by Gez Walsh
9 in. x 6 in., 82pp., pbk.,
Italian cookery is sometimes seen as "fancy” or pretentious in some way. If you had to devise simple, nutritious and cheap meals, would you automatically think of Italian cookery? Probably not. Yet risotto, for instance, is the staple food of the Piedmontese farmer/shepherd who spends long, physically-demanding days in the mountains, tending his sheep. And the following day, the remains of any risotto can be easily made into arancini, tasty, deep-fried rice balls. Nothing is ever wasted. Thrift and economy are the order of the day. True, Italian cuisine has gained a hold in the UK, from the early days of Chianti bottles in a basket to Dominos and Dol Mio. These days, though, we are saddled with austerity, and all it implies. Do the twin delights of pizza and pasta have any part to play in feeding a hungry family on limited resources and a shoestring budget? Author Gez Walsh is convinced they can. And not only those two basic staples, but the rest of the Italian cookbook as well. Drawing on recipes which originated with his Italian granny (the "Nonna" in the title) he shows how Italian cookery can be nutritious and cheap! Cheap, Ciao! in fact.