Excerpts from The Silver Spoon Quick and Easy Italian Recipes

Summer rice salad

The Silver Spoon is the most influential and successful cookbook in Italy. Originally published in 1950, it became an instant classic. Translated and updated in 2005 by Phaidon, it is considered to be essential in every household. It was the first in a series of Silver Spoon-related cookbooks from Phaidon. The latest is The Silver Spoon: Quick and Easy Italian Recipes. In addition to offering a generous discount to EYB Members, Phaidon has graciously given us three recipe excerpts from the book to share with you. (You can also enter our contest for your chance to win a copy of the book.) Without further ado, here are three recipes from the book:

Pappardelle with Cauliflower and Gorgonzola
Pappardelle con Cavolfiori e Gorgonzola

Serves 4
Preparation 10 min
Cooking 25 min

1½ cups (7 oz/200 g) cauliflower florets
1½ tablespoons (¾ oz/20 g) butter
5 oz/150 g Gorgonzola cheese, diced
3-4 tablespoons milk (optional)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
10 oz/275 g fresh pappardelle
1/3 cup (1 oz/25 g) grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Parboil the cauliflower in a medium saucepan of salted, boiling water for 5 minutes, then remove, using a slotted spoon, reserving the cooking water.

Melt the butter with the Gorgonzola in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring continuously and adding a little milk, if necessary. Do not let the mixture boil. Remove the pan from the heat.

Heat the oil in a large skillet or frying pan. Add the garlic and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for a few minutes until lightly browned. Remove the garlic and discard. Add the cauliflower to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the thyme and season with salt and pepper.

Cook the pappardelle in the reserved cooking water, adding more boiling water, if necessary, for 2-3 minutes until al dente. Drain and add to the skillet with the cauliflower. Stir in the Gorgonzola mixture, remove from the heat, and serve sprinkled with the grated Parmesan. 

Summer Rice Salad
Riso in Insalata Estivo

Serves 4
Preparation 10 min
Cooking 20 min

1½ cups (11 oz/300 g) instant (easy-cook) rice
9 oz/250 g canned tuna in oil, drained and flaked
7 oz/200 g Gruyère cheese, diced
4 tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon, strained
8 pickled pearl (silverskin) onions
8 baby artichoke hearts or quarters in oil, drained
salt and pepper

Cook the rice in a medium saucepan of salted, boiling water until tender, then drain, rinse under cold running water, and drain again.

Meanwhile, put the tuna, cheese, tomatoes, and capers into a salad bowl. Add the rice and mix well so that it soaks up the flavors.

Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice in a small bowl, then pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Finally, mix in the onions and artichokes and season to taste. Store in a cool place, but not in the refrigerator, until ready to serve.

CookiesCinnamon Cookies
Biscotti alla Cannella

Makes 30
Preparation 20-25 min
Cooking 15 min, plus cooling

2 cups (9 oz/250 g) all-purpose (plain) flour, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup (4½ oz/130 g) superfine (caster) sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for rolling
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus 1 tablespoon for rolling, and 1 teaspoon for dusting (optional)
zest of 1 lemon, grated
5 tablespoons olive oil
3 eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas Mark 4. Sift (sieve) the flour with the baking powder  and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar, cinnamon, and lemon zest. Make a well in the center, pour in the oil and eggs, and mix until well combined. You might need to squeeze the dough together with your hands.

Line a baking sheet with parchment (baking) paper. On a plate, mix together the ground cinnamon and the sugar for rolling. Shape the dough into balls, roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture, then transfer to the baking sheet and flatten slightly.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown on the edges. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, let the cookies cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tidy up the edges with a cookie cutter and dust with cinnamon, if preferred.


1 Comment

  • poots55  on  11/1/2015 at 1:47 PM

    I love angel hair with salty browned butter, a tiny bit of lemon flavored olive oil, and cherry tomato, finished with fresh chopped Italian parsley. I've kept this a guilty secret because it sounds so odd!

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