A collection of recipes from Puglia, a region on the Adriatic Sea in the heel of the boot of Italy. The dishes are hearty, rustic, and healthy and call for seasonal and fresh ingredients - and lots of olive oil! The recipes are provided in both English and Italian and include pastas, meat and fish dishes as well as side dishes and desserts. Mara prepares these dishes daily for her family and has lovingly and modestly shared them with friends. I collected these recipes over my three year stay in Italy and treasure them along with the memories of sharing meals with Mara and her family. The book also includes descriptions from guests who have enjoyed her food.
My husband and I were very fortunate to have lived in Puglia (Southern Italy) for almost 4 years. It was there where I met Mara, an amazing cook and even more amazing woman. I had been frustrated trying to reproduce my Tex-Mex cooking recipes in a place that lacked the basic ingredients for those dishes. Mara patiently taught me how to combine simple, seasonal, fresh and local ingredients into culinary masterpieces. We brought with us from Italy a pizza oven, a sauce maker and a wood-fire stove for the kitchen - as well as liters of olive oil and will continue the tradition of Mara's cooking here!