Cookbook Review – Extra Virgin


Last month I worked through this cookbook by Debi Mazar & Gabriele Corcos. You may recognize Debi’s name as she is an actress who made her debut in Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas”. She and her husband Gabriele (raised in Tuscany) are the producers and cohosts of the Cooking Channel’s primetime show “Extra Virgin”. I was drawn to the simplicity of the recipes and was not disappointed. Their salads were quite lovely. I made two, starting with this one


Butter Lettuce & Pomegranate Seed Salad. It is dressed with a simple shallot vinaigrette. Delicious. When the first peaches made their arrival in the farmers market we made


Peach & Fennel Salad. Oh man, what a combo! Really great. It also includes thinly sliced bresaola (a cured beef), which I never had before. I was going to substitute Prosciutto but when I saw my local market had the bresaola I went for it. Wow…super tasty. I could see thin strips of this wrapped around cantaloupe cubes. Will have to give that a try. This made a great starter to one of our meals


Grilled Apricots with goat cheese ricotta. No one needs a recipe for this brilliant concoction. Just grill the halved apricots, place a small scoop of ricotta in the middle, then top with your favorite chopped herb, drizzle a little olive oil and a wee bit of salt. Simply magic. So, of course an Italian cookbook would not be complete without some pasta dishes. I just had to try this one



Baked Pasta In Eggplant. This looks way more complicated than it is.¬†The filling is pasta and a seasoned ground pork, all layered in a baking dish that has been completely lined with eggplant slices. There’s a bit of a wow factor that you experience with you pull out your first slice! The other pasta dish I tried was this


Pesto Lasagna. This did taste delicious but I gotta say it threw me for a loop because it wasn’t thick like lasagnas I’m used to. The layers are just lasagna noodles, besciamella sauce, pesto, and parmesan cheese. So, it has a flat appearance. Because we love eggplant we had to give this a try


Now, we usually eat our eggplant in Thai dishes, so it is cubed and cooked in a curry. This was the first time I made Eggplant Parmesan. It was absolutely delicious, however the prep was so messy that I probably won’t make it again. The eggplant is sliced, turned in flour and deep fried. I have grease splatter all of that page in the cookbook! Finally, I thought I’d give one of their desserts a try



Lemon Brule Tart. Actually this was supposed to be made in one large tart pan, but in a recent clean-up, organizing frenzy I found my individual tart pans so thought I’d use them for this. Really good, but would probably be easier in the one large tart pan. I will make this again!

There are so many good recipes and ideas that really don’t require a recipe that I would highly recommend the book.

So, in the month of July I will be cooking from this book


Bowl & Spoon by Sara Forte from Sprouted Kitchen fame. So many wonderful ideas in this book. Can’t wait to get started!

Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you have been enjoying some wonderful meals in your neck of the woods.


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About Carol

Thank you in advance for respecting my art. All the images and text posted to this blog are owned my me and protected by copyright law. Copying any of the content here without permission is against the law and you know, not cool. Many thanks again.
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6 Responses to Cookbook Review – Extra Virgin

  1. Looks like you really enjoyed this cookbook, reminds me of my time in Tuscany at the private vineyard with Tiffany and we had an 8-course meal. Oh my, I want to go there again, if only in my dreams. That first salad I will have to try, looks wonderful.

  2. it all looks so scrumptious! Your photography (and cooking skills!) are just spot on…BTW, I have a great recipe for Eggplant Parmesan where you bake the eggplant slices before putting it together – very tasty, no grease, probably lower fat too…

  3. I just want to say I truly enjoy your cookbook adventures. Your photos are inviting. In fact, I want to come live with you and your hubby, since you’re both such gourmets!!! LOL Looking forward to next month’s adventures.

  4. Kelly Kardos says:

    YUM YUM YUM!!!!!

  5. seabluelee says:

    Well, I’ve certainly been enjoying (vicariously) YOUR meals! You make everything sound and especially look so delicious!

  6. Carolyn says:

    Love reading your blog and enjoy your approach to food. You have inspired me to “collect” a couple of the books you have reviewed!! Bowl and Spoon arrived yesterday. Would love to visit your pantry! I suspect we are similar types of collectors!!

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