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The Armory • 22 S 23rd St, Philadelphia

Thursday, December 7, from 4 pm to 8 pm
Friday, December 8, from 11 am to 8 pm

Join the Joy! A blissful event with favorites for all ages. Holiday Shopping, cooking classes, book signing,  fashion seminars, and more!
Join the Joy! A blissful event with favorites for all ages. Holiday Shopping, cooking classes, book signing,  fashion seminars, and more!
Pasta-making class with Chef Jessica Botta at 4 pm
Italian Fashion Style Class with Rosa Agliata at 6 pm


My Italian Lifestyle is a style consulting agency that works with clients to help them achieve their style goals. I work with our clients to help them understand their style, create the perfect look for themselves, and find the wardrobe staples to make that possible. We do private consults including closet evaluations and help our clients weed through the clutter of a non-functioning wardrobe. We help our clients to not only build those wardrobe staples but understand how to dress to impress for every type of event. We take the stress out of everything from everyday
wear, picking special occasion outfits, and packing the perfect set of clothing for a trip. We also offer customizable shopping trips to Milan and Naples to offer our clients the highest level of style and wardrobe options.



Jessica Botta is a passionate culinary educator and Italianist. She received her master’s degree in food studies at New York University, was a chef-instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education, and an adjunct instructor for undergraduate courses in Food History and Food and Identity at New York University. For nearly a decade she was the director of training and culinary development for Fabio Trabocchi Restaurants in Washington, D.C., Miami, Florida, and Venice, Italy.

She served as the program manager and chef-instructor of the School of Italian Studies at the International Culinary Center (formerly FCI) in New York City, during which time she competed on Iron Chef America with Chef Cesare Casella, participated in the Sfoglino D’Oro, a hand rolled pasta-making competition in Bologna, Italy and coordinated editorial production, photography, food and prop styling for Chef Casella’s book, The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Italian Cuisine, nominated for a 2013 James Beard Award.

Prior to her career in food, Chef Jessica graduated from the University of Virginia, where she studied Italian literature, and specifically, the Divina Commedia. But as one Italian scholar has pointed out, “What is the glory of Dante compared to spaghetti?”

Discover more about the CLASSES

Rosa Agliata

The art of dressing for the holiday season in Italy. Take a journey into Italy’s unique holiday customs, including Christmas, New Year’s Eve (Capodanno), and Epiphany (La Befana)! An open conversation about the importance of fashion in Italy and explain how fashion is deeply woven into the Italian culture and lifestyle.

Talking points:

  • Italian Holiday Wardrobe Essentials: Discover the key clothing items and accessories that are essential for the Italian holiday season.
  • Color Palette and Fabrics. Let’s explore the traditional colors and fabrics associated with the holidays in Italy.
  • Dressing for Specific Occasions. Learn how to choose the perfect outfit for various holiday events, from family gatherings to formal parties.
  • Practical Styling Tips. Rosa will give practical advice on how to mix and match clothing items, accessorize, and create stunning holiday looks.
  • Q&A Session

Elevate Your Style: “Wardrobe Essentials and Building a Capsule Collection”
High-Quality Items To Build On! Get your dream capsule wardrobe and you will feel prepared to get dressed for any occasion, night & day! No stress and no decision fatigue when it comes to picking out your outfits!

Jessica Botta

Hand-shaped pasta with durum wheat


Durum Wheat Pasta Dough

Orecchiette and Maccheroncini al Ferretto with Beef Braciole Ragù



Durum wheat pasta dough

Durum wheat (“grano duro”) is high in protein and yields a strong and elastic dough that is perfect for making Southern Italian hand-shaped pasta such as orecchiette, busiate, malloreddus, lorighittas, casarecce, cavatelli, and others. Coarsely milled durum wheat is called semolina and the finely milled durum wheat is called semola rimacinata (twice-milled).

Yields approximately 1 pound of dough


2 ½ cups semola rimacinata di grano duro
About ¾ cup warm water
Pinch of salt


  1. Combine the flour and salt in a bowl or on a wooden board. Make a well, and add the water a little at a time, just enough to form a somewhat stiff dough.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work table and knead by hand until smooth and elastic. Be careful not to add too much water; the dough should not be tacky or sticky.
  3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes, or refrigerate if keeping overnight.

Pasta Shapes

Divide the dough in half to make the following shapes.

Orecchiette: Cut the dough into pieces, and then roll one piece into a rope about ½ inch in diameter. Keep the remaining pieces covered with plastic wrap until needed. Using a small knife or a bench scraper cut the dough rope into pieces about ½-inch thick. Press your index finger against the blade of a butter knife with a rounded tip, flattening each piece of dough. Drag the dough across the work surface just enough to form a shallow concave disk. With the dough still on the end of the knife, place the index finger of your other hand against the convex side of the disk. Put the knife down, then using the fingers on your free hand, push the disk down over the tip of your finger, turning it inside out. The orecchiette should be deeply concave in shape. Place on a floured sheet tray until ready to use.

Maccheroncini al ferretto: Using only a portion of the dough at a time, roll it out to a thin sheet about ⅛-inch thick. Cut the sheet of dough into strips about 1/4-inch wide. Then roll each of those strips into thin ropes. You may need to shorten some of them to make them all the same length. Place your wooden skewer at the end of the dough on an angle and press onto the dough slightly to stick. Start rolling the skewer with your hands and guide the dough around with your flattened hand. Once wound, roll the skewer backwards and forwards with your hands until the maccheroncino thins. Slide the pasta off the skewer onto the prepared baking sheets.


Orecchiette and Maccheroncini in a Ragu of Beef Rolls

“Maritati” (meaning married) refers to the two different shapes of pasta – in this case, orecchiette and maccheroncini al ferretto. This is a traditional Sunday lunchtime family meal in which the pasta is served with a tomato sauce in which veal or beef rolls have been slow-cooked until tender.

Serves 4


1 batch of Durum Wheat Pasta Dough (see recipe)
1 pound veal or beef cutlets (from the top or bottom round), pounded thin (about 8 slices)
3 ounces Pecorino cheese, preferably Canestrato Pugliese, divided
Handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Handful of fresh mint, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and gently crushed
1 medium red onion, diced
Pinch of red chili flakes
½ cup red wine
25 ounces tomato passata, such as Mutti or Pomi
Sea salt


  1. Cut 3 ounces of pecorino, and make shavings of the cheese with a vegetable peeler or thinly slice it with a knife. Grate the rest of the pecorino to use as a final topping.
  2. Place the meat slices on the cutting board and pound them gently with a meat mallet, if necessary, so they reach a thickness of about ¼ inch.
  3. Season the meat lightly with salt, and on each of the slices place the shavings of pecorino and the two herbs. Roll them up starting from the thinnest end to the widest end, folding the open ends under (like a spring roll), and secure them with toothpicks or tie with kitchen twine.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven on medium-high and brown the involtini on all sides. Once they are browned, transfer them to a plate.
  5. Add the garlic, onions, and chili flakes to the dutch oven and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the onions are soft.
  6. Deglaze the pan with the wine, and reduce until dry.
  7. Add the tomato passata and season with salt. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then turn down the heat to medium-low and add the involtini back into the sauce. Be sure that the involtini are covered with the sauce, cover the pot with a lid and simmer until the meat is tender, about 1 hour. Check the pan occasionally to ensure the sauce is not sticking and the involtini are still covered.
  8. When the involtini are tender, transfer them from the sauce to a plate and remove and discard the toothpicks.
  9. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta to the water, and cook until they start to float to the surface and are just al dente. Drain the pasta and transfer it to the dutch oven with the sauce, adding some of the pasta cooking water if necessary to adjust the sauce consistency. Gently toss the pasta in the sauce to coat, and simmer for 1 minute.
  10. Spoon the pasta and sauce onto a serving platter and top with the involtini and the grated pecorino.