Recipes From The Italian Countryside

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

Here are two women who are truly enjoying the pleasures derived from cooking well. In the seventh volume of Canal House Cooking, Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer share the recipes inspired by their experience of living in an idyllic farmhouse in Tuscany.

Without a TV, phone, or Internet access, they had plenty of time to explore the surrounding neighborhoods, markets, and gardens. With that knowledge in hand, Hamilton and Hirsheimer returned to their similarly idyllic loft studio in an old brick warehouse in New Jersey, where they created their own Italian food.

The book begins with a lesson on sparkling Italian wines from TDM's editorial director, Colman Andrews, and segues into "working up an appetite" — a chapter filled with recipes for panini, fried rice croquettes, and prosciutto and figs.

Throughout the chapters, the headnotes offer bits of food history as well as explanations of the adjustments and twists taken on the traditional recipes. The book is filled with approachable recipes, from homemade ricotta to cheesecake, both for ambitious types or those looking for simple, hearty meals.  Below is a sample of recipes from the book. 


Cheesecake From Rome's Jewish Quarter

Made with whole milk ricotta, this dessert recipes is creamy and delicate.






Risotto Alla Certosina

This shrimp risotto can be made with arborio, camaroli, or vialone nano rice.






Gnocchi Verdi

Spinach dumplings are become even more delicious when served in an easy-to-make sage butter sauce.