If we can cook it, you can cook it!

‘Savoring the Hamptons’ and a recipe for Pappardelle of Zucchini and Summer Squash with Pancetta

‘Savoring the Hamptons’ and a recipe for Pappardelle of Zucchini and Summer Squash with Pancetta
This gorgeous photograph is by Karen Wise.
         Once in a great while, a cookbook transcends just being a
repository of recipes and becomes something more:  It tells the story of a place and its people,
of its unique culinary heritage and the food that is grown on its farms and in
its waters.  That is the great gift that ‘Savoring the Hamptons’ by Silvia Lehrer (Running Press 2011) has given all of us in her intriguing new cookbook. Whether this is a place you’ve only heard of
or whether you’ve been coming here for years, (this is my 35th summer here!) this book is a must-read. 

Silvia Lehrer
      Silvia takes us to family farms, to wineries and farm stands, to fishermen and baykeepers, the people who make the East End the glorious food and wine destination that it has become.  And despite its title, the book is about both the North and South Forks of the island. Silvia is the long-time food columnist for “Dan’s Papers”, a local weekly magazine, a ‘giveaway’, which you’ll find all over the East End.  There she dispenses invaluable cooking advice and great recipes.  And she knows what she’s talking about: She’s studied cooking at Le Cordon Bleu and La Varenne and she’s cooked in the presence of Master Chefs from Jacques Pepin, Marcella Hazan and James Beard.  She was the founder of Cooktique, a cooking school hailed by The New York Times as ‘one of the best and most comprehensive schools in the country’.  All that knowledge and experience come together and are shared with the readers of ‘Savoring the Hamptons’.  If
you buy only one book about the East End, this is the one to buy.  You’ll find it in virtually every bookstore
out here or order it right here from Amazon.
      Like all great cookbooks, this one is full of beautiful images of the food and the people who make
it.  Credit the photographer, Karen Wise, for the magnificent images that pepper the pages of the book. 
Taking immense pleasure in the bounties of the East End, Silvia’s recipes are a compilation of everything fresh and seasonal.  Silvia is a member of Slow Food International and her dedication to its principles of eating and cooking with local ingredients shine through in everything she makes. The book is arranged by season starting with the first tastes of Spring, the joys of Summer on the grill and off, the heartier fare of Autumn and the comfort food of an East End winter. Silvia’s great talent is in creating recipes that are easy to follow and easy to make. 
         Read the book cover to cover and you will end up with dozens of things to put on your family menu.  Now if you are wine-touring or weekending, a visit to a local farm stand will yield enough produce to fill the trunk of your car!  And farm stands are almost as plentiful as vineyards are on both the North and South Forks. They not only sell the fruits and vegetables that our rich loamy soil produces, they have jams and jellies, cookies and breads and condiments.  A stop at any one of them isnot to be missed. There’s a wonderful guide to finding the one nearest you –wherever you are on the North or South Forks at https://www.lifb.com/FINDAFARMSTAND/FindaFarmstand/tabid/68/Default.aspx 
Back to the book…I didn’t know which recipe to cook first.  But with my local farm stand already full of beautiful vegetables, the first recipe I chose to make was for Pappardelle of Zucchini and Summer Squash.  As Silvia points out, both these vegetables are best which they are narrow in size. What you do here is to
make “Pappardelle” shaped ribbons of the vegetables.  The only tool you require is a simple
vegetable peeler to cut long, thin strips to resemble pappardelle pasta.  Here is the recipe which serves four.

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