In her latest book, Lidia Bastianich, one of America's most beloved chefs, shares her own favourite recipes and also those that her fans have most enjoyed over the years. This book is a fabulous collection of classic Italian comfort foods, and I'm sure we could all use a little comfort food these days, especially up here in the snowstormy north. I plan to make Lidia's Egg Battered Zucchini Roll-Ups which are filled with capers and her Lamb Stew with Olives which makes my mouth water every time I look at the photo. But today, I opted for her Rice and Zucchini Crostata (page 17), substituting leeks for the zucchini and whole wheat flour for the crust. The ricotta-rice filling was rich and creamy and the olive oil-based crust rustic and flavourful. It all made me yearn for Italy.
Right now I'm home visiting my family in Nova Scotia and with all this snow, we're pretty much housebound, which I have to confess is one of my favourite things about winter. With the wind howling outside, it's a perfect day for a slow snowy walk, sitting in front of the fire for hours, and catching up on some knitting and cooking.
Before I go, I wanted to share with you my friend's mom's idea for using up those tiny pesky balls of scrap wool that most knitters have plenty of and don't know what to do with. You put together all the scrap wool into one long strand and using large knitting needles (size 10 or so) you simply knit a basic rectangle. You'll have a thick colourful rug in no time to grace your front door.
Stay warm out there folks, and don't forget to leave a comment below for your chance to win this lovely book of traditional Italian recipes.