ES.S41 | Spring 2012 | Undergraduate

Speak Italian With Your Mouth Full

Lesson 6

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Tomatoes sit on top of toasted slices of bread.

In this lesson, students made bruschetta. (Image courtesy of Graham Gordon Ramsay.)

In this lesson, you will learn:

Language Instruction

  • Asking and giving directions
  • Event: La Festa del Papà

Cooking Instruction

How to prepare:

  • Eggplant parmesan (vegetarian)
  • Beef stew
  • Bruschetta (vegetarian)

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Watch a video:

Lesson 6, Part 2:Cooking Instruction

Melanzane alla Parmigiana/Eggplant Parmesan

This is a light version.  In the classic recipe, the eggplant is deep friend (alone or dipped in egg and covered with bread crumbs.)

Ingredienti per 4-6 persone

  • Two large melanzane/eggplants
  • One spicchio d’aglio/ garlic clove
  • One L di passata di pomodoro/plain strain tomatoes, we used 1.5 box of Pomì
  • Parmigiano grattuggiato (grated, about 100 g, but decide by eye and taste)
  • Mozzarella grattuggiato (grated) or a fette (in slices), about 1 cup
  • Basilico fresco /resh basil, a few leaves
  • sale/salt
  • zucchero/sugar
  • Spices of your choice (e.g. red crushed pepper, nutmeg)


  1. Wash the eggplants and cut them; max one centimeter thick.
  2. Let the the eggplant slices sit in a colander covered with abundant coarse salt. You can make many layers of eggplant and salt: this procedure removes the bitterness from the melanzane.
  3. After 30 minutes, drain, rinse very well, and pat dry with a paper towel.
  4. Grill the eggplant slices at 400 degrees F for about 10 minutes (or more, based on the thickness). Alternatively, grill them in a nonstick pan without oil on the stove or on the bbq.
  5. In the meantime, prepare a tomato sauce with a soffritto of garlic.
  6. Cover the bottom of a baking dish with the tomato sauce.
  7. Place a layer of eggplant over the sauce.
  8. Sprinkle with grated mozzarella, grated parmesan, and basil leaves (as a whole or minced, as you wish)
  9. Repeat to make 3-4 layers ending with sauce
  10. Top with the remaining mozzarella and parmigiano
  11. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 30 minutes.

Le melanzane alla parmigiana is delicious eaten immediately and the day after is even meglio/better.  Prova/Try!

La Bruschetta/Le Bruschette

Pronunciation: Remember: che in Italian reads keh in English. Pronounce brus-keh-te.

Listen to the pronunciation:

Bruschetta (MP3)


  • One baguette, or better some pugliese or toscano bread (one large crusty loaf)
  • Two pomodori/tomatoes or a large handful of pomodorini/cherry tomatoes
  • One spicchio d’aglio/garlic clove
  • Basilico fresco/fresh basil, a few leaves
  • Sale/Salt
  • Olio extravergine d’oliva/extra virgin olive oil


  1. Chop the tomatoes and mix in a bowl with salt, olive oil and basil (You can use the whole leaves or mince them, as you prefer).
  2. Cut the bread in disks and toast in the oven for about 5 minutes (400 degrees F). During the summer you can grill the bread on the bbq.
  3. Option 1: rub the garlic on the toasted bread
  4. Option 2: add the garlic (as a whole or minced) to the tomato mix. Leave in the fridge for at least a few hours.
  5. You can either put the chopped tomatoes on the bread yourself, or for a big group, you can serve the bowl on one side, the bread on another, and let everyone help themselves.

 Buon appetito!

Spezzatino in Bianco/Beef Stew

Spezzatino means “little broken thing” = stew. In bianco refers to the fact that we are not using tomatoes. This is my mom’s recipe! If you serve it with polenta, then I suggest to make it without potatoes.

Ingredienti per 4 persone

  • One kg (about 2.2 lb) of manzo/beef  for stew
  • 1/2 cipolla/onion
  • One spicchio d’aglio /garlic clove
  • One carota/carrot
  • One stalk of sedano/celery
  • Two patate/potatoes
  • One twig of rosmarino/rosemary
  • A couple of leaves of alloro/bay leaves
  • One dado/bouillon cube
  • Olio d’oliva
  • Sale
  • Optional: Two pomodori/tomatoes/ or passata di pomodoro (e.g. Pomì)


  1. Chop the carrot, onion, celery and garlic.
  2. Put in a pressure cooker with a little olive oil over low flame to make a sweat (soffritto). Then add the meat and the bouillon cube.
  3. When the meat outside is brown (extra step: in a few years, add a glass of wine and let it evaporate) cover with water and add the [whole] rosemary twig, bay leaves, and if you want other spices.
  4. Close the pressure cooker and pressurize (i.e. until the pressure cooker begins to whistle), cook for about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Depressurize, add the potatoes (washed and cut in big chunks) and cook again under pressure for another 10-15 minutes.
  6. If you use a regular pot or a slow cooker, cook at low heat for 2-3 hours, covered, mixing from time to time. While it cooks you can do your Physics homework ;)
  7. If most of the water has evaporated, simply add water (you can make the stew more or less thick based on your taste).
  8. When it is ready (be sure that both meat and potatoes are cooked and so soft that you can cut them with a fork) add salt if needed.
  9. You can make the sauce more creamy by mixing a spoon of sifted flour.

Buon appetito!


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Lezione Numero Sei /Lesson Number Six

Watch two videos:

Lesson 6, Part 1: Vocabulary and Sentences

Lesson 6, Part 3: Closing Lecture


  • Oggi è domenica diciotto marzo duemiladodici (3/18/2012). Today is Sunday, March 18, 2012.
  • Domani, lunedì diciannove marzo, è la festa del papà. Il 19/3 è il giorno di San Giuseppe. Tomorrow, Monday, March 19, is Father’s Day. March 19 is Saint Joseph’s Day, that’s why we celebrate Father’s Day on this specific day.
  • Mio nonno (my grandpa) si chiama Giuseppe: il diciannove marzo è anche (also) il suo onomastico. Auguri doppi (double felicitations)! My grandpa is named Joseph. March 19 is also his name day. Double happinesss!
  • Giovedì scorso (last Thursday) we tried to speak only Italian during class.

Listen to audio for Lesson 6

Leggi, ascolta e ripeti./ Read, listen, and repeat.

Lesson 6 audio (MP3 - 2.6MB)

Ecco qui! Here it is! (Literally, “here here”.)
Grazie (mille). Thank you (a thousand.)
Prego. You’re welcome. (Literally “I pray”.)
Di niente. You’re welcome. (Literally, “of nothing”.)
Posso usare il coltello? Can I use the knife?
Prego. In this context, it means “Please do.”
Scusa, non ho capito. Puoi ripetere per favore? Sorry, I did not understand. Can you repeat please?
  • Scusa stands for “tu scusami=scusa me"= 2nd person singular exhortative present of the reg. verb scusare, to excuse, forgive=excuse me. Scusa also means sorry (e.g. if you accidentally bump into someone; to get someone’s attention; you didn’t hear what someone said; you said something inappropriate)
  • Mi scusi (=lei mi scusi formal for scusa, excuse me)
  • Posso = 1st person singular present of the irr. verb potere (can)
    Puoi = 2nd person singular present of the irr. verb potere (can)
  • Mi = me/ to me
  • Ho capito = 1st person singular passato prossimo (present perfect) of the irr. verb capire (to understand)


Lesson 6 Exercises (PDF)

Note: Use the audio file below for the first exercise.

Ascolta e ripeti./Listen and repeat.

Esercizi/Exercises (MP3 - 3.2MB)

Use the map of Rome for the following section.

Person 1: Mi scusi, dov’è la Fontana di Trevi?

Person 2: Come?

Person 1: Dov’è la Fontana di Trevi, per favore?

Person 2: Siamo in piazza dei Cinquecento. Prenda la bla bla bla…

Person 1: Mi scusi non capisco. Può parlare più lentamente per favore?

Person 2: Certo. Siamo in piazza dei Cinquecento. Prenda la prima a sinistra,poi deve girare a destra in via Depretis. Da qui vada sempre dritto: via Depretis diventa via Quattro Fontane; deve passare molti incroci. Giri a sinistra in via del Tritone. Dopo circa 300 metri prenda la via a sinistra ed è arrivato/a.

Person 1: È lontana?

Person 2: No, è vicina, circa 20 minuti a piedi.

Person 1: Grazie mille.

Person 2: Di niente, arrivederci!


Non capisco. I do not understand.
Può Can you? (formal)
Più More
Lentamente Slowly
Certo Of course
Piazza Place
Prenda Take (2nd person singular, formal)
A sinistra On the left
A destra On the right
Deve (You) have to (formal)
Girare To turn
Via Street
Da From
Qui Here (qui or qua are both correct)
Vada Go (2nd person singular, formal) Andare= To go
Sempre dritto Straight ahead (Literally, always straight)
Diventare To become
Incrocio Crossing (m) passare or better attraversare un
= cross a crossing
Molti Many (masculine plural, referred to incroci)
Dopo After
Ed=e And
È arrivato/a You arrived, literally have arrived
Lontano/a Far
Vicino/a Near
A piedi On foot (piede = foot)

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Spring 2012
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