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May 5, 2009

an italian week with T


I've been having a bit of Italian cooking frenzy thanks to the new Italian cookbook (Kodansha, 2009; in Japanese) written and photographed by my incredibly talented friend Taeko. Here's a quick glance into what I had last week...









Other things I made but not pictured above include: tagliatelle with vegetable ragu, lemony spaghetti with clams and zucchini, fusilli with eggplant sauce, and tomato-basil sorbet. I enjoyed cooking and eating them all, but if I was pressed to pick a few of my definite favorites, I'd have to go for the simple yet super yummy spaghetti aglio, olio & peperoncino with smoked salmon and arugula, the bursting-with-spring-flavor spring vegetable stir-fry with prosciutto, the tangy and refreshing potato & octopus sald with salsa verde, and pasta with the deeply aromatic eggplant sauce.


This is Taeko's second book that is intended for Japanese home cooks, using ingredients mostly readily available in Japan. Like her first book that was published in 2007, this can quite easily make a pretty coffee table book with all the stunning pictures by none other than Taeko, but my copy, after a mere week or so from the puchase, has already become a bit worn out here and there, from sitting intensively in my kitchen for the entire week. And I'm proud of it - although nowhere close to how proud I am of her, knowing (albeit partly) how hard she worked to put everything together for this beautifiul piece.

Personally, I am looking forward to seeing her and catching up on all the behind-the-scenes tidbits, and maybe visiting her at her home in North Italy to be treated for her often simple but invariably delicious dishes and desserts. Until then, cooking from her books would be the best (and only) option I have, it seems; too bad Italy isn't somewhere I can go on a bike, like my local bookshop or grocery stores.


Congratulations and thanks for the lovely work, T!



* The last photo is from a small town called Porto Venere, one of the places we visited during a weekend trip that Taeko and her family took me to last time I visited them back in November 2007. It's disturbing to have to admit that I haven't done anything much with hundreds of photos I took while there (other than a few I managed to post on my Japanese blog), but Taeko does have some nicely done shots here, if you are interested (her blog is written in Japanese, but the beautiful photos you'll find there really don't require any translation, I guess).

7 comments:

Shalum said...

wow! these look so summer-y!

Charlotte said...

I liked the quote from George Miller. That is cute

andreasdreamkitchen said...

I just found you (don't ask me how...LOL...I've been browsing through my favorite blogs). I love your photography. I just started my "little" blogging adventure but I totally fell for it.

coca cola cake said...

hiii can I have one...hmmmm yummi

Anonymous said...

You've managed to make pasta look light and Spring-like! As always - beautiful photos. Your blog always inspires me to cook, eat, travel, and take pictures...

Nick said...

Chika, you back home already or still travelling Europe? As usual, great pictures and now, you are tempting me to do an Italian Road Trip!

Just got back to London from a road trip with my mom and aunt from South of France to Paris. It was amazing and wish we could've stayed longer!

chika said...

hi there, thanks all for your comments!


hey nick - yes I've been back in tokyo (sigh). that's great thay you had your family over and even spent time in south of france! hope all is well.