out where I could get a plant. I found that and much more! I love your site for the recipes, but also for keeping the heritage alive! Salute!

  13. Hal

    Just came across this site when I was looking for a recipe for Spezzi. Can you help.. I was brought up in Middletown, Ct. also. In the 50’s and early 60’s.
    Now I’m closer to Westerly RI….. But still searching for my beloved Spezzi….

    1. Skip

      Hello Hal,

      You can find Spezzi at the following places: (all in Westerly

      * Backtrack Bar
      * The Knickerbocker Pub
      * The Hilltop Bar & Grill

      We have no preference for one over another.

      Best regards,


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