Armida had all sorts of tomatoes growing in her garden, and combined them with celery leaves to create earthy-sweet dishes. This frittata (a crustless Italian quiche) pays homage to these flavors, and to the prevalence of pecorino (sheep’s milk) cheese) in the hills of Lunigiana. To make the frittata, I slowly dry oiled, cut tomatoes; this is lovely to do under a hot summer sun, but is also easily accomplished in a low-temperature oven. The rich and sticky tomatoes are an integral part of the frittata, but also make for a delicious addition or garnish to many other dishes.


Pizzoccheri is one of my favorite things to eat. It is an earthy, creamy mess of buckwheat pasta, greens, and cheese, designed to delight the child in us. Giovanna, and I cooked it as a one-pot dish, boiling the pasta and other ingredients all together, then tossing them with butter and sage and stinky cheese at the end. After talking with Giovanna about the recipe, however, I decided to develop it further to better articulate the strengths of the dish. I make the noodles slightly thicker and stouter, boil the vegetables separately so as not to overcook them, and broil the dish at the end for a slightly crunchy and caramelized top. If you do not have the time to make the fresh buckwheat pasta for this recipe, you can substitute 8 to 12 ounces of dried buckwheat noodles.


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