War year cookbooks are always fascinating, but they are even more so when they are a reflection of the author’s effort to understand, appreciate, and share another culture–usually that of an ally nation. Such is the case with this cookbook, which encourages American home cooks to try simple, classic Italian dishes. Written in simple, direct prose, these recipes’ brevity encourage experimentation. What is particularly interesting about this book is that “every penny” from the sale of the book was sent to Italians, who, the author noted, “will use it for food and clothing for the families of Italian soldiers.”

Available as a digital download, in PDF format. 67 pages.


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Here is one of our favorite recipes:


> 1/2 lb. round steak
> 1/4 lb. salt pork or bacon
> 1 small onion
> 1 tablespoon butter or substitute
> A few dried mushrooms, if desired
> A clove of garlic
> Several sprigs parsley
> Fresh or canned tomatoes

Grind the salt pork and try it out in a saucepan. While it is frying put the onion through the grinder. As soon as the pork begins to brown add the onion, the parsley chopped, the garlic shredded fine, and the mushrooms which have been softened by soaking in warm water. When the vegetables are very brown (great care must be taken not to burn the onion, which scorches very easily) add the meat ground coarsely or cut up in little cubes. When the meat is a good brown color, add about one pint of tomatoes and simmer slowly until all has cooked down to a thick creamy sauce. It will probably take 3/4 hour. The sauce may be bound together with a little flour if it shows a tendency to separate.

This sauce is used to dress all kinds of macaroni and spaghetti, also for boiled rice. Spaghetti should be left unbroken when it is cooked. If it is too long to fit in the kettle immerse one end in the boiling salted water and in a very few minutes the ends of the spaghetti under the water will become softened so that the rest can be pushed down into the kettle. Be careful not to overcook it and it will not be pasty, but firm and tender. Drain it carefully and put in a hot soup tureen. Sprinkle a handful of grated cheese over it and pour on the sauce. Lift with two forks until thoroughly mixed.