Sometime in the 1950s, Emiko Davies' nonno-in-law began the tradition of ringing in the new year with tortellini al sugo. He served it along with spumante and a round of tombola, and sparked a trend; up until the 1970s, you could find tortellini at midnight on New Year's Eve in the bars around the Tuscan town of Fucecchio.
This is just one of the heirloom dishes in this collection, for which Emiko Davies has gathered some of her favourite family recipes. They trace generations that span the length of Italy, from the Mediterranean port city of Taranto in the southern heel of Puglia to elegant Turin, the city of aperitif and Italian cafe culture in the far north and, finally, back to Tuscany, which Emiko calls home.
Tortellini at Midnight is a book rich with nostalgia, with fresh, comforting food and stunning photography. It is a book that is good for the soul.