One day I bought a new cookery magazine. The magazine advised readers on what to buy and what to produce was in season. It also reported on cities of gastronomic interest and gave recommendations on where to stay and eat. Finally, it offered an in-depth analysis of ingredients, their origins and other tips. This is fine, but the drama, or should I say the comedy, started when I saw recipes and comments on Italian cuisine. The recipes in this first issues were not faithful to Italian cuisine.

The best of a bad bunch were the following: Penne all’arabiatta. The spelling of the Italian word was wrong in three ways because the true spelling is arrabbiata. Incapable of even writing the name correctly, the author was also unable to provide an accurate description on how to prepare it with a lot of errors in the ingredients and in their use.

We can only imagine what can happen to a person who is passionate about Italian cuisine but who cannot speak Dante’s language and who trusts the recipes of foreign food magazines. He or she will never learn to cook Italian cuisine.

As I read American recipe books more carefully I realize that we are not even dealing with ‘fusion cuisine’ but a cuisine similar to Italian, yet at the same time totally different, with their own products, ingredients, combinations of recipes and cooking methods.

Penne all’arrabbiata belongs to what is known as ‘poor cuisine’ which was exported by emigrants coming from the center of Italy. It originated from the Lazio region and is very easy to make.

Photo credits by Le ricette del Pinguino

Drawn from Fettuccine Alfredo, Spaghetti Bolognaise & Caesar Salad by Maurizio Pelli.

For info: The Culinary Clinic by Maurizio Pelli.