by Diane Seed (Square Peg, 2012)
I bought my copy of this book more years ago than I can count, and there have been a dizzying number of books covering - you'd think - the same ground over the ensuing years, but I remain loyal to this trusted volume, and am so happy to see a reissue which makes the title available to those who missed it in its original edition. I've chosen a not particularly representative recipe, but one I love for its charm, its history and its beguiling title - oh, and because it is utterly delicious, too!
Jewel Box Pasta
This recipe comes from a restaurant outside Rome, along the old Appian Way. Just outside the Aurelian wall, amid the catacombs and reminders of early Christian Rome, is the crenellated tower of the tomb of the Roman matron, Cecilia Metella. She was the daughter-in-law of the wealthy Crassus, who first financed the young Julius Caesar. Presumably she owes her ostentatiously large memorial to her rich in-laws. Nearby is a trattoria that has a beautiful rose garden with tables around a fountain. Their speciality is served in individual bowls, shaped like the top of the Cecilia Metella tower. It is called scrigno, which means jewel box, suggesting all the delights concealed under the 'lid' of melted cheese.
Posted by Nigella on the 19th Sep 2012