Ilaria has been a vegetarian for more than a decade; she has adopted a meatless diet for ethical reasons. “I don’t want to feel responsible for inflicting completely avoidable pain and suffering on animals,” she explains. “What I am most concerned with are the horrible and inhumane conditions factory farm animals are kept in.”
Besides her respect for animals, Ilaria takes the environment into consideration by making green choices whenever possible. “I usually carry my own cotton bags to the supermarket, recycle my trash, use energy-saving light bulbs, and drive a fuel efficient car, a Smart. I buy organic products when available, give our dog organic dog food, and usually grow my own basil. I also make sure I never have to throw food away,” she remarks. “Sometimes I make soup to use vegetables that are no longer fresh and cakes to use fruits that are too ripe.”
Ilaria also repairs her worn or damage clothes when possible, like sewing socks and shirts when slightly torn, uses eco-friendly soaps, buys cosmetic and personal care products that have not been tested on animals, buys recycled paper tissues, napkins and toilet paper, donates old clothes, avoids using the heater or air conditioner, line dries her laundry, and makes toys for her dog out of recycled materials–like worn out socks that can no longer be repaired.
Here are a few of Ilaria’s favorite recipes:
- 1 pound of flour
- 1 ounce of brewer’s yeast (or bread yeast)
- a teaspoon of sugar
- a teaspoon of salt
- warm water (about a cup)
Pour the flower in a bowl and add the salt; make a hole in the center and add the brewer’s yeast with a bit of water, enough to wet the yeast.
Start mixing the liquid in the center with the flour in order to make a dough, adding water as needed. The dough must be elastic but not sticky: If it’s too dry or hard, add some water; if it’s too sticky, add some flour.
Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let rise for about an hour. Then, work it again for a couple of minutes and let it rest for at least another half hour.
Cut the dough in 3 parts. Each part will make a pizza, unless you make the fugazzetta or a tiella di zucchini, which take two.
Round each part of the dough in a ball and roll it out in discs the size of your oven pan (grease it with some oil so the pizza doesn’t stick.).
Pre-heat the oven to 420 degrees Fahrenheit and place toppings on pizzas:
♦Pizza di Patate: Cover surface with thin potato slices, oregano, salt, pepper, and some olive oil. Sliced black olives are a good topping for this pizza too.
♦Marinara: Cover the surface with crushed tomato, minced garlic, oregano, olive oil and salt.
♦Margherita: Cover the surface with crushed tomato, diced mozzarella (vegan Teese cheese recommended), olive oil, salt, and fresh basil leaves.
♦Funghi: As margherita except no basil and add sliced mushrooms, enough to cover the pizza (they shrink while cooking).
♦Fugazzetta: Cover the surface with thinly sliced onions, oregano, olive oil and salt (cheese is optional).
Put in pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes, or until the mozzarella starts bubbling.
Tiella di zucchini (stuffed pie):
Put one dough disc on a pie tin or a skillet covering the base and the sides with it.
For the filling: Cook in a frying pan 4 chopped large zucchini with olive oil, salt and a minced clove of garlic. They will be ready when they get soft and start turning brown.
Put the filling on the dough covered pan and use the other dough disc to cover the pie.
Finally, seal the pie all around and make a hole in the center in order to let it breathe.
Put it in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the crust turns light brown.