Mary Ann Esposito

Mary Ann Esposito
Did you know?

This year, the Ciao Italia series celebrates its milestone 25th season, making it the longest running cooking series in television history. 

Mary Ann Esposito
Mary Ann's Featured Recipe
Overnight Cinnamon Rolls with Lemon Glaze

Click here for recipe

Authenticity, history, tradition.

Those three words define Mary Ann Esposito and the signature cooking style that has made her one of America's most loved television chefs.

As the creator and host of the nationally televised PBS series, Ciao Italia with MaryAnn Esposito, she has brought those values to millions of Americans.

Through Ciao Italia and appearances on other television programs including The Today Show, Regis and Kelly, QVC, the Food Network, Discovery Channel, Fox, Martha Stewart Radio, RAI International, Simply Ming, and so many others, she has been able to share traditional Italian cooking with audiences around the world.

Mary Ann has worked beside world-renowned chefs like Julia Child, Todd English, Daisy Martinez, Sara Moulton, Jacques Pepin, Martin Yan, and countless others who share the same passion for cooking.

Countless organizations have recognized Mary Ann for her efforts to preserve the traditions surrounding Italian food and culture. In 2013 she received the Order of the Star of Italy Cavaliere award from the President of the Italian Republic as well as the Premio Artusi award for her work in promoting Italian food. Johnson and Wales University presented Mary Ann with their Distinguished Author Award. St. Anselm College conferred an honorary doctorate for her dedication to teaching and preserving authentic Italian cuisine. The Italian Trade Commission further distinguished Mary Ann by naming her a 2010 Hall of Fame honoree.

The Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA) honored Mary Ann with the 2009 LifetimeAchievement in the Culinary & Cultural Arts of Italy award. To promote the rich history and customs of Italian Americans, Mary Ann is involved with both OSIA and the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF).

As a NIAF member, Mary Ann has appeared as a spokesperson for the foundations public service announcements. Mary Anns participation in OSIA and NIAF are part of the focus of the Mary Ann Esposito Foundation, whose goal is to continue the tradition of Italian cooking in the United States by providing scholarship to the next generation of authentic Italian chefs in the United States.

Mary Ann is the author of 12 cookbooks. Her most recent, Ciao Italia Family Classics.

For more information on Mary Ann, visit:

Latest Recipes

Mom's Meatballs

Your Mother's Meatballs...PerfectedWho invented the meatball? That's like asking who invented pasta. We will never know. "Recipes" from l...

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Slow Cooker Italian Style Pot Roast

With work, school, and social activities on your calendar, you might think you don't have time to cook a delicious meal. That's why this recipe for Slow Cooker Italian Style Pot Roast will be just what you need! This easy pot roast recipe has more than 10 ingredients, but don't let the length of the ingredients list stop you. This slow cooker beef recipe is easy to make and can be ready to serve in about eight hours if cooked on the LOW heat setting.

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Overnight Cinnamon Rolls with Lemon Glaze

Make the dough for these light and delicate tasting cinnamon rolls and refrigerate it overnight to really develop the flavor.

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Pastina in Broth with Tiny Meatballs

Chicken broth and pastina, that was the soup that nourished me when I was a sick child, and the tradition continued with my children. Surely, tiny specks of pasta floating in a clear broth could I stymie the most stubborn cold and when it vanished the request was still there for pastina in other guises as well cooked and mixed with lots of butter and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, or with tomato sauce. Another favorite soup was pastina with marble-size meatballs, often served as a first course to Sunday dinner. Baking the meatballs instead of frying them keeps them light and tender, and eliminates adding any additional fat. Having chicken broth on hand makes this a soup that can be ready in no time.

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Macaroni with Eggplant Meatballs

Heres a nice choice for an Italian-American vegetarian macaroni-and-meatball dish that my mother makes. The meatballs are made using cooked eggplant instead of ground meats. It is wonderfully surprising how good this tastes, and Mom always gets rave reviews. Any short cut of dried pasta such as macaroni, rigatoni, gemelli, or ziti would be a good choice.

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Mom's Dried Cherry, Cranberry and Pistachio Nut Shortbread Cookies

Start your holiday baking with this easy to make slice and bake shortbread cookie.

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Fudgy Chocolate Tart with Walnut Cream Sauce

For me nothing says Valentines Day like something chocolate from your kitchen. Rich, different and decadent, this cake will become a favo...

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Bowties with Pistachio Nuts

This fun to put together pasta dish is ready in just a few minutes. And the bonus is it has a lot going on in the flavor department, texture, a little heat and comforting pasta. Whats not to like?

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Three Squash Soup with Orzo 

Orzo is better known as pearl barley and is a favorite addition to soup and just right in this glorious and hearty soup made with chunks ...

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Basil Infused Grilled Fruit Salad

I went overboard with basil plants this year and now I am inundated with it and there is only so much pesto and caprese salads one can make. I freeze a lot of the leaves, whole to use in winter soups and stews and came up with a really nice refreshing use for grilled fruit. Right now nectarines, peaches, apricots and plums are at their peak and this lovely to look at and even better to eat grilled fruit salad is just right as the finale to a summer supper. What is unique about it, is the infusion of fresh basil syrup.

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Cubanelle Peppers Stuffed with Farro

Cubanelle peppers, sometimes referred to as Italian frying peppers, are a great choice as a side or main dish. Fill the cavities with everything from sausage and onions to rice and whole grains like farro, a variety of wheat berry enjoying renewed interest today for its teeming health properties.

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Risotto con Fragole (Strawberry Risotto)

Fruit risotto IS made in some regions of Italy as an example of alta cucina (gourmet cooking). Strawberry season is here so why not try this creamy and dreamy strawberry risotto made with Arborio rice.

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Mrs. Vallone’s Cauliflower Sauce

This recipe comes from Mrs. Vallone, a friend of my parents. She called it Cauliflower Sauce, even though the cauliflower remains as flor...

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Toasted Bread Crumbs

Here is a simple recipe for making toasted bread crumbs. Use it whenever a recipe calls for them. Toasted crumbs can be made only from go...

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Tomato and Herb Tart

I love making this colorful tart with ripe tomatoes and fresh herbs from my garden. It is similar to a quiche, but contains no eggs. It i...

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Shrimp with Spicy Tomato Sauce

Creating recipes gives me great satisfaction, especially when the results are surprisingly good. When I cook I let my intuition take over...

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Fish Cakes

Fish cakes are a frequent meal at our house during Lent. You can vary the type of fish, but I like using monkfish, which is very firm. Ot...

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Grandma’s Meat Bundles

Imagination was always the key to home cooking. Such was the case when my grandmother and mother wanted to make rolled veal bundles (invo...

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Basic Egg Pasta

I’ve received hundreds of letters from readers and viewers telling me how much they’ve enjoyed learning how to make homemade pasta. For t...

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Fresh Tomato and Basil Sauce

When my grandmothers and mother made tomato sauce, sometimes a battuto of minced celery, carrot, and onion was used to flavor the sauce; ...

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Mary Ann’s Eggplant Lasagne

Lasagne is an ancient food. The Romans were dishing it out during the heyday of the Roman Empire. A fourteenth-century cooking manuscript...

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Pasta in the Style of Amatrice

Amatrice, a town in the region of Lazio, is the inspiration for this dish made with bucatini, a chunky, tubular pasta. It is accompanied ...

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Squash and Spinach Soup

Now, this soup uses real ingenuity. A vibrant green, the soup is beautiful to look at as well as eat. I call this a kitchen-sink soup bec...

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Tomato and Basil Sauce

Canned tomato sauce will never measure up to homemade, a relatively simple undertaking that is much less costly than buying jarred types,...

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Homemade Chicken Broth

It is always a good idea to keep homemade broths on hand; they are easy to make ahead and can be frozen for future use. If canned broths ...

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A Drum of Eggplant and Bucatini

Making a timballo, or timpano, is an event. It becomes the moment in which ordinary ingredients like macaroni, cheese, and vegetables are...

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Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil

Dried tomatoes in olive oil have exquisite flavor, and what a gift to give yourself in the stillness of winter. Plum or cherry tomatoes w...

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Spaghetti with Clams in Paper

Guests will love opening up these rustic-looking parchment bundles of spaghetti with clams. This is a favorite recipe as much for the pre...

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Country-Style Sardinian Gnocchi with Sausage Sauce

Malloreddus is the national pasta dish of Sardinia and the big cousin to fregola, another traditional pasta. The term malloreddus comes f...

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Half and Half Pasta Omelet

A few olives, a handful of herbs, some chips of cheese, and last night’s leftover pasta-these are the things from which, in days gone by,...

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Ragu all Bolognese

A raqu is a slow-simmering meat sauce and is a classic of Bolognese cooking, with many variations. The long, slow cooking in an earthenwa...

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Tomato, Cheese, and Anchovy Sauce

This spicy tomato-and-anchovy sauce is the perfect accompaniment for plain fusilli.

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