After my interview and the discussion about (among other things) the Autogrill cookbooks on theEye on Italy podcast, I got the books out to check the publisher and locate them online. I didn’t find evidence that they could be purchased online (except for this), but I had fun thumbing through my bookmarked recipes, and decided to do some cooking.
Except when baking, I usually use recipes as more of a guideline rather than a set of precise instructions. I buy what looks good, and then search for a recipe. Often I make such significant substitutions that I can’t actually say I’ve made that particular recipe. (I’ll substitute ground turkey for ground beef, green pepper for red pepper, yellow onion for green onion, cilantro for parsley, leave out garlic….).
So I realized that last time I made the recipe above, I added in ricotta or bechamel or something to make it more lasagna-like, which it isn’t at all (and I’m sure I’ve just made some Italian cook gasp), so I decided to follow the recipe exactly, and give it a chance.
I probably could have done the preparation a lot faster with a mandolin, but I don’t own one. So compare the photo above with my result below:
If you read the recipe, you’ll notice that it’s no more than carrots, zucchini, and potato with some salt and pepper, steamed. Plain steamed vegetables – especially potatoes – usually aren’t my thing, which is probably why I added the extra stuff last time. However I was pleasantly surprised: it tasted great, though the pesto on top adds a lot!
Here’s the next thing I’m going to make:
And maybe the risotto recipe below. I can’t picture how strawberry-Chardonnay risotto would taste, but it certainly sounds interesting.
If you’re in Italy and want to look for these cookbooks, which evidently finished their last print run in April 2009, the photo below shows you the covers of all four. As you can see, my copies are heavily bookmarked! They were sold at Autogrill and Ciao! restaurants.
If you want to make any of the recipes featured in this post, click on the photo. I’ve purposely used large images so you should be able to read the text, which is pretty easy Italian. And let me know how it turned out!
Autogrill photo by Slimmer Jimmer. All other photos by Madeline
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