Notes and Special Equipment:
Here is one of the recipes by Pellegrino Artusi, including the famous anecdote about his experience that went along with it. It is a typical recipe of Artusi: the quantities and the ingredients are not precise and are often left to individual taste. Although “Science” is in the title of his book, the word referred to the fact that the recipes were tested and re-tested multiple times. The term “Art” more accurately describes the way the cook was to bring the recipe to fruition.
“In the summer of 1855 I was in Livorno, cholera was slithering here and there in many provinces of Italy, and had everyone dreading a general epidemic, which in fact burst out forthwith. One Saturday evening I went into an inn and asked ‘What kind of soup do you have?’ ‘Minestrone,’ came the answer.
‘Bring me the minestrone,’ said I. I dined, took a walk, and went to bed, in a room in a spanking new hotel owned by a Mr. Dominici, in Piazza del Voltone. During the night my insides rebelled in a most frightful manner, and I went to and from the privy until dawn, damning the minestrone all the while.
The next morning I fled to Florence, where I recovered immediately. Monday came the sorry news that cholera had broken out in Livorno, and Mr. Dominici had been the first fatality – minestrone indeed!
After three attempts, improving on the dish each time, this is how I like to make it. Feel free to modify it to suit tastes of your part of the world, and the vegetables locally available.
I should warn you that this is not a soup for weak stomachs.” From Artusi, Pellegrino. Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well. Introduction by Luigi Ballerini; Translated by Murtha Baca and Stephen Sartarelli. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003.
* From Artusi, Pellegrino. Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well. Introduction by Luigi Ballerini;
Translated by Murtha Baca and Stephen Sartarelli. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003.