'Waste Not, Want Not' and Make it Delicious!
By Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali,
Author of Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipes
There is no more appropriate time than now to think about how and why we cook. Food is a way of connecting with the people who surround us. Through it, we communicate emotions like love, compassion and understanding, and there is no better opportunity to communicate with our children than at the table. It's where we can discuss our values of life that are important to us as individuals, as a family and as a part of the world we live in.
As overconsumption and greed have come to haunt us, now is a time for reflection. We should be looking back at the generations before us to understand their approach to the table. Growing food, shepherding animals, foraging for the gifts of nature is all part of respecting food. Nothing needs to be wasted. Bread can be recycled and used in soups, casseroles, lasagnas and desserts. Water is carefully conserved as in the pasta recipe I share below where the same water in which vegetables are cooked is used to cook the pasta that follows, and then that is saved for soups or for making risotto.
When one respects the food we prepare, it also leads to a more sensible and balanced intake of proteins, legumes and vegetables.
So 'waste not, want not' and make it delicious!
Excerpt from Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipes (Alfred A. Knopf, 2009)
Pane di Cioccolato al Cucchiaio
This recalls for me the chocolate-and-bread sandwiches that sometimes were my lunch, and always a special treat. And it is another inventive way surplus is used in Umbrian cuisine, with leftover country bread serving as the foundation of an elegant layered dessert. Though it is soaked with chocolate and espresso sauce and buried in whipped cream, the bread doesn't disintegrate, and provides a pleasing textural contrast in every heavenly spoonful.