For the past few weeks, I have been reading the latest cookbook from renowned Italian chef Rocco Dispirito – Now Eat This! Italian: Favorite Dishes from the Real Mamas of Italy — All Under 350 Calories. This has brought back to me why I love Italian food, and how much I miss cooking Italian food when I came here to Thailand last year. The ingredients are just hard to find in Phitsanulok! Hence, whenever I find myself in Bangkok, I never eat Thai and instead look up before hand where the Italian restaurants are. I have not been eating pastas too, as I watch carefully what I eat these days. Anyway, to go back to the book, I like that Rocco brought the recipes in healthier fare while still maintaining the Italian flavors that everybody loves.
The book is organized into courses with plenty of stories and family pictures interspersed in the recipes. The anecdotes remind one of what cooking is all about – it’s about family. The book has nine chapters, from soups and salads to pasta and risotto. The books starts with the standard what you can find in an Italian kitchen as most Italian cookbooks. However, Rocco shows a healthier alternative for them, for example, using sprouted wheat flour to make pastas. There is a story for each recipe, tracing the origin of well-loved Italian-American dishes from Italy, and as the book says, just like the mamas in Italy cooked them albeit with a healthier flair. Each dish comes with a calorie count per serving and this serves the notion that you can eat Italian and still lose weight. Most recipes also have step by step photographs. My favorite recipes are those with seafoods and make me wish that I am back in GenSan once more.
I’m hankering for Italian food right now, though there is not much in my pantry to cook a decent Italian fare. Next week, I’m off to Bangkok and I intend to do some shopping then for cheeses, herbs, tomato sauce, etc. I can’t wait to cook some the recipes in this book.