Magnets on a fridge #1
A random collection of links, books, and recipes
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Tommaso suggested I called this collection of links and reads Magnets on a fridge, as when we want to remember something, we pin it to our fridge, along with magnets bought during our holidays, Livia’s drawings from daycare, and my reliable recipe for farro pancakes. So welcome to the first issue of Magnets on a fridge, a random collection of things worth reading/cooking.
I’m in Madrid today, to record an online course with Domestika, but I’ll be sharing about it soon. It involves food writing, and everything that makes me go into raptures.
It is also the first time I’m leaving Livia for so many days, the first time I’m travelling on my own after the pandemic, and the first time I’ll be working on this kind of project. So, I spent the days before my departure battling mixed feelings: anxiety, excitement, impostor syndrome, and curiosity. I mapped the neighbourhood I’m staying in to bookmark restaurants for my solo dinners (even though I ended up eating quick, frugal meals in my apartment), and made a rough meal plan for Livia and Tommaso.
In the meantime, I started making mental lists of all the things I want to do when I’ll be back home (tomorrow): spend a couple of hours in the garden, work on new recipes to introduce in our spring cooking class menus, refurbish the kitchen studio (you’ll see photos, soon), along with our home kitchen (look out for updates on that, too) and, above all, I want to get ready for Spring.
Before I left, I collected a list of links I wanted to share with you. Have you read anything interesting lately that you want to share with us all?
New books I’m excited about
Regula Ysewijn, Dark Rye and Honey Cake: Festival baking from the heart of the Low Countries, Murdoch Books.
Why I am excited about this book? I received Regula’s book shortly before leaving, and I’m longing to come back home to bake the prune tart, and, obviously, Regula’s waffles. She introduced us to proper waffles when we spent a New Year’s eve together in her hometown, along with beer, steaming Belgian fries eaten directly in the street from a paper cone, Moules-Frites, served along the unfaltering fries, and dark rye bread with the stinkiest and most delicious local cheese. After her previous books on British baking, finally she delves into the culture of her homeland, with the same passion, artistry, care, and beautiful photography. Buy it here.
Enrica Monzani, Liguria in cucina – The Flavours of Liguria, SIME books.
Why I am excited about this book? I know Enrica, and the dedication and passion she puts into everything she does, from cooking classes to food tours of Genova and Liguria. She is the master basil pesto and trofie maker. About the recipes in this book, she says: Most of them are cooked in my family since ever, some are a gift of gastronome friends, all of them have been prepared and enjoyed on our tables endless times. Out April 1st. Preorder here.
Niki Segnit, The Flavor Thesaurus More Flavors: Plant-led Pairings, Recipes, and Ideas for Cooks, Bloomsbury Pub.
Why I am excited about this book? Because the first Flavour Thesaurus is one of the books I use more often in the kitchen. It is not a cookbook, but a reference book that examines what goes with what, pair by pair. You will find also recipes, pairings, quotes, and witty remarks. If you want to improvise in the kitchen, this is a book to follow to have some inspiration, playing it safe. The new Thesaurus, if possible, will be even more interesting, as it focuses on plant-led ingredients. Out May 2023. Preorder here.
Something to read, something to cook
Gennaro Contaldo: ‘If people learnt to cook they’d save so much money’. Apparently, Cucina Povera is really a thing now! :D How not agree with him when he says:
cucina povera is “proper Italian cooking: few ingredients, maximum flavour”. And in that vein, “It’s not ‘poor’, actually it means rich in a way”.
I’ve been cooking from Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City, the 2016 cookbook by Kristina Gill and Katie Parla. I loved the amatriciana, but what really blew my mind is spaghetti with cicoria e bottarga, spaghetti with dandelion greens and cured fish roe: think about a spruced up version of spaghetti aglio, olio e peperocino, where the bitterness of cicoria is tamed by the brakish umami flavour of bottarga. Already cooked this twice in the last week!
Apple olive oil cake. As promised, this is my recipe for apple olive oil cake, one of the most loved recipes from the blog archive, and a guaranteed success during cooking classes. I glaze its top with diluted apricot jam (or orange marmalade) to make it glossy and shiny, exactly like a cake you would buy from an Italian bakery.
Recently a couple of friends visited us, and we took them to Siena; they had never been there. As an appetizer, we wished to give them a bite of ciaccino, a very thin flatbread stuffed with mozzarella and cheese, but unfortunately on Sunday the pizzeria al taglio was closed. For lunch we went to Osteria Trombicche, one of our favorite places in town, with contemporary cuisine with a traditional flavor. It left everyone very satisfied (even Livia). For dessert, however, we couldn't miss the rice fritters that they sell right in Piazza del Campo at this time.
The 2023 Cooking Class season is open!
I am a born and bred Tuscan home cook: I learnt to cook thanks to my grandma, and to feed the people I love thanks to my mum. I’ve been writing professionally about Tuscany for 10 years, teaching classes for more than 12 years and cooking for all my life, standing on a stool in the kitchen next to my grandma and mum.
You’ll visit my family house in the Sienese countryside. Here, you will roll up your sleeves and wear an apron, as you will learn traditional recipes passed down from generations and sit for a family-style meal. Tommaso will take care that your glass is never empty and he will gladly share our homemade limoncello.
Choosing a class with us means escaping for a day to the slower-paced countryside, far from the charming buzz of big, touristic cities. Slow down and be ready to live a day as a local: hearty homemade food is included.
Learn more about our cooking classes here.
First available openings:
March 15th, 2023 - Market to Table Cooking Class - 2 spots available
Pre-order Cucina Povera
Cucina Povera is our upcoming cookbook, we talked about it here. It will be available wherever books are sold on April 4, 2023, but it is already available for pre-order.
Once you pre-ordered the book, head over here where you can receive an instant download of the Cucina Povera Bonus Recipe Booklet, featuring six delicious recipes that will complement the final edition of the cookbook.
BOOK EVENTS. Italy Off the Beaten Path with Giulia Scarpaleggia
Join me at Milk Street Online Cooking School to learn about the roots and development of cucina povera through some of the classic Italian dishes.
Date and time: Sun, April 23, 2023, 1:00 PM – 2:15 PM EDT Cost: $29.95
I have a 15% off discount code for you: use the code CUCINA when you book your spot.
love your recipes. I will make the apple cake and the Ciaccino.
Always love reading you post and that cake is one I will try