“Wherever there is a plot of land in Italy, there is something growing, whether it’s row upon row of staked tomatoes or a hardy mound of rosemary. Even the most modest city balcony holds pots of geraniums and basil. Italians love to be outside, and who can blame them? The entire peninsula is, essentially, a beautiful garden, filled with a profusion of glorious vegetables, from artichokes to zucchini.”
Verdure (green things) are not merely ingredients used in la cucina italiana. They are quite literally the soul of Italian cooking. Food writer Domenica Marchetti proves the point in her fresh new cookbook The Glorious Vegetables of Italy.
Marchetti shares recipes for traditional dishes, such as Ribollita, and innovative interpretations, such as Carrot-Ricotta Ravioli with Herbed Butter. Her taste memory guides her.
Her mother was born in Chieti, Abruzzo, and her father’s parents were also born in Italy. Marchetti, who lives in Viriginia, has spent plenty of time in her forebears’ homeland absorbing the flavors and techniques that make vegetables sing.
This is a book of vegetable, not vegetarian, dishes. Meats, cheeses, and seafood are the condiments here rather than the main event. The recipe chapters are organized by the courses in a meal: “Appetizers,” “Garden Soups and Salads,” “Pasta, Risotto, Gnocchi, and Polenta,” “Pizza, Calzoni, and Panini,” “Main Courses,” and “Side Dishes.”
She has desserts, too. . . Sweet Potato Frittelle, Chocolate Zucchini Cake, and Winter Squash Panna Cotta among them. . . also a chapter of Preserves and Condiments.