Cooking On A Budget: The Gift of Mario

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Gift of Mario

I received a wonderful gift today from a very dear friend of mine Carolynn. It is a signed copy of Mario Batali's new cookbook, titled Molto Batali - Simple Family Meals. Tonight I made a dinner inspired by some of his recipes in the book.
Mario's style of cooking is at its' core simplistic.  Using fresh ingredients and blending spices he manages to intoxicate the palette with bold flavors. That is the unique style of Italian cuisine.  In America we tend to think of it (Italian cuisine) as pasta laden with red sauces and lots of cheese, but that is really not the case. In Italy it is all about what you get fresh at the market on any given day.
Here is the states we rely heavily on the huge grocery chains - the one stop shopping to obtain all of our ingredients.  Oh how I would love to wander the streets of Italy and visit the specialty shops.
I know we have a few places here in the states that mimic that, but there are not enough of them any more. New York, Boston or perhaps Seattle or Chicago still have more traditional old European markets but in Middlesex County Connecticut, sadly not.
That's not to discount farmers' markets that appear seasonally where folks sell their goods and look to get recognition on a jarred product. But the feeling for me would obviously be more awe inspiring in Italy.
As I go through the cookbook and get inspiration, I will write up recipes, test them and pass them along, perhaps with a photograph or two.
So whatever you're cooking today, Bon Appetito!
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