Cucina Povera: The Italian Way of Transforming Humble Ingredients into Unforgettable Meals

Cucina Povera: The Italian Way of Transforming Humble Ingredients into Unforgettable Meals

by Giulia Scarpaleggia
Cucina Povera: The Italian Way of Transforming Humble Ingredients into Unforgettable Meals

Cucina Povera: The Italian Way of Transforming Humble Ingredients into Unforgettable Meals

by Giulia Scarpaleggia


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Tuscan native and accomplished home cook Giulia Scarpaleggia shares the wholesome, comforting, and nostalgic recipes of cucina povera—Italian peasant cooking that is equal parts thrifty, nourishing, and delicious.

The Italians call it l’arte dell’arrangiarsi, or the “art of making do with what you’ve got.” This centuries-old approach to ingredients and techniques, known as cucina povera, or peasant cooking, reveals the soul of Italian food at its best. It starts with the humblest components—beans and lentils, inexpensive fish and cuts of meat, vegetables from the garden, rice, pasta, leftovers—and through the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the cook, results in unforgettably delicious and satisfying meals. In 100 recipes, Cucina Povera celebrates the best of this tradition, from the author’s favorite, pappa al pomodoro (aka leftover bread and tomato soup), to Florentine Beef Stew, Nettle and Ricotta Gnudi, and Sicilian Watermelon Pudding. Soul satisfying, super healthy, budget-friendly, and easy to make, it’s exactly how so many of us want to eat today.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781648290565
Publisher: Artisan
Publication date: 04/04/2023
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 57,024
Product dimensions: 10.00(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Giulia Scarpaleggia is a Tuscan-born and-bred home cook. She is a food writer, podcaster, and cooking school instructor who has written five cookbooks in Italian. Her blog, Juls’ Kitchen, was named by Saveur as 2019’s best food culture blog. Scarpaleggia lives in Tuscany in her family country house with husband, photographer Tommaso Galli; and daughter, Livia. Her favorite comfort food is pappa al pomodoro (Tuscan tomato soup)—the ultimate in cucina povera. Find her on Instagram at @julskitchen and via her newsletter at

Table of Contents


The Italian Pantry

Vegetables: Cooking from the Garden
Roasted Pepper Rolls Stuffed with Tuna and Capers Vegetable Soup
Onion Soup from Calabria Rice and Pea Soup
Roasted Squash Risotto
Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe
Foraged Herb Tortelli with Walnut Pesto Rice-Stuffed Tomatoes
Potato-and-Mushroom–Stuffed Zucchini
Bread-and-Cheese–Stuffed Eggplant
Bread-and-Anchovy–Stuffed Green Sweet Peppers
Artichoke, Fava Bean, Pea, and Lettuce Stew Summer Vegetable Stew
Vegetable Stock

Beef, Pork, and Lamb: Offal and Affordable Cuts of Meat
Beef Stock and Boiled Beef Veal Tongue with Parsley Sauce
Oxtail Stew with Rigatoni Stewed Tripe
Milanese-Style Braised Veal Shank with Saffron Risotto Florentine Beef Stew
Onion-Stewed Calf’s Liver
Pork Stew with Savoy Cabbage
Pork Stew Braised in White Wine
Roasted Pork Liver Skewers
Stewed Lamb with Eggs and Cheese
Savory Swiss Chard and Parmigiano-Reggiano Pie

Poultry and Rabbit: Recipes from the Farmyard
Chicken Liver Spread
Rabbit Preserved in Olive Oil Chicken Stock
Roman Egg Drop Soup Boiled Chicken Salad Chicken Cacciatore
Frittata Cooked in Tomato Sauce
Flatbread with Tomato Sauce and Poached Eggs Chicken and Pork Lasagne
Stuffed Turkey Breast Roulade Roasted Squab

Fish and Seafood: Italian Pesce Povero
Anchovy and Garlic Dip
Sweet-and-Sour Sardines with Onions Potato and Dried Stockfish Puree
Pasta with Anchovy, Onion, and Black Pepper Sauce
Squid Ink Risotto
Mussel, Potato, and Rice Gratin
Fish Soup
Baked Salt Cod with Potatoes
Grilled Mackerel with Salmoriglio Sauce
Sea Bream Stewed with Tomatoes

Milk and Cheese: Dairy-Based Meals
Pecorino and Pear Crostoni
Cheese-and-Egg Balls Stewed in Tomato Sauce
Fried Mozzarella Sandwiches
Cheese and Potato Cake
Nettle and Ricotta Gnudi
Hand-Pulled Pici Pasta with Cheese and Black Pepper
Buckwheat Pasta with Cabbage and Cheese Passatelli with Parmigiano-Reggiano Sauce Fontina and Savoy Cabbage Bread Casserole Ligurian Spinach and Ricotta Pie

Beans, Chickpeas, Fava Beans, and Lentils: Plant-Based Proteins
Bean and Tuna Salad Tuscan Chickpea Cake
Chickpea Flour Fritters in Sesame Seed Buns
Fava Bean Puree with Chicory
Pasta and Bean Soup
Fresh Pasta and Chickpea Soup
Umbrian Lentil Stew
Chickpea and Chard Stew
Bean and Lacinato Kale Soup
Kale and Borlotti Polenta Bake
Potatoes, Corn, and Chestnuts: Staples from the Mountain Regions
Pasta with Potatoes and Provolone Cheese
Savoy Cabbage and Barley Soup
Baked Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella
Chestnut and Potato Gnocchi with Gorgonzola and Walnut Sauce
Sardinia Potato and Cheese Tortelli
Beet Tortelli with Poppy Seed Sauce
Summer Borlotti Bean and Corn Soup
Polenta with Butter and Cheese
Potato, Chestnut, and Porcini Soup
Chestnut Flour Maltagliati with Porcini Sauce

Leftovers: Making the Most of What You’ve Got
Roman Fried Rice Balls
Sicilian Fried Rice Balls
Sausage and Cheese Bake
Tomato Bread Soup
Tomato Bread Salad
Bitter Greens and Semolina Bread Soup
Bread Dumplings
Spinach Bread Dumplings with Butter and Sage Sauce
Ricotta Pasta Parcels
Fried Beef and Mortadella Meatballs
Beef Stew with Onions and Tomatoes
Spaghetti Frittata

Desserts: Making Do for Cakes, Tarts, Puddings, and Cookies Too
Apple Olive Oil Cake
Bread Pudding Cake
Grape Focaccia
Chestnut Flour Cake
Short-Crust Pastry Tart with Jam
Pumpkin Tart
Amaretti and Milk Pudding
Pastry Cream and Chocolate Trifle
Sicilian Almond Milk Pudding
Sicilian Watermelon Pudding
Elderflower Fritters
Polenta Cookies with Dried Elderflowers
Nut Biscotti
Wine and Olive Oil Cookies

Preserves: Saving the Seasons
Tuscan Fresh Herb Salt
Dried Salt-Cured Black Olives
Baby Artichokes Preserved in Olive Oil
Mixed Pickled Vegetables
Pickled Peppers in Vinegar
Garlicky Tomato Sauce
Blackberry Jam
Quince Paste
Quince, Pear, and Fig Compote
Almond-Stuffed Dried Figs
Spiced Green Walnut Liqueur
Lemon Liqueur

Bread: Our Daily Loaves
Tuscan Bread
Semolina Bread
Potato Bread
Chestnut Flour Bread
Olive Oil Focaccia
Ring-Shaped Crackers with Fennel Seeds
Twice-Baked Ring-Shaped Bread
Thin Flatbread from Romagna
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