Finally, the wait is over: let me introduce you to our sixth cookbook, Cucina Povera, published with Artisan Books. We’ve been working on it for two years, but the cucina povera approach has influenced our everyday meals since I was born, and has always had an impact on the menus of our cooking classes, too.
Learning about Italian cucina povera is a timeless and delicious way to inform your own way of cooking, adding simple and nutritious recipes to your cooking repertoire. You don’t need to be an accomplished cook to make the recipes of cucina povera. Whenever possible, shop seasonally and locally: you want to keep things uncomplicated and let each ingredient shine.
Cucina Povera: The Italian Way of Transforming Humble Ingredients into Unforgettable Meals
Cucina povera dishes are immediately recognizable: the use of humble ingredients, seasonal vegetables, and simple cooking techniques, plus a healthy dose of inventiveness. Cooking this way transforms ingredients into hearty meals that are more than the sum of their parts.
The book will be available everywhere books are sold on April 4 2023, but is available for preorder now. Book preorders, especially on Amazon, are paramount for the success of a book: they signal to our publisher that there’s interest in the book, encourage larger orders from big retailers and create a buzz about Cucina Povera. That’s why we are asking you to preorder now and share the news with friends, family, and passers-by. This will give us the chance to keep doing what we love the most: writing cookbooks and sharing delicious, seriously tested recipes with you.
When you preorder the book, keep your receipts and head over here where you can receive an instant download of the Cucina Povera Bonus Recipe Booklet, featuring a handful of additional, unique recipes that complement Cucina Povera nicely. They are a part of my personal cooking repertoire and some of my favorites to make during our cooking classes.
Here on the blog, you can find all the links to more online and local bookstores where you can preorder Cucina Povera, too.
Today, as a further thank you note for your support and for all your preorders, I’m sharing a recipe that did not make into the final version of Cucina Povera, the Italian ciambellini al vino, wine and olive oil cookies. It can give you a taste and feel of what you’ll find into our cookbook. I really can’t wait for you to have the finished book in your hands!
Ciambellini al vino – Wine and Olive Oil Cookies
Ciambellini are usually brought to the table at the end of a meal, served alongside a glass of dessert wine. Crumbly and addictive, they inspire conviviality and chatter.
Like many peasant recipes, ciambellini al vino are made with simple, frugal pantry ingredients. The dough is often made a occhio, eyeballing the ingredients and “measuring” with a drinking glass. Once you’ve mixed the sugar, olive oil, and wine, you add as much flour as it takes for the dough to come together. But we all have glasses of different sizes, so I’ve included measurements to help you make the recipe.
Use any leftover wine you have to make these cookies: a full-bodied red, a crisp white, or even a spiced mulled wine. The cookies keep well in an airtight container for several days—even weeks, if you can resist— which makes them a great Christmas present. Add some seasonal spices like cinnamon or nutmeg and grated orange zest to the dough, and give them along with a nice bottle of wine.
Wine and Olive Oil Cookies
- 100 g granulated sugar, plus ¼ cup/50 g for coating the cookies
- 120 ml extra- virgin olive oil
- 120 ml dry white wine
- Grated zest of ½ lemon
- 360 g all-purpose flour, or as needed
- 7 g baking powder
- 1 pinch fine sea salt
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, olive oil, and wine. Add the lemon zest and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Add 1 cup/125 g flour and mix to combine, then stir in the baking powder and salt. Add the remaining flour in ½-cup/60 g increments until the dough comes together (if this becomes too difficult to do with the spoon, turn the dough out onto
- the counter and knead by hand); you may not need all the flour. When
- the dough is silky and elastic, wrap in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.
- Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Pour the remaining ¼ cup/50 g sugar onto a rimmed plate or into a shallow bowl.
- Unwrap the dough. Pinch off a scant tablespoon of dough and roll it into a rope about 4 inches/10 cm long, then wrap the rope around your fingers and bring the ends together to form a circle, leaving a small hole in the center. Transfer to the sugar, turn to coat on both sides, and transfer to one of the prepared baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Transfer the baking sheets to the hot oven and bake the cookies, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, for 15 to 17 minutes, just until the tops are light golden. Remove them from the oven and let cool on the pans on a wire rack.
- The cookies will keep for several weeks in a cookie tin.