Mimi explores the beautiful coasts and countrysides of Italy in this lavishly photographed cookbook featuring simple, authentic recipes inspired by the country''s devoted producers and rich food heritage.
“A tribute to the home cooking of real families across the country.”—The Wall Street Journal
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR BY FOOD NETWORK
Beloved for her gorgeous cookbooks
A Kitchen in France and
French Country Cooking, Mimi Thorisson, along with her lively family and smooth fox terriers in tow, immersed readers in the warmth of their convivial lives in rural France. In their newest cookbook, the Thorissons pause their lives in the idyllic French countryside to start a new adventure in Italy and satisfy their endless curiosity and passion for the magic of Italian cooking.
Old World Italian captures their journey and the culinary treasures they discovered. From Tuscany to Umbria to Naples and more, Mimi dives into Italy’s diverse regional cuisines and shares 100 recipes for authentic, classic dishes, enriched by conversations with devoted local food experts who share their timeworn techniques and stories. You''ll indulge in dishes culled from across the country, such as plump agnolotti bathed in sage and butter from the north, the tomato-rich ragùs and pastas of the southwest, and the multifaceted, seafood-laden cuisine of Sicily. The mysteries of Italian food culture will unravel as you learn to execute a perfect Neapolitan-style pizza at home or make the most sublime yet elemental cacio e pepe.
Full of local color, history, and culture, plus evocative, sumptuous photography shot by Mimi’s husband, Oddur Thorisson,
Old World Italian transports you to a seat at the family’s table in Italy, where you may never want to leave.
“This is an impeccably styled record from a keen-eyed outsider looking in.”
“Each recipe and anecdote from her life in her adopted city of Turin is incredibly transportive—and, it turns out, easier to re-create than you might think.”
“This time, [Mimi]’s traveled to Italy in
Old World Italian, sharing her journey and dishes with us—something that feels especially novel and special, given many of us are unable to travel at the moment.”
“Thorisson is a thoughtful guide; her introductions to each chapter and recipe tell stories of the recipe’s origins, and she adds in whispering encouragements where needed.”
“A tribute to the home cooking of real families across the country.”—
Wall Street Journal
“These stories and recipes are a real tribute to everything I love about Italy. Mimi has successfully shared what is important in the Italian culinary tradition: seasonal ingredients at their best, careful attention to local traditions, and regional recipes that are delicious and attainable for the home cook. The stories are written with a contemporary vision and appreciation for old-world cuisine, and the photos and recipes are exquisite. This book is a must-have for both younger and older generations who want to cook and understand the beauty of Italian food.”
“Passion, place, and family permeate the writing and recipes in
Old World Italian. As you get lost in Mimi’s poetic words, you are transported to Torino, Italy—you can almost taste the freshness of the basil and hear the kiddos running about as the adults ceremoniously sip their aperitivo. Many of us dream of the romantic notion of picking up our lives to follow our heart—Mimi actually did it. And with ease, grace, and authenticity. Every recipe is imbued with love—these are not meals to look at, they are dishes to savor, that have a sense of history and tradition, captured through a modern and fearless lens.”
“Mimi’s words and recipes have the power to transport us to another time and place, one of magic and plenty, of deep feeling and treasured memories. But her most endearing trait, beyond how beautifully she writes and that her delicious and deeply relevant recipes always work, is how warm and inviting she is both on and off the page. Viva Italia, and viva Mimi!
Old World Italian is a treasure—a guide to embracing life, and Italy, with open arms.”
Mimi Thorisson is a French cook and writer living with her family between Médoc, France, and Turin, Italy. She is the author of
A Kitchen in France and
French Country Cooking and runs the award-winning food blog Manger, which documents her cooking adventures in Médoc and around Italy.
For eight years i had been living, mostly, in french kitchens, amongst the copper pots and pans and the oily jars of duck fat stacked on swaying shelves betwixt the plum jams of early autumn, the cornichons, and the candied onions. I was happy in those kitchens: I had distanced myself from the city, and what a city it was. Who in their right mind would ever leave Paris? Later, I had no particular reason to leave my French country kitchen either—and a hundred good ones to stay. Yet Italy was calling us. After all, it was there where the seeds of our country life had been sown a decade earlier. All those holidays in Italy, by the sea in small, grand hotels with waiters in white jackets and Bellinis before dinner. In rented villas from Tuscany to Umbria to Marche. On road trips winding from north to south and on romantic holidays, including a honeymoon in Rome, Italy called us like a siren to a sailor, and we were powerless to refuse her. For a moment, or forever, we closed the shutters and doors to our magical palace at 1, rue de Loudenne in Medoc. We headed for a new adventure in this blessed, rich land, where the light is magical at any hour, where from north to south, east to west, fruits and vegetables grow with abandon, where the coffee is better and the paintings are older.
We came charging over the mountains in a car filled with children and dogs. We brought some pans, a few good knives, and a painting of a dog to place above our dining table. A dining table we had not yet found. We left almost everything in our house in France and brought very little. In a sense, we were starting over, quite literally without even a pot to cook in. The first night of boiling pasta in Torino saw me running in a side street with a pot in hand, borrowed from a nearby seafood restaurant; and as if to keep to my French roots, I had a bottle of Champagne in the other. That was a beautiful evening; many have followed. There is magic in cooking, and in cooking Italian food there is alchemy. Every region has its dishes and every dish has its story. The story of a nation is a story of food. And now, in the most modest way, through this book, we are a part of that story.
The book you have in your hands is, in fact, two books.
In part, it’s my story, or rather, my family’s: our Italy, how we have experienced her, the Italian food we have always cooked, always loved. These are the family classics inspired by our travels throughout the years and by the recipes and traditions I’ve fallen in love with during our first year living in Italy. It is also another book, one made possible by good people, Italians willing to share their best work, their family secrets, so I could then share them here with you. From regional treasures steeped in tradition to renegade versions of what Italian food can taste like when executed with flair, passion, and a touch of modernity, these are the “best of” recipes plucked from my Italian culinary dreams. Whether eating to live or living to eat, here, there is no difference, no pretension. Food is truly the fabric of life, the pleasure and passion. A humble necessity and the highest honor.