Welcome to Ethan Stowell’s New Italian Kitchen–not so much a place as a philosophy. Here food isn’t formal or fussy, just focused, with recipes that honor Italian tradition while celebrating the best ingredients the Pacific Northwest has to offer. We’re talking about a generous bowl of steaming handmade pasta–served with two forks for you and a friend. Or perhaps an impeccably fresh crudo, crunchy cucumber and tangy radish accenting impossibly sweet spot prawns. Next up are the jewel tones of a beet salad with lush, homemade ricotta, or maybe a tangle of white beans and clams spiked with Goat Horn pepper–finished off with a whole roasted fish that begs to be sucked off the bones. Oh, some cheese, a gooseberry compote complementing your Robiola, or the bittersweet surprise of Campari sorbet.
This layered approach is a hallmark of Ethan’s restaurants, and in his New Italian Kitchen, he offers home cooks a tantalizing roadmap for re-creating this style of eating. Prepare a feast simply by combining the lighter dishes found in “Nibbles and Bits”—from Sardine Crudo with Celery Hearts, Pine Nuts, and Lemon to Crispy Young Favas with Green Garlic Mayonnaise—or adding recipes with complex flavors for a more sophisticated meal. Try the luscious Corn and Chanterelle Soup from “The Measure of a Cook;” or the Cavatelli with Cuttlefish, Spring Onion, and Lemon from “Wheat’s Highest Calling.” Up the ante with a stunning Duck Leg Farrotto with Pearl Onions and Bloomsdale Spinach from “Starches to Grow On,” or choose one of the “Beasties of the Land,” like Skillet-Roasted Rabbit with Pancetta-Basted Fingerlings. Each combination will nudge you and your guests in new, unexpected, and unforgettable directions.
Every page of Ethan Stowell’s New Italian Kitchen captures the enthusiasm, humor, and imagination that make cooking one of life’s best and most satisfying adventures. It’s got to be good–but it’s also got to be fun.