About Me

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Queensland, Australia
I'm an Australian author of Contemporary Romance, Romantic Action/Adventure, and Historical fiction. I live in Queensland, Australia. www.noelleclark.net

Friday, October 4, 2013

The start of an Italian love affair

My love affair with Italy - and in particular Capri – will soon be on show for all to see when my new contemporary romance/romantic suspense, Rosamanti, is released on December 6th. Not only have I visited the Isle of Capri several times, but my connection with the ruggedly beautiful island goes back to when I was 10 years old - but that's another story.

How fitting that Rosamanti is set on Capri. I’m in love with Pietro, my hero, and I’m in love with Capri. And, I poured every single ounce of my love of all things Caprese into Rosamanti.

Over the next few weeks, in the lead up to release day, I’m going to share some of my passions for the place I consider in some ways, to be my spiritual home. I’ll share the food, the aromas, the sights. I’ll share my own photos of the place, and my precious memories.

I hope you’ll join me as I celebrate the forthcoming release of Rosamanti, which is a book very dear to my heart.
Let's have a very traditional toast eh?


Any visitor to southern Italy, around the Bay of Naples, down to the Sorrentine Peninsular and the Amalfi Coast, cannot ignore the abundance of lemon and orange trees. They grow everywhere, and their branches droop to the ground with the weight and number of fruit. The aroma as you drive past is intoxicating. Which brings me nicely into my topic – Limoncello.

This exquisite lemon liqueur was primarily made by Italians for celebrations, and to use up some of the large lemon crops. Nowadays, there are whole stores devoted to the delectable drink in the touristy areas of Capri and the mainland.

I personally love it as a pre-dinner drink, as it cleanses the palate nicely, but it is really a digestive – an after dinner liqueur, and is often served with a slice of lemon cake. Don’t worry, I’ll give you the recipe for several wonderfully understated Capri lemon cakes later.

I have fond memories of my very first encounter with Limoncello. I was sitting with my companions in a noisy outdoor trattoria on the Marina Grande, Capri. We had finished dinner elsewhere some time ago, and gone for la passeggiata – the wonderful traditional walk in the cool of the evening. It was the perfect time to try limoncello, and it didn’t disappoint.

Every Christmas, I make up a batch of limoncello and Capri lemon cake. For just a little while, it takes me back to that balmy summer evening at the Marina Grande, when the full moon rose over the Mediterranean Sea, and I thought I was in heaven.

Recipe for Limoncello
  • 8 organic (yellow) lemons. Ensure they are ripe – no green bits
  • A 750 ml bottle of Vodka
  • 3 1/2 cups of white Sugar (about 25 oz or 800 grams).
  • 750 ml of Water
  • Several sterilised bottles
  1. Wash the lemons thoroughly in cold water.
  2. Carefully peel off the zest, ensuring you don’t get any pith (the bitter white part).
  3. Transfer half of the bottle of vodka into another bottle, then push half of the lemon zest equally into each bottle and put the lids on tightly and place them in a darkened cupboard.
  4. Leave the zest to macerate in the vodka for 48 to 72 hours.
  5. After 72 hours, boil 750ml of water in a saucepan or pot. Once it boils, add the sugar then remove it from the stove. Stir the sugar to mix. It’s important to take it off the hot stove here.
  6. Let it stand and cool for 10 minutes.
  7. Place a fine strainer over the pot, and carefully pour the alcohol into the warm water/syrup mixture, ensuring no pieces of lemon zest gets in.
  8. Stir to combine thoroughly.
  9. Using a small funnel, carefully pour the liquid into the sterilised bottles, cap tightly, and allow to cool.
  10. Once the bottles are at room temperature, place them in the refrigerator).
  11. Serve chilled as a digestive liqueur with Caprese Lemon Cake

Buon Limoncello!

Why not try some of these great Limoncello cake recipes! Find the delicious pictures on my Pinterest page.


  1. A woman after my own heart! Love Capri and the Amalfi Coast (you only have to glance at my author page--Capri and Amalfi feature prominantly!) And with similar impeccable taste! It's gonna be tough not to open my bottle of Limoncello this evening after reading your post, Noelle. Looking forward to "Rosamanti"'s release.

  2. Thanks Susanne. We really must get together some time to talk about all things Italian. :-) Thanks for your support. I think I just might throw a bottle of limoncello in the freezer too!

  3. I'm looking forward to trying the recipe Noelle! :-D

    1. Hi Elizabeth! Thanks for coming over. Yes, do try it and then let me know what you think. :-)

  4. Limoncello. We have a fav Italian restaurant here Don Michele's and they always give a free glass of it. Great post Noelle. Cannae wait for this!

    1. Well how about that? Next time you're there, ask Don if he makes it himself? Thanks for coming by Shey. :-)

  5. I adore all things Italy. My dream home (when I make millions in royalties from my books!) will be in Tuscany. WE always stock Limoncello. I want to try the recipe!. Loved your post! Looking forward to the book.

    1. Hey Sharon! Thanks for stopping over here. Yes, when I came back from Italy last time, I planted olive trees, lemon trees, blood orange trees - I call that little patch of my back yard 'Little Sorrento'. I just love sitting out there, sniffing the orange and lemon blossoms ... Glad to see so many love Limoncello!! :-)

  6. Rosamanti sounds like it will be a sensory feast Noelle.
    I've been to Italy, but so long ago, it's hard to remember. I spent time in a region called 'The Cinque Terre' - my spelling might be wrong. It was all these small villages on the coast, where the village seems to have sprung up in the rocks and cliffs. It was absolutely amazing there.
    One day - I'd love to go back.
    Enjoy the lead up to your new release, not long to go now.

    Lily M

    1. Hey Lily, thanks so much for dropping by my blog. Really great to hear from you. Think I may have met you at RWA Freo?? (Anyway, I love Margaret River Wines). :-) I haven't been to Cinque Terre, but have heard about it. Did you do the walk along the cliffs, from village to village? Anyway, hope you don't get sick of my pre-release blog blitz, but there'll be more food soon. Thanks - Ciao :-)

  7. Looking forward to this new story. Yum and yum!

  8. Sounds awesome! Must try this. :)