Here’s what I learned from living in Italy about how to make a profoundly good meat sauce.Read More
I love to cook. Sometimes even more than I like to eat. And so this is where you'll find notes about eating, cooking, and general food notes.
In my interview with Umbria Center, I was asked, "why do you like cooking so much?" Wow. Great question. I had to think about that one, so I'm glad Giuseppe asked me off camera first, so we had a chance to banter for a bit, toss around ideas, and get clearer on why making food is so important to me. What it comes down to is that when I'm cooking, I'm totally grounded. I feel connected to people all over the world, since time immemorial. It's such a simple act, making food, and yet, it uses all of my senses, and takes a focus that steals energy away from less wholesome thoughts like, "How can I get three children to three different places at the very same moment on Tuesday afternoon?" or worse "What if someone reads my book and rolls their idea at my idiocy?" When I'm cooking, that all falls away. I'm left with the clatter of the knife against the cutting board, the strain on my muscles as I roll out pasta dough, the smell of caramelizing onions, the silky feel of pizza dough stretching under my fingertips, and the briny taste of an anchovy and mozzarella stuffed zucchini flower as it collapses in my mouth.
So keep coming back here to see what I've added—soon I'll post how to dress a gnocchi and quick ways to create an antipasti board. If you sign up for the newsletter (to your right), I'll let you know when there is new material to explore.
I hardly ever order pasta in a restaurant. Especially in the United States. I mean, with some basic ingredients and a modicum of skill, one can recreate most pasta dishes found on most menus. But there are some pasta dishes that I'll order whenever I see them. Even if I spy lamb scottadito on the menu. Because they are so fabulous, and so hard to replicate, it feels like I won the lottery just finding them on the menu.Read More
I'm throwing a fundraising dinner to benefit the International Rescue Committee's work with Syrian refugees and also our local refugee community, and we're serving soup. I adore soup. It feels like love in a bowl. It's pretty much my favorite food and so I'm delighted with my friend Christina's idea to have all of us hosts make a vat of soup to ladle out to guests who will each donate what they'd pay for a meal out. And so now I'll have to think about what soup I'll make. These are my favorites, worthy of consideration as we pay tribute to the Light in our community, and the Light that lies in all people.Read More
To my mind, the best foods are layered, complex. With each ingredient adding a note to what must surely be a gustatory symphony. Here are my favorite examples of synergy in the form of antipasti.Read More
Keith has fond memories of his great Uncle Leo stirring a cauldron of mouligiane in his backyard every Thanksgiving. All the guests would take a jar home as a Christmas gift. It's now a staple of our Christmas kitchen, and we give jars to teachers, friends, coaches, and neighbors. This recipe makes about 10-12 pint jars full, though you can also make it in half-pint jars, depending on how garlicky you like your friends.Read More
I was strolling the Charlottesville farmer’s market when a sign caught my attention. “Frozen Bunny.” I blanched just a bit, but I was fascinated—by the vendor (who refers to their meat in adorable terms?), by the beer cooler full of vacuum-packed rabbit legs, and by the memory of rabbit ragu. I impulsively decided to attempt it. Even though I’d never cooked with rabbit before and was more than a little intimidated. To soothe my nerves, I asked the vendor how to prepare it. His descriptions of frying it like chicken didn’t help. But I did enjoy the tomato he threw in with my $6.00/pound rabbit. Once home, I stuck the paper bag wrapped meat in the freezer and tried to forget my foolishness. But the memory of the thyme scented meat in that velvety sauce… I had to give it a whirl.Read More