As far as we can see, the key to Italian cooking is using a small number of fresh ingredients. This simplicity allows you to taste each one individually as well as in concert. Plus, the dishes are not too hard to make. For people not familiar with British measurements, a “TBSP” is a large kitchen spoon, a “tsp” a small tea spoon, while a cup (C) is about the size of a waterglass. Italians tend to use the abbreviation “q.b.” in their recipes, which stands for quanto basta, “as much as is enough.” Another thing: always use extra virgin olive oil-it’s a bit more expensive but better quality. If you want to learn more about Italian ingredients and specifically Umbrian ones, check out Alan’s delectable essay, “Edible Jewels In The Umbrian Crown,” archived and readily-downloadable here.
On the Little Blue Menu: