Through memoirs like the bestselling Under the Tuscan Sun, fictional novels, and travel stories, Frances Mayes has used vivid narration to bridge the distance between the South and Italy for decades. Her newest publication, Pasta Veloce, celebrates Italy’s favorite fare with the help of Susan Wyler, cookbook author, food editor, and Mayes’s longtime friend and partner in the kitchen.
“Susan and I have cooked together in Mexico, Tuscany, Rome, Puglia, and Sicily, as well as in the United States. We stayed in touch through circuitous years and miraculously found ourselves, decades later, neighbors in a small North Carolina town,” Mayes writes. This recipe uses tried-and-true elements of both Southern and Italian cuisines—fat, salt, and acid, with fresh greens and a touch of sweetness—to create a riveting dish. “Just like the eponymous sandwich that inspired Susan to make this pasta, the key to success is stellar ingredients: deeply flavored hickory-smoked bacon, the bite of arugula, and juicy tomatoes.”
See two other recipes, exclusively shared with G&G, from Mayes’s new cookbook: Arugula and Toasted Pine Nut Pesto and Farfalle with Roasted Asparagus, Lemon Cream, and Chives. For more from the queen of wanderlust, read her love letter to the magnolia and G&G’s recent interview with her about her book A Place in the World, in which she invites you into her Southern and Italian estates. And of course, order her new cookbook, Pasta Veloce, here.