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In The Kitchen With: Katie Parla’s Strawberry Sorbet

by Kristina Gill

After six years of editing In the Kitchen With, almost fifteen years living in Rome and a protracted period of reflection and editing, I will finally be writing a cookbook – together with food historian, journalist and sommelier, Katie Parla! Our book, which will be published by Clarkson Potter in 2016, will present a complete picture of Rome’s contemporary cuisine, encompassing celebrated traditional dishes, street food innovations, inspired recipes and cultural commentary. We are in what you might consider the “embryonic phase,” because even though the proposal for Really Roman felt like writing a book (52 pages! That’s the proposal cover below), that was only the precursor to what we have just this week started to build. To celebrate, we have Katie’s strawberry sorbet recipe to share with you here today! If Rome is in your travel plans this summer, check out 24 hours in Rome with Katie. If you’re going somewhere else, don’t forget to search through our city guides archives to find more great resources. (Images below by Kristina Gill, cover design by Matt Armendariz; top left corner photo originally appeared in Australian Gourmet Traveller 03/2014 issue). –Kristina

About Katie: Katie Parla is a food and travel journalist, app developer and blogger. Katie left her Jersey roots in 2003 and headed straight to Rome where she has dedicated herself to dissecting the city’s culture ever since.

See what makes Katie’s strawberry sorbet special after the jump!


All the gelato shops across Rome offer varieties like pistachio, chocolate, hazelnut and strawberry, but just one boozy flavor—zabaione, an egg yolk and Marsala wine custard—makes the list of “standard” flavors. Recently, though, at a small but growing number of artisanal gelaterie, the selection has gotten a spirited makeover. Gelaterie like Il Gelato Bistrò, Vice and Fatamorgana have introduced alcohol-based flavors, which are both a refreshing summer snack and fairly easy to make at home. This strawberry sorbet is inspired by the Castelli Romani, the medieval towns southeast of the city from where much of Rome’s produce and wine hails. Strawberries of various types, though now at the far-edge of their season, are a celebrated fruit in the areas around Rome.

Strawberry Sorbet


  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled
  • juice from 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (best if from Lazio or anywhere in Central Italy)

Make the sorbet

  1. In a bowl, combine strawberries and lemon juice. Stir and set aside.
  2. Stir water and sugar together in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Remove the syrup from the heat, let cool to room temperature.
  3. Blend the syrup and strawberry mixture in a food processor until smooth.
  4. Pour into an ice cream maker and churn until the mixture begins to obtain the consistency of sorbet.
  5. Add wine and churn for another 8 minutes. Transfer to a closed container, seal and store in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
  6. Serve garnished with fresh strawberries.

Why Katie loves this recipe

The Roman summer is hot and, like many Rome-dwellers, I eat gelato on a daily basis. However, when the mercury rises above 86F (30C) – the temperature above which my body craves water-based sorbet rather than dairy-based ice cream – I find seasonal fruit flavors to be the most refreshing. This strawberry sorbet is fresh and tangy and, due to the addition of wine, packs a subtle punch. I recommend using a dry white wine from Lazio for this, preferably one made from Bellone Bianco, or Greco (Moro or Giallo), indigenous grapes grown near Rome. To render the sorbet a bit more festive, use Marco Carpineti’s traditional method sparkling white wine made from 100% Bellone grapes. (Portrait of Katie by Rick Poon)


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