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Cooking4Mugs

Eat like an Italian - even in a caravan...

You’ve probably seen Bruno Borriello hanging around in the background at agility competitions as he follows his agility mad wife, Jenny around the Midlands. She fell in love with the sport nearly 15 years ago and since then, the couple have spent a lot of weekends in fields running their dogs. While Bruno doesn't actually compete, he has pole picked, scribed, scored and helped run rings in all weather. Last summer he found himself in between runs, thinking about what to cook for dinner. And that's how the idea for his new book Cooking4mugs came about.

I usually help by holding the dogs while Jenny walks courses and I do a lot of other supportive stuff. Last summer, however, I found myself spending a lot of time watching the dogs in day parking while Jenny caught up with all her friends. Being a keen amateur cook of Italian food, I would spend a lot time thinking about 'what to cook for dinner' when we got home.

I had always promised my son that I would write down all my favourite recipes for him. When he and his girlfriend left home last summer, they kept asking for favourite recipes. Word spread among friends and family, so I decided that I would gather all my best recipes into one easy to follow book. And that's how Cooking4mugs - cook like an Italian came about.

Thus I started spending my time 'between runs' writing down my recipes for the cookbook. The evenings would be spent cooking and photographing the meal. All three dogs would sit patiently watching me, slightly puzzled.

In this book, I tried to capture the essence of Italian-style cooking, adapting traditional Italian recipes with easy to come by English ingredients to make my own original creations. Many of the recipes are ideal for camping and caravanning, especially the cook-in-one-pot recipes like minestrone or the risottos. Here's the basic tomato sauce recipe from the book.

Salsa di Pomodoro
(Tomato Sauce)

This red tomato sauce forms the base sauce of most of my red sauce dishes. In Naples we just called it 'La Salsa' (The Sauce) in a reverent like way.

Ingredients.

  • 2 tbs olive oil

  • 1 clove of garlic, diced

  • 4 tbs tomato puree (about 100gr)

  • 1 x 400gr tin chopped Italian plum tomatoes

  • 1 tsp salt

Method

  1. Heat the oil on a low heat, add the chopped garlic and fry gently for 1 - 2 minutes.

  2. Add the tomato puree and stir fry for a further 1-2 minutes.

  3. Add the can of chopped tomatoes and salt and bring to the boil.

  4. Then turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes for a light sauce or a further 10-20 minutes for a richer sauce.

  5. Serve with your favourite choice of pasta.

Red Sauce with herbs or spices
Add a teaspoon of oregano or a bay leaf when you add the tomatoes for that typical Italian aroma and taste. If you like spicier sauces add a teaspoon of black pepper (mild) or chilli pepper (medium) or cayenne pepper (hot.)

The theme of the book is to learn how to cook basic sauces, using a mug to measure, and building up to more complex dishes. After working your way through the book, you should develop the skills to experiment with your own recipes and 'cook like an Italian.' Like agility, the most important thing is to have fun.

The book can be bought as an e book for just £1.79 or a print book from £9.99. For a free preview of the book and more details go to www.cooking4mugs.com

For purchasing details go to my website www.cooking4mugs.com and follow the links to My Publisher.

About the author...
Bruno Borriello was born in England. Some of his earliest memories as a 3 - 6 year old living in Naples including scrumping Finocchi (fennel) with his older brothers and buying water melons from street traders that were so large they used the pushchair to carry it home in. It was a long walk home up the slopes of Vesuvius for his baby sister.

Bruno learnt to cook Italian food from about the age of seven. The family was back in England, and he used to help his dad prepare the sauces. He fell in love with the smell of garlic being fried in olive oil. By the age of 15 all his schoolmates would come round his house and Bruno would cook pasta for them.

Over the years the dishes have acquired English influences, mainly because Italian ingredients were hard to come by then and we would have to find the next best thing, so the Borriello version of Italian cooking was invented.

First published 28 October 2014