Learn from the Master with Sara Jenkins’ New Italian Pantry

If you don’t live in New York, chances are you might not be familiar with Sara Jenkins, renowned chef and cookbook author. Her Italian restaurants Porchetta and Porsena are filled with loyal followers, and though you won’t see her on TV, you will find her in the restaurant kitchen.

Sara Jenkins’ New Italian Pantry is a must-have app for food lovers. Sara shares her favorite ingredients that make up an Italian pantry, along with 80 mouth-watering recipes. If your weeknight suppers are getting a bit boring or you’re looking for something special to cook this weekend, keep reading to find out more.

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The app opens with a video of renowned New York Chef Sara Jenkins introducing the concept of preparing meals as the Italians do — spontaneously. She explains that maintaining a well-stocked pantry gives you the freedom to bring home the freshest produce and improvise a delicious meal. Scenes vary from Sara at the table to a pot of bubbling tomato sauce to demonstrations of using the app in the kitchen. The video gives a good overview of how to use the app and the romantic flutter of mandolin music transports you to the Italy of your dreams.

Open the app and you’re greeted by renowned New York Chef, Sara Jenkins who shares her philosophy of authentic Italian cooking and explains how to use the app.

Open the app and you’re greeted by renowned New York Chef, Sara Jenkins who shares her philosophy of authentic Italian cooking and explains how to use the app.

Sara is the real deal, revered for embracing authentic Italian cuisine and creating memorable meals from humble but high-quality ingredients. To sit at her knee and learn a few things is like having your own Italian Nonna to guide you in the kitchen.

The Interactive Pantry

After the video you arrive at the home screen, a collection of 16 ingredients that form Sara’s basic Italian Pantry. Ingredients range from the everyday olive oil and garlic to the exotic aleppo chile pepper and bottarga. Tap the play icon on an ingredient to view a video clip of Sara Jenkins describing the ingredient and how to use it in the kitchen. Just like the introductory video, these clips are beautifully shot and edited, but the constant mandolin playing in the background becomes a little wearisome. For an app with such great design the quality of the audio is a bit disappointing. It’s important to note that the videos are all on You Tube and cannot be accessed without an Internet connection. On the positive side, recipes and the interactive pantry are available offline.

The home screen is the Pantry, a collection of 16 essential Italian ingredients. Tap the play icon to see Sara describing the ingredient in video or tap the ingredient picture for recipes.

The home screen is the Pantry, a collection of 16 essential Italian ingredients. Tap the play icon to see Sara describing the ingredient in video or tap the ingredient picture for recipes.

One of the great features of this app is the interactive pantry. Tap and highlight one or multiple Pantry ingredient pictures to see recipes that make use of what you’ve got on hand. It’s easy to lose track of time exploring all the wonderful Italian ingredients, like Salt-Packed Capers and Flat Pancetta. Once your home pantry is set up, you’ll always be able to come up with a meal based on those pantry staples. Sara Jenkins’ New Italian Pantry isn’t just inspiring, it’s practical, too.

I selected Aleppo Chile Pepper and San Marzano Tomatoes from the Pantry, which brought up 13 recipe options.

I selected Aleppo Chile Pepper and San Marzano Tomatoes from the Pantry, which brought up 13 recipe options.

Tap the pig icon on the bottom of the screen for options to return to the pantry (garlic icon), add a recipe to your favorites (heart icon) or search the recipes by entering your own text (magnifying glass icon). The only thing that’s missing is the ability to see all 80 recipes in one place.

The Recipes

The creators of Sara Jenkins’ New Italian Pantry have managed to capture the wonderful feeling of flipping through a favorite cookbook in a mobile app — a rare feat. Select a recipe to explore and you’ll find a drool-worthy full screen image and ingredients list. Tap See Recipe and scroll through the numbered steps. If you’re cooking with the iPad at your side, you’ll appreciate the built-in kitchen timers for each step. Occasionally steps are underlined, and tapping the words brings up a photo or video of the ingredients and techniques.

I selected the Braised Rabbit with Lemon and Rosemary, herbs. Scrolling through the recipe reveals underlined steps with additional photos and videos as well as useful kitchen timers.

I selected the Braised Rabbit with Lemon and Rosemary, herbs. Scrolling through the recipe reveals underlined steps with additional photos and videos as well as useful kitchen timers.

The heart icon in the top right corner is for adding a recipe to your favorites list. Control the Timer just below. When the timer goes off, the sound of a pig snorting is your notification to move on to the next step. It’s nice to see a bit of humor. Tap the envelope icon to send an email of the ingredients list for more convenient grocery shopping. The app is integrated with Facebook and Twitter so you can share what you’ve discovered, but not specifics like actual recipes or ingredient lists.

Conclusion

Sara Jenkins’ New Italian Pantry is a gorgeous mobile app with striking photography and a good selection of recipes. The aesthetic is modern yet rustic and true to Sara’s reputation for cooking simple, comforting food made with exceptional ingredients. I never thought a cookbook on the iPad could measure up to the experience of a hard copy, dog-eared and splattered with tomato sauce, but this one surprised me. Sara Jenkins’ New Italian Pantry is so rich and inspiring that I want for nothing more than to get lost in its pages.


Summary

Sara Jenkins' New Italian Pantry is a must-have app for food lovers. Sara shares her favorite ingredients that make up an Italian pantry, along with 80 mouth-watering recipes and 17 videos.

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