20100308italianeasy.jpgLast week, British culinary luminary and Italian cuisine pioneer Rose Gray died at the age of 71. She opened River Café way back in 1987 with her partner Ruth Rogers. It was a time when Bolognese was about as close as most Brits came to an Italian dining experience.

With no formal culinary training, Gray learned about la cucina Italiana while living in Lucca, and developed her skills as a restaurant chef in New York. Upon return to London, she and Rogers shared their love of seasonal, simply prepared Northern Italian classics at River Café to an audience of hungry diners who had never experienced real Italian cooking.

The café was a training ground for a number of cooks who went on to become big names: Jamie Oliver, April Bloomfield, and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

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[Rose Gray. Photo: River Café]

Gray was a master of taking the best ingredients available and preparing them in a simple, understated, clean, and incredibly delicious way. Everyday this week in her honor we will feature recipes from her cookbook Italian Easy.

Win 'Italian Easy'

Thanks to the generous folks over at Clarkson Potter, we are giving away five (5) copies of Italian Easy this week. All you have to do is tell us about your favorite easy Italian meal in the comments section below.

Five (5) people will be chosen at random among the eligible comments below. We're sorry, but entry is only open to residents of the U.S. and Canada. Comments will close Monday, March 15 at noon ET. The standard Serious Eats contest rules apply.

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