I was watching that fascinating and easy on the eye combo of Andrew Graham-Dixon and Georgio Locatelli a few weeks ago. Locatelli, tossing his curly locks and smoothing his hands over his thighs, mentioned a seminal Italian cookery book – the Italian Mrs Beaton – and I bought a copy. Published in 1891 Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well by Pellegrino Artusi proved to be as humorous and as charming as Locatelli described.
“I had taken lodgings in the Piazza del Voltone, in a new whitewashed villa run by a certain Domenici. That night I felt the onset of a frightening disturbance in my body…’Damned Minestrone! You’ll never fool me again!’ …. Day came and feeling myself totally drained, I rushed to the first available train and escaped to Florence where I quickly revived Monday the sad news reached me that cholera had broken out in Leighorn and the first to be struck dead was no other than Domenici…. And to think that I had blamed the minestrone! After three attempts and having i proved upon the dish each time this is how I make it ……………….