Dear All,


I hope this email finds you in nothing less than excellent health and in a happy enough state of mind to appreciate that life is indeed worth enjoying and living to the full.  Speaking of life expectancy, we all know that the type of food we eat is relative to how well we age and importantly it determines how long we manage to walk around on this planet breathing air.  When it comes to eating healthy fresh food I think it’s fair to say that the Italians do manage to eat a fair bit more of it than the majority of us, simply because fresh ingredients are the key to cooking Italian food properly.  I read recently that the Italians spend far more on food than the British, in spite of having a smaller income.


According to a 2008 survey carried out by Washington State University, the Italians spend $5,200 (£3,600) per person per year on food, whilst the British spend $3,700 (£2,600), which is lower than the Germans, French, Spaniards and most other Europeans – perhaps that’s because the cost of living is a bit cheaper in Italy.  In any case, to emulate an Italian in the kitchen, you need to prioritise flavour and the only way that that is possible is to make sure you use the freshest ingredients you can lay your hands on.  I don’t intend to preach on about the importance of using fresh meat, fruit and veggies when cooking Italian food, but we have to remember that in itself Italian cooking is a no nonsense very simple way to cook; it’s not always easy to get the desired results one hopes for when attempting to recreate that fantastic plate of pasta that you ate in some small restaurant when you were on vacation in Rome: even if it doesn’t quite work out as expected, the fresh ingredients you used will make it seem less of a failure.  One more important thing to consider is pan usage: you must make sure you use the right pans because if you don’t then even if you get the cooking bit right, if you don’t use the right pans you won’t get the taste bit right.

Now, onto what I was intending to write about, which is still Italian food; actually a pasta dish that I have yet to try making called cacio e pepe.  Cacio e Pepe literally means cheese and pepper; it’s a pasta sauce that is apparently very quick and easy to make, but like anything else, you usually need to make it once or twice before you get the result you’re looking for.  I came across cacio e pepe

whilst looking for some new pasta sauce recipes on the internet; it’s a dish typically eaten by people living in and around the capital city of Rome.  Apparently, when it’s made properly in the traditional way it’s said by many to be the best dish that Roman cuisine has to offer : I’m really looking forward to making this dish this weekend for my family.


During my research, building up to the point at which I get into my small kitchen and start heating up peppercorns in a frying pan and boiling up pasta, I came across one or two blogs and videos that I thought I would share with you below that I believe provide the authenticity required to successfully create a really tasty cacio e pepe.  One link below will take you to a blog that is written by a man that really seems to be passionate about cooking and eating Italian food: I like this blog because the man that writes it goes into the kind of detail I like to read on how to cook food that one normally cannot find in cook books.  The other link attached will take you to an Italian chef who demonstrates how to make the dish and the end result looks absolutely superb: I will be using his efforts as my guide this weekend.  I will be reporting back to you next week on how things turn out with my culinary endeavors, and hopefully the report will be supported by one or two pictures, that get taken by the chief photographer, and also main food critic, in my family, which is my dear wife Akiko; I may perhaps throw one or two lines of poetry down as well – we shall see.  All I now need to do is go out on Saturday morning and see if I can buy some decent pecorino cheese and some good quality long pasta, the pasta is not too much of a problem, but trying to find good pecorino can be like trying to find a proverbial: “needle in a haystack”.  Until next week, I wish you happy times cooking in your kitchen.

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