In her first cookbook, Laura Parisi combines her knowledge of healthy eating with the compelling story of how she became a cook. Heritage is a tribute to the family & friends that have inspired Laura to be a gifted chef, biodynamic gardener & holistic health coach.
Heritage is in part a celebration of family and it is also a love letter to the earth. Woven into Laura’s practice is a deep appreciation for where our food comes from - the recipes that were birthed of her grandmother’s imagination and also the food that came from the market that came from the truck that came from the farm, from the farmer, from the soil, from the seed. Laura’s appreciation of this lineage is heightened by the fact that she grows herbs, flowers and produce in her own garden. She believes that this story, of seed to plant to human hands, is encoded in everyone’s cooking process.
Heritage features recipes from Laura and her husband’s European ancestry, but is not limited to one genre of food. Laura believes that there is not one right diet for everyone, but is a proponent of mindfully grown, real food. She has experimented, tweaked, and made many of these family recipes healthier - utilizing fresh, organic ingredients from her garden and locally-sourced produce. These recipes were made from an intuitive sense of how to combine ingredients (avoiding many common allergens like soy, dairy, gluten and sugar) and with deep gratitude for the sustenance that the food itself provides.
Co-written and photographed by Laura’s daughter, Nicola Parisi, Heritage is an homage to family. It is about what can happen when body, mind and spirit come together in the kitchen.
A sample recipe from the book, Parisi Pomodoro:
1 T unrefined olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz can organic plum tomatoes
1 T molasses
10 basil leaves, chopped chiffonade
Salt and pepper to taste
1) In a large saucepan, warm oil over med-low heat.
2) Add the onion & saute until translucent. Lower the heat & add the garlic. Saute for 1 min.
3) Chop or squish the plum tomatoes with your hands, discarding the stem joints, then add the tomatoes & their juice to the pot.
4) Stir in molasses. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
5) Bring the pomodoro sauce to a boil, then reduce the flame to med-low & cook without a lid for about 15-20 min more, until the sauce thickens. Stir occasionally.
6) Add the chopped basil & cook 3 more minutes.