I wish I could take credit for these, but I cannot. I surprised Daniela, my amazing friend who owns Le Macare in the little town of Alezio (Italy) by showing up unannounced on her restaurant's front porch. Her jaw dropped, she squeezed me tight, and hustled into the kitchen. We shouted back and forth from the porch into the kitchen, catching up on everything that has happened to us in the last 2 years . Clangs of pots and pans punctuated the already lively conversation. Less than 10 minutes later she shuffled back out to the porch with this plate of pasta gold: mortadella-stuffed handmade cappellacci tossed in black truffle butter. Italians really know how to whip something up for an unexpected guest.

Daniela and me outside Le Macare restaurant.

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