Christie Mensch practices psychiatry in a Kansas City outpatient setting, caring for people with conditions ranging from attention-deficit disorder to personality disorders. A culinary enthusiast, Christie Mensch enjoys creating dishes from fresh local produce; she found inspiration in the cuisines of Tuscany and Campania while traveling in Italy.
Featuring volcanic, fertile soil, Campania spans coastal cities such as Naples and Amalfi and is particularly known for its indigenous tomato, the San Marzano. Other common ingredients include capers, basil, and olives. One of the region’s signature dishes is fritto misto, morsels of food battered and deep-fried, traditionally eaten straight out of the frying pan. A popular rustic dish is peperoni imbottiti: black olives, breadcrumbs, garlic, capers, and anchovies stuffed in bell peppers.
The popular farmhouse cheeses of Campania include cow’s and sheep’s milk pecorino and provolone. Perhaps the most famous artisan cheese tradition centers around mozzarella di bufala, made from water-buffalo milk. Not coincidentally, Campania is considered by many to be the birthplace of pizza, though the Neapolitan pizza margherita is a far cry from its American cousin.