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Showing posts from May 17, 2020

Cookbooks 3: :Lorel Nazzaro, also John Cage

3.      Lorel Nazzaro. Each summer our garden flourishes with beds and pots of basil. Italian basil is the sweetest and best for the purposes of pesto. Snails lose interest once the stalks have grown and when full grown the leaves can be picked off to let out new leafage. Supplemented with occasional basil bunches from the shops, we live on pesto until the autumn. Lorel Nazzaro’s ‘Pesto Manifesto’ (Chicago Review Press, 1988) contains many recipes, even Green Eggs and Ham, but only one pesto recipe, to be found on page 9, which she titles The Recipe. I have copied it out below © Lorel Nazzaro. Her family are Neapolitan, so out of respect I will not engage here in the annual spat over who invented pesto, Naples or Genoa. That’s their problem. Variations on the basic mixture should apply John Cage’s amiable directions: “Combine everything in a cuisineart. Then taste and adjust amts., a little more of this or that, a little less being out of the ? … Experiment, never settling on any o

Cookbooks 2: Beverley Sutherland Smith

2.      Beverley Sutherland Smith. Together with Ellen Sinclair’s works, i.e. the editor of the Australian Women’s Weekly Cookbooks, Beverley Sutherland Smith’s are the most overworked Australian cookbooks in the home collection. Separation of cover from contents is, in both cases, evidence of what is meant by overworked. While Sinclair honoured the English heritage in Australian cooking, Sutherland Smith is wonderfully disarming in her use of traditional French cookery to deliver richness and flavour. This means more cream than the doctor would approve nowadays, with regular reference to the liquor, or is that liqueur, shelf of the pantry. Her range of meat, seafood and vegetable dishes is fearless and fabulous. First published in 1987, this is for me one of the landmarks of our definitive graduation from the limits of British style; note, though, Worcestershire sauce in today’s recipe. I probably bought my copy at the Hill of Content in Bourke Street. Recipe: It is the “qui

Cookbooks 1: Antonio Carluccio and Priscilla Carluccio

1.      Antonio Carluccio and Priscilla Carluccio. This is the best introduction to Italian cooking because each section lists every kind of fish, cheese, fungi, pasta &c. in cucina with their proper Italian names and convivial explanations. I bought my copy at Fairfield Books in 1998 with the annual $50 birthday note from my mother. I know many of the recipes, but his version of pasta con le sarde, with variations (see below) is a favourite. The bright and breezy host of TV fame is not the person I met in his autobiography, where he goes through family dramas, near-suicidal depressions, and wonders at times what it’s all about anyway. Restaurants and the kitchen turn out to be the answer, plus a talent for public good cheer. That book is called ‘A Recipe for Life’ and I find my copy is signed by the author at a launch at Lorne Bookshop in 2012. They’ve probably been selling off a boxload ever since. Buon appetito!   Recipe: For pasta con le sarde you can prepare market sar