Sunday, August 15, 2010

Italianissimo: Over 600 Great Recipes from Every Region of Italy

I bought this book ages ago and have had it collecting dust for quite some time. See, I used to bake a lot and I was interested in the cookies, pastas, and breads of this book. But then I developed Celiac's Disease and had to be without all of those items I was so familiar with. To be fair, I'm still cautious of such recipes. I don't want to slave over a stove and try to make something, substituting regular flour for gluten free flour, only to discover it tastes horrible.

But recently I began to develop a knack for cooking meals. We have a small garden at my house which mainly consists of herbs, tomatoes, and peppers. Well, our tomatoes have gone wild as have the peppers. We have so many that we can't just always be making peppers and onions with tomato sauce- it gets old. I wanted to do more then that and remembered this huge cook book.

For the past two days I've read through it, looking at each drool-worthy photo and reading each recipe. Seeing Eat, Pray, Love and watching all of the delicious plates of Italian food really helped this urge to cook.

See, I'm Sicilian. A quarter Sicilian to be fair- otherwise I'm five other things which blend together and make the Sicilian the most strongly influenced heritage in my life. And the food in our house proves that. I remember being a little kid and visiting my Great Aunt Curly. She was my grandfathers sister and she was always the one making all of the old country food. "Aunt Curly's Curls", "gravy", pies, breads, the list continues. She passed away when I was 16 and the delicious Sicilian foods stopped. I want my heritage to show through, I want people to meet me and eat my food and say, "You can tell she is Sicilian/German/Swedish/etc". I was doing a great job at making Swedish foods prior to my development of Celiac's Disease and then all my cooking expeditions went on hold.

But now I'm comfortable with my eating habits and with cooking once more. After looking over this recipe book I found so many recipes I wanted to try that it would've been easier to just mark the ones I wasn't interested in- it'd save on paper tabs.

Since reading through this book I've made two things:
1) Sliced melon with prosciutto
2) Tomato and Pepper Frittata
While Sliced melon with prosciutto is pretty self explanatory the frittata was a new level of cooking for me. But here is how it came out:

Let's put it this way: It's more then halfway done being eaten- which is a lot considering it was about the size of a large pie. 

I determine if a cookbook is good based on how my food comes out when I follow their recipes- so far, everything I've made from this book has been perfect. If you're interested in a slew of Italian recipes- check this book out.

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