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Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar’s Pantry Staples for Cooking Tuscan-Style

Cooking Tuscan is all about simplicity, freshness and, ultimately, generosity. It is about working very conscientiously in the kitchen, inspired by the necessity of caring for the ones you love. Cooking is pursuing a bond with people around the kitchen table, and food is the medium by which this is achieved. “The cook” in this equation is just a catalyst — sometimes in the form of a mother or grandmother, and sometimes in the form of a restaurant chef or a farmer.

The Tuscan kitchen reflects this sentiment abundantly. Nothing is more important than the table; it should be the right size and should feel warm and familiar, something that facilitates the celebration of a meal together.

There are not many appliances around: a very small microwave oven that is used only to reheat leftovers or melt chocolate, a powerful blender for shakes and juices, an immersion blender and a mixer hidden in the cabinets. In our kitchen there is a stand mixer on the counter. We use it about twice a year to make dough for our tarts, but it looks cool, so we keep it out … to get dusty. The bread in our house is mixed by hand, every other day. We wish we had a professional slicer, but we live in Brooklyn and counter-space real estate is no joke!

The items in our pantry and refrigerator totally reflect the Tuscan mentality. It is all about the essentials: In our cabinets there are a few staples like pasta, beans, canned tomatoes, coffee and cookies, and in a small closet there are bread tools, many kinds of flour, nuts, honeys and jams. The refrigerator has a life of its own, and turnover of food items is usually very fast, with the exception of butter, which we don’t use much. And while we shop in bulk for cleaning products and household stuff, we shop for our food items multiple times a week, in small quantities, to make sure we always eat fresh and less food gets wasted.

There are always a couple of bottles of wine in the house (no cellar, because it’s Brooklyn!) and a few craft beers. Our homebrewed limoncello is in the freezer, and the liquor cabinet holds Campari bitters, Caipirinha happiness and Brooklyn-distilled rum (yes, it might be #hipsterish, but it’s so damn good!).

Tune in to Extra Virgin tonight at 8pm ET to watch how Debi and Gabriele get a taste of Tuscany in the United States.


Comments (10)

  1. […] Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar’s Pantry Staples for Cooking Tuscan-Style […]

  2. writeontruth819 posted 04/16/2014

    Sounds good to me Gabo!!! Thrilled to be able to watch EV…online!!! I don't have cable :) You all make me smile, giggle and cook much more in Tuscan style…so appreciated! I grew up in my early childhood in the Bronx, near Fordham/Grand Concourse and right around where you were…we shopped locally and in Manhattan for everything!! Truly enjoyable…that episode was really awesome :)
    Always my best to the Corcos family,
    Love love,

  3. Cheryl Marinko posted 04/16/2014

    This is why I love your show. It's the simplicity, and love of cooking to feed the family. I know people who have every high end cooking appliance ever made, and they subsist on hot dogs and spaghetti with jarred sauce. I have a very simple (and probably outdated) kitchen and because I love to cook, and love to see people enjoy the meals I make, magic happens in my simple kitchen.

  4. Hazel posted 04/18/2014

    I love the show, I love your receipes!
    The opening trailer shows you all sitting around a table serving somekind of "stuffed cabbage rolls stepping in a beautiful read sauce or soup (?) – It is being served out of your red saute porcelain type pan" and it is mouth watering!
    What is this receipe??
    Is it in your cookbook, the receipe is a MUST HAVE!

  5. faysa posted 04/19/2014

    Finally! You Can Now Amaze Your Friends And Relatives With Your Newly-found Cooking Finesse!
    You Now Have A Complete Guide That Shows You How To Put More Excitement Into Your Cooking
    And Have A Real Blast Every Time You Enter The Kitchen!

  6. Linda Fritz posted 04/20/2014

    Dear Debi and Gabriele just wanted to tell you how much my husband and I enjoy your show it is so nice to see you both enjoying and sharing your recipes. Debi I love the clothes you wear it looks fantastic on you. My son and I both love you Debi in fact my son lives in Manhatten he loves NY I have visited twice I told him that you live their now I told him to go to Brooklyn and maybe he will see you on the street.We are so glad that you guys are on again we have missed you. And we also love Robert. And your girls are so beautiful can't wait to try some of your recipes.

  7. Pam camillieri posted 04/25/2014

    We have been married 39 years in Aug. we love watching your show and seing real people living real life
    Knowing what real matters
    Love the receipts
    Americans who waitresses and cooks in the Noeth End taught us how to cook and appreciate food

  8. Melanie posted 04/29/2014

    I love watching your show, your cooking style reminds me so much of my grandmother's cooking. It's so nice to watch a normal family on TV.

  9. Beach Lover posted 05/02/2014

    Great show and tips–so down to earth that the intimidation factor of cooks learning the ropes is immediately dispelled. Thanks for all you do!

  10. T H posted 06/04/2014

    Hi Debi & Gabriele!

    I've been wanting to write to get clarification on something; I'm new to Tuscan style cooking thanks to you guys and have a serious problem! Two things relating to olive oil. I've been told you only dress with Extra Virgin and you cook with regular grade olive oil. I need to get that either confirmed or denied and also second and even more importantly: The olive oil does not have a good taste; is it going rancid too soon? Is it not being stored properly? I usually just leave it in the bottle on the counter, but we don't use it quite often as I'm new to Tuscan style cooking yet. I'm at a loss! Everyone talks about how GOOD Olive Oil tastes, and I'm always like, yuck, mine doesn't taste or smell that way, what in the world are they talking about? Please help–what am I doing wrong??

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