by Anne Dimon
I first met Gilda Carbonaro, founder of Culinarian Expeditions, in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico back in 2012 and, while we still meet up every now and then in that historic colonial city, we continue to stay in touch across the miles. She recently found herself in Florence, Italy at the very onset of the Covid-19 Pandemic and in strict “lockdown” mode.
Not able to travel back to the U.S., to Mexico or anywhere else, Gilda put her culinary skills to work and gathered a collection of some of her favorite Italian recipes, most of them focusing on Florentine cuisine. She tells us that she “dealt with the stress of the lockdown by doing what makes me happiest: cooking and sharing it with my husband with whom I sheltered-in-place.” She explains that she felt no longer burdened by deadlines, and that suddenly she had “an endless amount of that precious commodity: Time.”
With that new-found time on her hands, her cookbook A Tiny Kitchen in Florence: Coping by Cooking during the 2020 Pandemic was born. The project is a tribute to her son Alex, who passed away in 2006
The 159-page book includes recipes for antipasti, pastas, soups, meats, vegetables and desserts, and are accompanied by her own photographs. Gilda’s book offers helpful tips, practical advice and insight on the execution of each recipe, plus includes recommendations for wine pairing.
One chapter is devoted totally to pasta, and a few things you should know. For instance, the best way to cook and why you need to be ready to head to the table as soon as the pasta touches the boiling water.
One of my favorite recipes in the book is the Zuppa di Ceci (Tuscan Chickpea Soup). Not only is it easy to make, but delicious and healthy.
As Gilda often says, “life, really, is too short not to eat well.” A Tiny Kitchen in Florence is available from Amazon.
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