A Look Inside: Old World Italian

Being the foodies and lovers of all things beautiful that we are, Notary carries a selection of wildly inspiring and gorgeous cookbooks. We have been wanting to give you a deeper look inside, and of course, have been wanting to try some of the recipes out for ourselves. This past weekend, I was finally able to do just that. I happily brought a copy of Old World Italian: Recipes & Secrets from our Travels in Italy home with me for a delicious Saturday spent in my kitchen. 
Naturally, I had to start with aperitivo, a sort of happy-hour you know all about if you've traveled to Italy. Mostly I just wanted something fun to sip and snack on while I played with two different recipes. 
The cocktail was a Prompolini, a red wine spritz, which contains the classic Campari, a red blend and a splash of Italian citrus soda, finished with orange. I also made use of our Do Ju Bitters for an easy and delicious bitters + soda. A less alcohol heavy option that is light and refreshing.
When flipping through this cookbook, I wanted to try a bite of absolutely everything. I narrowed it down to something familiar: basic egg pasta with a quick tomato and basil sauce, and something brand new: gnocchetti di ricotta e spinachi, a sort of ricotta and spinach dumpling with brown butter and crispy sage.
First, we make our egg pasta dough so it can rest before rolling and cutting.
While this dough rests, we begin on our gnocchetti. These cute dumplings are made from fresh spinach, drained ricotta, nutmeg and egg. Fresh sage leaves cook to a crisp in butter to create a rich and herbaceous sauce. 
When forming my gnocchetti, I learned how important it is to use strained ricotta for this recipe. My mixture was a bit more wet than I think it should have been. Luckily, it didn't seem to matter too much. The fun of making gnocchetti is forming the mixture into balls, rolling them in a bit of flour to hold shape and dropping them into boiling water to cook. Meanwhile, you brown your butter and sage.
The final result is a fluffy, earthy dumpling full of spinach and light ricotta. The crispy sage was absolutely the cherry on top. When you bring this cookbook home, I recommend you try this recipe first. 
And now, back to the beloved basics. Our pasta dough has rested. Now it's time to roll it thin and slice. Meanwhile, the crushed tomatoes are simmering away with lots of garlic.
Truly, I could enjoy fresh pasta and an equally fresh sauce everyday. I'm blessed to have eggs for these recipes from my own chickens out back. I got the needed produce from my local farmers market and bought a jar of high quality tomato pasata. The most simple is so often the most delicious. 
A final drizzle of olive oil, maybe a fresh grated cheese, a top off of your wine and there you have it. 
No, this cookbook isn't all just pasta. There was a tuna salad I almost tried, squash blossom recipes I wish I could've tried, sweets and so much more. You'll love this cookbook if you love good food. 
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What cookbook should we bring home next?
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