As any fan of Cooking Channel’s Extra Virgin knows, for stars Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos, a great passion for food and their love for one another are intimately intertwined. Their new cookbook, Extra Virgin: Recipes and Love from Our Tuscan Kitchen (on sale May 6, 2014), paints a road map of their romance through recipes – the fried squash blossoms Gabriele made for Debi on their first date; the farro salad Gabriele’s mother made for Debi upon their first meeting – offering as many glimpses into their warm lives as authentic Italian dishes. As Debi puts it in the book’s introduction, in “meeting and falling for Gabriele, I discovered how much great food also comes from a desire to feed the ones you love.”
As their story goes, Gabriele introduced Debi to the fresh, produce-driven dishes and rustic cooking style from his native Tuscany, and together they celebrate a bicoastal, bicontinental fusion of Tuscan influence, California freshness and Debi’s New York heritage in their cooking. They happily spoil loved ones (most especially daughters Evelina and Giulia) with inspired, flavorful meals and encourage viewers (and now readers) to do the same. Start with the Heirloom Tomato Caprese shown on the cover, and make your way through to understated Mascarpone and Amaretti Cups for dessert. The chapters are cleanly organized in the order you’d consume the dishes: Appetizers, Pastas and Sauces, Salads, Meat, Fish and so on (Gabriele is such a fan that risotto has its own dedicated section) so you can easily mix and match courses in your own Tuscan buffet.
Continue Reading Signed Cookbook Giveaway: Debi & Gabriele’s Extra Virgin: Recipes and Love From Our Tuscan Kitchen
As a family we love taking road trips, especially after having moved to Brooklyn, where we feel a bit constricted by the “concrete jungle.” It’s fun to load up the car, punch a few digits into the nav system and go explore what surrounds the city: Long Island and the Hamptons to the east, Upstate New York to the north, Pennsylvania to the west and south.
Tradition wants that we never leave for a road trip without a couple of bags loaded with food, and possibly a cooler with drinks: When traveling with kids, it’s always better to be ready rather than to all of a sudden become slave to a tantrum because of an empty stomach. Therefore, whenever we embark on a new road trip adventure, we never leave without our mortadella or prosciutto sandwiches, the absolutely necessary slices of pecorino cheese to eat with some fruit, and the occasional yogurt, cereal bar or bag of cookies. What we carry along with us goes into our “first-aid kit” in case of hunger; otherwise we usually have tons of fun trying to figure out what to eat locally and where. We ask people on the side of the road; we read every sign posted; sometimes we even track down smells. Imagine driving on a late-summer afternoon and smelling barbecued meat and fresh corn. Wouldn’t you stop the car to smell the air and adjust your route?
When we travel across Italy it is extremely easy and safe to rely on the local Autogrill, a fantastic chain of highway pit stops where the food is prepared on the spot by cooks from the area.
Continue Reading Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar’s Road Trip Eating Tips
We run a Tuscan kitchen: Our pantry is usually always full but extremely humble. As far as feeding a family in a budget-conscious way, we believe that some staple foods, like canned beans and tuna, rice, pasta and canned tomatoes, and obviously the basic condiments like extra virgin olive oil and a few spices should always be available for a quick meal on the go. We shop for vegetables, fruit, meat and dairy on a daily basis, after we decide what we are going to eat for dinner — a decision that is usually made at breakfast. Knowing what is in your fridge is a great way to save money, as it helps you plan meals and consume what is available; limiting the amount of food that ends up in the garbage is a great step toward saving a lot of money.
We are big fans of leftovers. We recycle whatever vegetable is left from the evening before into a pasta sauce or a frittata, and we shred our leftover roast to make tacos (not really Tuscan but darn cheap!). We find our way to eat everything we have in the house, most of the time.
Continue Reading Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar’s Tips on Eating on the Cheap
For a celebrity, Debi Mazar sure knows the keys to a simple life. Despite her Hollywood status (in addition to starring in Extra Virgin along with husband Gabriele Corcos, she’s had roles in Entourage and Goodfellas, and she is a longtime friend of Madonna), this New York City-born wife and mother of two really keeps herself grounded — no doubt in part to a Tuscan-influenced lifestyle. We recently caught up with Debi to see how she maintains that relaxed spirit during the holidays and get her tips for effortless entertaining.
When asked for her essential dinner party tips, Debi starts with the decorations. The lover of tabletop design collects vintage tablecloths, napkins and dishware. Anything goes, she says, “I’ll use pitchers as flower holders,” adding that she’ll mix and match on purpose. “My style is ghetto fab and uber-modern.” The Mazar/Corcos’ tabletop in Brooklyn is a raw piece of jade marble purchased in Italy — “My Tuscan tabletop,” Debi notes. And while it may appear their house is in tiptop shape to entertain, when pressed, Debi reveals there are a few appliances on her holiday wish list this year, especially for her NYC kitchen that’s a bit rundown: “I’d like a new stove, a new dishwasher and a new fridge.”
Continue Reading Debi Mazar’s Holiday Dinner Party Tips
The big day is here! Debi and Gabriele renew their wedding vows in the small Tuscan town of Fiesole, Italy, with family and closest friends on Wednesday’s season finale of Extra Virgin.
But there’s so much to do before the big event…
Continue Reading A Season Finale of Love, Happiness and Food!
First order of business: Let's eat!
Welcome to my home! Let me introduce you to the family… ‘Mamma’ Annalisa, who taught me to cook most of what I feed my family. ‘Nonna’ Lola, who taught my mother. ‘Babbo’ Leonardo, who one day got me in from of the fireplace and said “Ok, let’s cook dinner!” And my brother Fabio, the very first person I ever cooked for.
It is not easy to describe how I feel each time I go back home to Tuscany, now that I have spent about a decade in the US. Tuscany is actually not my home anymore, wherever Debi and the girls are, that is my home now… in this sense I truly feel like an immigrant!
Continue Reading Welcome to Tuscany!
Debi & Gabriele of Extra Virgin -- Enjoying Best Thing I Ever Ate...at the Beach
Every year thousands descend upon the sunny shores of South Beach to watch celebrity chefs turn up the heat. Our girl Nadia G., host of Bitchin’ Kitchen, was on the ground chatting it up with everyone from Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos of Extra Virgin to Ace of Cakes Duff Goldman during the fest…
Continue Reading Nadia G’s South Beach All-Star Blitz
The great lovers of our time — Brad and Angelina, Fergie and Josh, Demi and Ashton, Debi and Gabriele — share their lives together, their families, their meals, their kitchens. Could it be that the couple that sautés together, stays together?
Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos, the Lucy and Ricky of Cooking Channel, let us in on their Valentine’s Day plans; in between raising a family, starring in a cooking show and perfecting pasta, they’ll find some time for love.
What are you and your Valentine indulging in today?
Valentine’s Day at Cooking Channel:
Gabriele Corcos and his wife Debi Mazar star in Extra Virgin, premiering tonight at 10pm ET/ 9pm CT.
Italy is a microcosm of regional cuisines, but all Italians love to grill. Where I come from in Tuscany, people have a pretty straightforward way of thinking when it comes to seasoning and cooking meat on the grill. Steaks are not overly salted or oiled—maybe some pepper, that’s about it. Then a touch of salt if you really feel like it, when it gets to your plate.
Continue Reading Extra Virgin: Tips for Tuscan-Style Grilling
What do you get when you pair a modern girl from the streets of Queens with a food purist from the hills of Tuscany? A modern day Lucy and Ricky with a passion for food, family and each other.
Actress Debi Mazar and her husband Gabriele Corcos invite you into their kitchen in the new series Extra Virgin, premiering Wednesday, January 19th.
Continue Reading Debi Mazar Stars in “Extra Virgin”