Tavola | The Cookbook App

Growing up, I lived next door to an elderly Italian couple Mario and Angela. When their grandson John came for a visit, I’d race over to play and eat pasta and homemade sauce made with fresh tomatoes and herbs from their glorious backyard garden.

Since then, I’ve been longing for the traditional rustic Italian flavours and smell that left an unforgettable imprint in my life.

Luckily, my taste buds took a nostalgic stroll at the recent launch of Tavola app.

Tavola (translated “at the table” in Italian) is an integrated digital cookbook app created by Daniel Costa – Edmonton-based chef extraordinaire – and Versett, a local digital agency.


Over and over again, I’ve heard rave reviews about Costa and his restaurants Corso 32, Bar Bricco and Prova from colleagues and friends in Edmonton so I was excited to attend the Tavola app launch held at a private resident’s home in Mission.

Costa received his formal chef training at NAIT and further enhanced his skills in Italian cooking after spending time in his father’s hometown in Campania, Italy. In 2011, Corso 32 landed on the distinguished En Route Magazine’s list as one of the best new restaurants in Canada after opening only for a year.

The rigatoni all’Amatriciana is the dish that triggers fond memories of Mario and Angela. The dish has a short list of ingredients including guanciale (cured pig cheeks), rigatoni, tomato sauce and Romano cheese.

The interactive app contains a collection of 50 recipes found in Costa’s restaurants ranging from antipasti to main entrees.

Each recipe includes detailed instructions, stunning photos, suggested wine listings and a playlist customized by Costa for any occasion and ambience from uplifting tunes for those exciting chatter around the family table to the deep soulful beats for a romantic rendezvous.

Costa utilizes locally seasonal ingredients in this simple yet visually stunning appetizer perfect for a summer garden party. The roasted pine nuts provide a satisfying crunch to the spring pea crostini.

The app is free to download and users can purchase four additional packs for only $1.99. And more recipes will be added as the app continues to evolve.

To download the app, visit www.usetavola.com or search for “Tavola” in the Apple app store on your iPhone, iPad or iPod.

The tough part is deciding on which recipe to try first.

The tagliatelle Bolognese paired with a Brunello is certainly calling my name. That seems like the fitting way to pay homage to my childhood neighbours.

Manjia manjia!

Smooches xo

Featured Image: Spring onion and prosciutto risotto balls with pecorino, parmigiano and mozzarella.

This article was originally posted on my old blog in August 2014. 

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