While I am unabashedly in love with Italian food, I pride myself on the fact that I have only 5 Italian cookbooks out of my extensive collection: Marcella Hazan’s The Classic Italian Cookbook, Patricia Well’s Trattoria, Mario Batali’s Molto Italiano, Arthur Schwartz’s The Southern Italian Table, and… Italy Today, the Beautiful Cookbok, something I got at Costco for $9.99.
It’s a gorgeous, cocktail table cookbook and surprisingly modern yet classic. I probably read through more than half of it before I decided to buy it, since I am not easily seduced by beautiful pictures; I need new recipes as well. Not only does this cookbook deliver on simple, modern Italian fare but it includes “cucina povera” dishes like this pasta frittata, all with gorgeous photos to boot.
Cucina povera is simply Italian for saying cooking with threadbare ingredients when you’re poor. I love it because it speaks to my thrifty nature and I love cooking from the pantry. Also, for people who sigh at leftovers, this is a particularly good transformation since leftover pasta does not reheat well. I’m sending this over to Val at More Than Burnt Toast who is hosting Presto Pasta Nights this week. Check back on Friday for the roundup!
2/3 lb cooked pasta (I used leftover pasta puttanesca)
7 eggs, beaten
1 cup parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Combine eggs, cheese, parsley and pasta in bowl and mix well to ensure noodles are coated with egg mixture and all ingredients are evenly distributed. Heat an 8 inch skillet (preferably able to pass under the broiler) over medium high heat for 2 minutes. Add olive oil and swirl to coat. Pour in pasta mixture and distribute evenly. Cook over medium heat for 20-25 minutes until egg sets and bottom begins to brown. Pass skillet under broiler for 3-5 minutes until top is cooked. Cut in 8ths and serve. This is also excellent cold or at room temperature and does improve sitting for a day.
P.S. I love, love, LOVE it! when I synch up with Mark Bittman, as in today’s Minimalist post (diary of a food weekend alone).
Recipes currently inspiring me: