The Italian Garden and PantrySep 28th, 2012 | By Cecilia | Category: show tips, the show
To cook like an Italian, it helps to have a garden and pantry that have the ingredients that celebrate the flavors of the country.
Austin based singer-songwriter, Michael Fracasso grew up in an Ohio steel mill town to Italian immigrant parents. His father worked in the mill, and also had a huge vegetable garden and orchard. His mother created magic in the kitchen cooking with the fresh food. Michael is carrying on his family’s culinary tradition; he has a large vegetable garden in the backyard of his south Austin home, and his small, efficient kitchen is constantly in use as he feeds family and friends.
While Michael experiments will all cuisines, his heart belongs to Italy. So I asked him if he would list a few things we could all grow in our gardens and have in our pantries to help us cook with an Italian accent..and he obliged.
By the way, Michael is working on a cookbook with the working title: Artist in the Kitchen.
Many of the herbs and vegetables listed below for the garden make great fall and winter crops for those of us living in moderate climates.
My garden usually has (everything on the list also grows well in containers):
My pantry items (and the pantry can mean your cupboard, cold storage, refrigerator and freezer):
- Boxes of DeCecco Pasta ( I used to have some 30 different numbers on my shelves)
- Heads of garlic, potatoes, onions, shallots and ginger
- Olive oil
- Vinegars: red wine, balsamic, raspberry, rice, white and apple cider
- Canned tomatoes from Italy or the garden
- A variety of nuts
- Tuna packed in olive oil
- Chicken Broth
- Rice: Arborio, short brown, basmati
- sea salt and fresh pepper