Kathy Bechtel

Kathy Bechtel’s obsession with food and cooking began as a teenager. After years following a traditional career path as a telecommunications engineer, she left to attend culinary school and wine training, and is now combining her passions for food and wine, the outdoors, and travel as owner and Culinary Tour Director of Italiaoutdoors. In this role, Kathy leads small bicycle, skiing and walking tours that explore the authentic regional cuisines, local products and undiscovered wines of Northeastern Italy.

Gnocchi di Ricotta

Ricotta gnocchi are some of the simplest to make, requiring only a quality ricotta cheese. Try a simple brown butter or truffle oil sauce to accompany them.

Porchetta – Italian Roast Pork

Purchasing a pork roast doesn’t do it, there’s no skin, and no fat. A pork belly has the latter two, but no lean meat. The simple solution – combine the two.

Milanese Ossobuco with Gremolata

Traditionally served with gremolata and a small spoon to enjoy the marrow from the bone, ossobuco is a dish common of Milan that is known around the world.

Tuscan Pici Pasta

Tuscan pici pasta is a traditional dish made with handmade pasta. Pici are robust and can take on any kind of sauce to compliment their unique texture.


Peach and Amaretti Semifreddo

Learn how to create the traditional semifreddo of Verona consisting of one part whipped cream with one part custard, and the desired flavor.

Italian Canederli Dumplings

Italian dumplings, or canederli, are a delicious way to use up stale bread. Learn how to make them and serve in a brown butter sauce or soup broth.

Ricotta Pumpkin Soup

Ricotta Pumpkin Soup

This smooth and creamy pumpkin soup would make a great first course for your Thanksgiving feast.

Braised Pork and Beans

Braised Pork and Beans

Your meat, beans and veggies all cook up in the same pot which means fewer dishes to wash after indulging in this hearty Italian-inspired dinner.

Sausage and Ricotta Torta al Testo

Sausage and Ricotta Torta al Testo

Called torta al testo, torta meaning pizza or bread, and testo referring to the heavy iron pan the bread is cooked on, this is one of Umbria’s favorite food traditions.

Radicchio Pesto

Radicchio Pesto

Pesto is most commonly a mixture of crushed basil, garlic, cheese, nuts and olive oil, but this simple technique can be applied to many other ingredients.