Sunday, July 24, 2016

Italian Food--Eat Your Heart Out

It's the heart of summer.
It's triple-digit hot.
So of course it's time to cook Italian food over the stove.

After the trip of a lifetime to Italy this spring, I promised to cook Italian this summer. I decided to learn to cook from the best, Marcela Hazan, and her cookbook Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking full of essential, need-to-know recipes of, well the classic dishes of Italian cooking.

Update: I have made over three dozen recipes from Marcela's book.

Newsflash: Marcela does not disappoint.

Newsflash P.S.: My jeans are getting snug because I am eating so much good food but still! I cannot stop cooking and eating Italian!

I made and ate Marcela's fresh carrot salad (Directions: shred the carrots, toss them with salt, olive oil, and lemon.)  Verdict: Amazing. It will re-energize your love for carrots.

I made and ate her Cubed Eggplant (Directions: Soften eggplant; Cube eggplant; Eat eggplant.) Verdict: Fabulous. It will make you ask: "Eggplant, where have you been my whole life?"

I got so inspired by Italian food that I veered from Marcela to experiment on my own. In an effort to get my daughter to eat more vegetables, I made creamy peas. Instead Mr. Wonderful and I arm-wrestled over who would eat her peas. It was our first argument in years. If you want to make this recipe, be sure to double it.

I made and ate a tomato and fennel hot casserole twice. It was so good I only remembered to take a picture after I'd eaten most of it the second time. Verdict: It's the best way to enjoy all this summer's tomato bounty.

I've made more dishes, but right now the kitchen and Marcela are calling me to get back to cooking and eating. So until next time, friends: Buon Appetito!