From Italy: An English 'Silver Spoon'

Ricotta and Spinach Gnocchi i

Ricotta and Spinach Gnocchi Jason Lowe hide caption

itoggle caption Jason Lowe
Ricotta and Spinach Gnocchi

Ricotta and Spinach Gnocchi

Jason Lowe
Spaghetti Amatriciana i

Spaghetti Amatriciana Jason Lowe hide caption

itoggle caption Jason Lowe
Spaghetti Amatriciana

Spaghetti Amatriciana

Jason Lowe
Herb Marinade i

Herb Marinade Jason Lowe hide caption

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Herb Marinade

Herb Marinade

Jason Lowe
Zucchini Flower Soup i

Zucchini Flower Soup Jason Lowe hide caption

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Zucchini Flower Soup

Zucchini Flower Soup

Jason Lowe

For five decades, The Silver Spoon has been a staple of Italian kitchens. The best-selling cookbook has been continuously updated since its original publication in the 1950s. Now, a new translation reveals its culinary secrets to an English-speaking audience. Editor Emilia Terragni discusses the latest iteration of The Silver Spoon.

Read Recipes from the Book:

Spaghetti Amatriciana

Serves 4

Ingredients:

olive oil, for brushing

generous 1/2 cup pancetta, diced

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 pound 2 ounces tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced

1 fresh red chile, seeded and chopped

12 ounces dried spaghetti

salt and pepper

   

Directions: 

Brush a flameproof casserole with oil, add the pancetta and cook over low heat until the fat runs. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until lightly browned. Add the tomatoes and chile, season with salt and pepper, cover and cook for about 40 minutes, adding a little warm water if necessary. Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of salted, boiling water until al dente, then drain and toss with the sauce in a warm serving dish.

 

Zucchini Flower Soup

Minestra Ai Fiori De Zucchine

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 cups Meat Stock (see below)

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

4 zucchini, finely diced

11 ounces zucchini flowers, cut into strips

1 cup dried soup pasta, such as ditalini

salt and pepper

Parmesan cheese, finally grated, to serve

Directions:

Bring the stock to a boil. Heat the butter and olive oil in another pan, add the onion, carrot and celery and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Add the zucchini and zucchini flowers and cook for 2 minutes, then pour in the hot stock. Bring to a boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into a soup tureen and serve with Parmesan.

 

Meat Stock

Brodo Di Carne

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 3/4 pounds lean beef, cut into cubes

1 pound 5 ounces veal, cut into cubes

1 onion, coarsely chopped

1 carrot, coarsely chopped

1 leek, trimmed and coarsely chopped

1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped

salt

Directions:

Place the meat in a large pan, add cold water to cover and bring to a boil, bearing in mind that slow cooking and gentle simmering are essential for successful stock. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface and add the onion, carrot, leek and celery and season with salt. Lower the heat and simmer for about 3 1/2 hours. Remove from the heat, strain into a bowl, let cool, then chill in the refrigerator. When the fat has solidified on the surface carefully remove and discard. The stock may be used for soups, risottos and making gravy.

 

Ricotta and Spinach Gnocchi

(Gnocchi Di Ricotta E Spinaci)

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 1/4 pounds spinach

1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese

4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

2 egg yolks, lightly beaten

all-purpose flour, for dusting

1/4 cup butter, melted

salt and pepper

Directions:

Wash the spinach (do not dry). Cook the spinach, in just the water clinging to the leaves after washing, for 5 minutes, then drain, squeezing out as much liquid as possible, chop finely and put in a bowl. Add the ricotta, half the Parmesan and the egg yolks and season with salt and pepper. Shape the mixture into balls and dust lightly with flour. Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to a boil, add the gnocchi, a few at a time, and remove with a slotted spoon as they rise to the surface. Place the gnocchi on a warm serving dish, pour the melted butter over them and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. You could also serve them with a light Béchamel Sauce.

 

Marinata Aromatica

Herb Marinade (for chicken breasts)

Ingredients:

1 onion, sliced

3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

2 bay leaves, torn in pieces

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

5 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons lemon juice, strained

salt and pepper

Directions:

Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and cover with the onion, parsley, thyme, bay leaves and garlic. Combine the olive oil and lemon juice and pour over the meat. Marinate in a cool place for about 2 hours before grilling.

   

Spaghetti Carbonara

(Spaghetti Alla Carbonara)

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter

generous ½ cup pancetta, diced

1 garlic clove

12 ounces spaghetti

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

1/2 cup Romano cheese, freshly grated

salt and pepper

Directions:

Melt the butter in a pan, add the pancetta and garlic and cook until the garlic turns brown. Remove and discard the garlic. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pan of salted, boiling water until al dente, then drain and add to the pancetta. Remove the pan from the heat, pour in the eggs, add half the Parmesan and the half Romano and season with pepper. Mix well so that the egg coats the pasta. Add the remaining cheese, mix again and serve.

   

Buck's Horn Plantain With Pancetta

(Barba Di Frate Alla Pancetta)

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 bunches of buck's horn plantain* or samphire

1/4 cup butter

1 onion, finely chopped

generous 1/2 cup pancetta, finely chopped

1 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig, chopped

4-5 tablespoons heavy cream

salt and pepper

Directions:

Cook the buck's horn plantain or samphire in lightly salted, boiling water for 10 minutes (don’t add salt if using samphire). Drain and pat dry with paper towels. Heat the butter in a skillet, add the onion, pancetta and parsley and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until very lightly browned. Add the buck’s horn plantain or samphire, increase the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes, gradually adding the cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

   

*Buck's horn plantain is a unique Italian vegetable consisting of small sprigs of short, fairly thin green shoots, held together by a root which should be trimmed (after cooking).

   

Radicchio Risotto

(Risotto Al Radicchio Trevigiano)

Serves 4

Ingredients:

About 6 ½ cups of Vegetable Stock (see below)

6 tablespoons butter

1 onion, chopped

7 ounces radicchio, cut into strips

2 cups risotto rice

5 tablespoons white wine

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

salt

Directions:

Bring the stock to a boil. Meanwhile, melt half the butter in another pan, add the onion and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in the radicchio, then stir in the rice and cook, stirring, until the grains are coated in butter. Pour in the wine and cook until it has evaporated. Add a ladleful of the hot stock and cook, stirring, until it has absorbed. Add a ladleful of the hot stock and cook, stirring, until it has been absorbed. Continue adding the stock, a ladleful at a time, and stirring until each addition has been absorbed. This will take 18-20 minutes. When the rice is tender, season with salt to taste, stir in the remaining butter and the Parmesan and serve.

   

Vegetable Stock

(Brodo Di Verdure)

Serves 4-6Ingredients:

2 potatoes, coarsely chopped

2 onions, coarsely chopped

2 leeks, trimmed and coarsely chopped

2 carrots, coarsely chopped

2 turnips, coarsely chopped

1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped

3 cherry tomatoes, coarsely chopped

salt

Directions:

Place all the vegetables in a large pan, pour in 6 ¼ cups water, add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer gently for about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly, then strain into a bowl pressing down well on the vegetables with a spoon.

   

From The Silver Spoon (Phaidon). Reprinted with permission.

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