My favorite NY sister-in-law, Marilyn Martucci. That's her husband, Fred, peaking out from behind.
My favorite New York sister-in-law and her husband Fred, gave me this cookbook for my birthday earlier this month: Mario Batali Italian Grill.
It’s filled with tantalizing recipes, using basic, simple ingredients put together smartly in the Tuscan way. Batali knows what he’s doing when it comes to Italian cooking, but I have to admit I laughed when I learned he decided early on in his career that he needed to travel to Italy and live there to learn how to make good pasta. My brother and I only had to watch my mother or travel a few miles to Boston to my grandmother’s kitchen.
The book contains recipes for antipasti, pizza, fish, meat and vegetables.
When I first got the book, I flipped through the large, bright photos and scanned some of the easy, step-by-step instructions. I was itching to make something but the right alignment of good grilling weather and list of ingredients in my cupboard and fridge didn’t match up until this week. While walking through the supermarket, some beautifully thick pork chops caught my eye — and they were on sale — so I bought them and figured out later how I would cook them.
Sure enough Batali had a good grilling recipe for them in this book. And when the sun was shining I was grilling and smiling.
(Photos by Mark Micheli)