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cucina povera

Italian soul food

Tria e Ciciari

'Poor man's cooking' is hardly a derogatory term in Italy. It applies to anything that has its roots in peasant dishes, and especially things that are made up of the simplest ingredients—or leftovers.

A lot of the old Italy's fancy cooking and Baroque recipes went out the door with the Medicis and Bourbons and Habsburgs. Today, cucina povera is really the base of almost everything. It includes famous dishes like the south's spaghetti with mussels or clams, Tuscany's ribollita vegetable soup, Genoese focaccia and pasta with pesto, Roman vignarola. And old traditional dishes are constantly being rediscovered and reborn, such as Tuscan spelt soup, zuppa di farro.


Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Image by Italian food forever