Cucina Povera : The Italian Way of Transforming Humble Ingredients into Unforgettable Meals
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Cucina povera translates roughly as poverty cooking, but in Italian the phrase means something closer to peasant cooking. It implies less about deprivation and more about humble food prepared with everyday ingredients that might come from the garden or farmyard.
Tuscan native Giulia Scarpaleggia is a home cook and food blogger who provides an appealing introduction to this way of cooking. It’s easy to open Cucina Povera and find dishes which are made from pantry items, but Scarpaleggia also includes some recipes which will feel adventurous to those of us who don’t live in Italy.
You can put a quick meal together with dishes like:
- Flatbread with tomato sauce and poached eggs
- Pasta with anchovy, onion, and black pepper sauce
- Tuna and bean salad
- Bitter greens and bread soup
More unusual recipes
Italians would not consider these unusual ingredients:
- Rabbit preserved in olive oil
- Nettle and ricotta gnudi
- Potato, chestnut, and porcini soup
- Watermelon pudding
Scarpaleggia writes clear, explicit recipes that do not require unusual kitchen equipment. Occasional photo sequences demonstrate how to fill and seal dumplings or shape pasta.
Enticingly photographed, Cucina Povera is a book that rewards the willingness to be thoughtful and patient in the kitchen.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.