Thursday, December 1, 2011

Beautifully Simple Dishes

"The Mozza Cookbook" by Nancy Silverton with Matt Molina and Carolyn Carreno Alfred a. Knoipf 350 pages $35

Silverton opened Osteria Mozza probably five years ago and she said they've had crowds ever since they opened their doors. Reservations for the cheese bar should be a made a month in advance.

Okay, what makes Mozza so hot? Simple dishes! We can duplicate them right in our homes. This is a good thing in these financial times.

Pancetta-wrapped figs with aged balsamic
12 thin slices of pancetta
6 ripe figs cut in half
black pepper to taste
balsamic to drizzle

Wrap a slice of pancetta around the fig, pepper it and put the figs - cut side down - in a heavy skillet and cook 2 or 3 minutes per side. Plate and drizzle with the balsamic to your taste.

12 oz. spaghetti
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 T plus 1 teas. coarsely-ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Pamigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup freshly-grated pecorino romano
4 teas. finishing quality extra virgin olive oil.

While the pasta cooks, mix the olive oil, pepper and 1/2 cup of the hot pasta water in a large saute pan and bring it up to a boil for a minute. Drain the pasta and toss it into the sauce and stir.

This is an interesting book for people who adore Italian food, but it was a bit difficult for me as I don't speak Italian and Silverton is such a purist about the country that everything that can be said in Italian is. Sample prose: francobolli di brasato al pomodor with basil and riccotta salata al forno (page 177)

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