I've been shopping little by little this week to give us a well-stocked Italian pantry. According to Frances and Edward Mayes, in their The Tuscan Sun Cookbook, a pantry full of the essentials will not only save you time, but will also serve to inspire you.
Considering that we already had the majority of these simple ingredients, I focused my attention on the cheeses. I found four of the eight listed at my co-op, and three at the cheese shop in a nearby farmer's market. One (Grana Padano), I still need to locate.
I now have a cheese drawer filled with Parmigiano-Reggiano, Fontina, Taleggio, Pecorino (recommended is fresh, slightly aged and aged--I think I bought aged), Gorgonzola, Robiola and Asiago.
So far, we have used the Gorgonzola in salads, and the Fontina in marinated portobello sandwiches (and a grilled cheese sandwich for Olivia).
I look forward to enjoying my Italian cheeses any way I please, as well as delving into the more authentic recipes in this pretty cookbook.