Anne's Blog

How Much is Quanto Basta? (Mar 20, 2011)

Date: April 14, 2011 - categories: , - 2 Comments

Q.b on that black pepper in the pasta, Cam!

Q.b on that black pepper in the pasta, Cam!

“Q.b.” for quanto basta (“as much as you need”) is the most common annotation in Italian cookbooks. It’s a secret I like to share at the start of each cooking class, whether here in our Assisi area farmhouse or at U.S. cooking classes each winter. Paulette and Jim’s group really took the quanto basta to heart when we cooked together in Ft. Washington, Maryland, at their home in mid-March, 2011. When anyone asked me about the right amount of olive oil or wine or salt or vinegar needed in the recipes, my most frequent response was “q.b.”!

Before the class, we gathered for my talk on Umbrian rural life and Umbrian rural cuisine – and the lovely Deruta ceramics in their dining room were a direct link to our region of Umbria. Paulette had read my articles in Italian Notebook (see and decided to invite me to cook with their friends. Husband Jim and daughter Agatha joined in, too, and the group worked in pairs to cook our Umbrian dinner. And it all started with Italian Notebook. As Paulette wrote to me, “Italian Notebook is wonderful: it brought us together for a fabulous feast. Thank you, Anne, for being such a wonderful chef – and so patient. See you in Italy!” (Paulette, when are you all coming!?)

Our critical “q.b. moments” are pictured below.
…and here are a few comments:

“Thank you very much for sharing your stories and love of good Italian food.” Joelle

“Thank you for your love and passion for Italy – a lovely experience. So many interesting facts and thoughts: keep your enthusiasm!” Jo

“Thank you for all the energy and enthusiasm you brought to us in D.C. You made Italy live in us for one afternoon with your interesting mix of tastes… I’ve experienced Italy with you!” Diane


  • Paulette says:

    Anne – love your Quanta Bassa write-up! Look forward to building on our 2011 memories with another cooking class in 2012 followed by a trip to Umbria! My language class in Sicily was wonderful…will send you a note! Ciao

  • anne says:

    Paulette, thanks for your note and thanks again for a wonderful class with such a superb group.
    Glad you enjoyed Sicily class – a wondrous place!

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