Monday, 23 March 2015
A delicious taste of Italy
It seems that I have never had the time or the confidence to become a very good cook. But I have a few excellent go-to recipes, and I have learned a few important things about Italian cooking - particularly, the value of simplicity and finding a few, extremely good ingredients.
Most of what I know about food I have learned from my dear friend Letizia and from many of her marvellous cooking classes at her home, which is also a wonderful bed and breakfast tucked into the side of a mountain among olive groves and fruit tress and overlooking beautiful Assisi.
And now, she has finally published a cookbook, although I think that simple categorization does not do justice to everything that Letizia has included in this volume.
Recipes, of course; and very very good recipes, extremely well-explained, well-tested and deliciously illustrated. Also important information about judging ingredients such as good quality olive oil versus scary commercial crap.
But it is also something of a diary, of the seasons in Umbria and the value of living and eating according to the seasons; the recipes and ingredients that go naturally with the blustery winters or the hot, humid summers.
Her book will soon be available on Amazon, but in the meantime, she is taking orders (maybe even for autographed copies!) at the following email address (I am writing the address out to confound spammers):
madonnadp [at] gmail dot com
Letizia is a born teacher and story teller, and I find that this book, like her blog and like her cooking classes, are seasoned with anecdotes - from things she learned from her mother, to Letizia's tried-and-true recipes for making gluten-free pasta and bread, to interesting Italian women she knows and admires.
And of course, the incredible backdrop to her life in the Umbrian mountains provide images that are as beautiful as the meals she teaches us to prepare.