With the current global pandemic, we are all facing, it is safe to say the restaurant industry may have been hit the hardest. With restaurant dining rooms being closed to patrons, owners have been forced to get creative with sales. From offering takeout and delivery services to make-your-own pizza kits, restaurants are doing all they can to keep the revenues coming in. Even with these options in place, many consumers are still leery of ordering food from another kitchen. However, in the same sense, we miss the flavors of our favorite eateries.
In what may be, perhaps, a perfect coincidence, Michael Milano released his first cookbook, “at home with Milano’s Italian Restaurant – a cookbook” this past March. Filled with recipes from his Columbus, OH restaurant’s menu, Michael allows us to create those flavors we have all been yearning for.
Felix and Bianca Milano are from a small village called Cerreto di Vastogirardi in the mountainous region of Molise, Italy. About a three-hour drive southeast of Rome, the town is beautifully nestled between the regions of Abruzzo, Puglia, Lazio, and Campania. Being on the edge of the Adriatic Sea, seafood is fresh and abundant there, adding much variety to the culinary traditions of Molise. It is these traditional dishes of Molise that influenced Felix and Bianca to open Milano’s Italian Restaurant in Columbus 20-years-ago.
Today, their son, Michael Milano, owns and operates the restaurant. “The beauty of Italian food lies in its simplicity,” he writes in “at home with Milano’s Italian Restaurant – a cookbook.” “Italian food is for the workingperson, the romantic, the traveler, the artist.” This simplicity of old world meets new, non-conventional Italian dishes is the bases for his menu at the restaurant. And, while Michael, obviously, wants to bring the flavors of his restaurant to your home, the true inspiration for the cookbook is to create the experience and beauty of Italy in your own kitchen.
From red sauce to pesto, Italian subs to Bucatini alla Carbonara, Penne Arrabbiata (one of Michael’s favorites) to Linguine alle Vongole, a whole section dedicated to desserts, and, of course, drinks!, Milano’s cookbook with its simple list of ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen, brings the tastes of Molise to the comfort of your own home.
While the recipes in the cookbook speak for themselves, the Foreword written by family friend Nadia Falasca adds a special touch. Nadia’s and Michael’s families have been connected for generations. Today, Nadia owns and operates Masseria Monte Pizzi, a country house with accommodations and a restaurant in Carovilli, Molise (masseriamontepizzi.it). She and Michael remain close friends, talking about their shared experience in the industry and offering each other advice. “…he and his family managed to preserve ancient traditions of this little piece of Italy,” Nadia writes. “Michael’s book shrewdly emphasizes the relationship between recipes and origins.” “…read this book where each page smells like home: of authentic feelings, traditions preserved through time and distance…”
At a time where we are all, inevitably, spending much more time in our kitchens, “at home with Milano’s Italian Restaurant – a cookbook” brings the flavors and beauty of Italy right to our homes.
“at home with Milano’s Italian Restaurant – a cookbook” is now available at Amazon.
Masseria Monte Pizzi is not just a place to visit, but the starting point to your adventures in Molise, Italy, with open spaces and unspoiled lands as your view along with the beauty of the culture and its people.