Salt + Spine
Salt & Spine
Katie Parla on the Italian islands, shepherd culture, and diving for urchin

Katie Parla on the Italian islands, shepherd culture, and diving for urchin

Her latest, Food of the Italian Islands, is her first self-published cookbook.

Happy Friday folks! This week’s episode is a wee bit late because it’s a live show (!!!) which means the audio gave us a slight technical run-around. But it’s a fun one, for sure, in which we chat with Katie Parla in front of a live audience at our beloved Omnivore Books in San Francisco.

First — last week, I shared the New York Times profile of B. Dylan Hollis, and this week the NYT is back (via Salt + Spine friend Priya Krishna) with a full feature on TikTok stars and how they’re changing the name of the cookbook game. “[Hollis] is one of several TikTok creators, many of them with little or no professional cooking experience, who have gone from tinkering in their home kitchens to topping best-seller lists in a remarkably short time. In the process, they’ve shot a jolt of energy into a sagging cookbook market.”

Now, let’s head to Italy…

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Episode 160: Katie Parla

In this week’s episode, Katie joined me in front of an audience at Omnivore Books in San Francisco to discuss:

  • The cuisines of Italy’s islands—which involve less fish and seafood than you might think;

  • Her decision to self-publish her latest cookbook, Food of the Italian Islands—and why she’ll keep self-publishing in the future;

  • What she wishes she knew when she first moved to Italy 20 years ago.

Plus, as always, we put Katie to the test in our signature culinary game.

Food of the Italian Islands by Katie Parla

A transportive cookbook inviting readers through Sicily, Sardinia, and Italy’s lesser-known island destinations so you can sink your teeth into the secrets of their rustic, romantic dishes. Katie Parla will take you through the streets of Palermo where her great-grandfather was born, across the caper fields of volcanic Pantelleria, into the kitchens of Sardinia for lessons in ornate pasta making, and to the pristine waters of Ponza to dive for sea urchins. And no island adventure with Katie would be complete without a jaunt through the Venetian lagoon on her fishing boat Laura!

But Food of the Italian Islands isn’t just an island journey with your favorite Jersey girl. There are also over 85 recipes, both original and reimagined, that showcase the allure of the islands, including pane frattau featuring Sardinia’s beloved flatbread; bigoli in salsa, a party pasta popular in Venice; coniglio all’ischitana, braised rabbIt in the style of Ischia; torta caprese, Capri’s flourless chocolate-almond cake; and an array of pesto sauces from Pantelleria, Trapani, Linsoa, and Carloforte that will have you asking, “pesto genovese who?”

We 💚 local bookstores. Pick up your copy of Katie’s latest book here:

Omnivore Books

Katie's Website

This week, paid subscribers will receive a recipe for Pesto Pantesco, the regional recipe from the island of Pantelleria, a speck south of Sicily, which employs tomatoes and the “wonderful, savory flavor of Pantelleria’s most famous export, salted capers.” Yum!

Salt + Spine is supported by listeners like you. For this week’s recipe—plus exclusive content and hundreds of other featured recipes—become a paid subscriber today.

This Week’s New Cookbook Releases

See you next week!

Salt + Spine
Salt & Spine
We tell the compelling stories behind cookbooks you won't get anywhere else. Featuring interviews with leading authors, we explore the art and craft of cookbooks, looking at both new and vintage cookbooks and the inspirations behind them … the compelling people who create them … and their impact on home cooks and the culinary world.