Essay

Stanley Tucci’s Instagram Is a Delicious Corner of the Internet

Scrolling fervently in celebration of his new book, ‘Taste: My Life Through Food.’

October  5, 2021
Photo by Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images

It seems like only yesterday that Stanley Tucci was walking me through the trendy streets of Milan feeding me spoonfuls of risotto and pizzoccheri, guiding me on a gondola through Tuscany, feasting on cacio e pepe and rigatoni all'amatriciana in Rome, and sharing tales of growing up in Italy as a young teenage boy. Wait, that happened to you too? Tucci took not just one or two lucky people, but millions of CNN viewers through the Italian countryside to the seaside on his show Searching for Italy. In a year (plus many, many more months) of living in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, a virtual vacation to the land of Parmigiano and pizza was a welcome escape.

Searching for Italy premiered on February 14th, 2021 and ever since that fateful Valentine’s Day, viewers (myself included) have been craving more of Tucci drinking limoncello, Tucci ordering wine through a secret window, Tucci eating a giant cream puff (aka “maritozzi”), and Tucci elegantly twirling forkfuls of pasta. CNN has confirmed that there will be a Season 2 of Searching for Italy sometime in 2022 but until then, all we’re left with is the memory of Tucci picking an authentic San Marzano tomato straight from the ground and eating the juicy fruit au natural.

But there’s always his Instagram account.

Tucci’s Instagram account is a lot like Italian food. It’s humble and understated. It’s not too polished or refined. It’s comforting, wildly appetizing, and a little bit romantic.

Tucci posted his first photo—a picture of himself cutting into a Pissaladière made with mushrooms and onions, a “lunchtime experiment,” he called it—on March 4, 2019. Since then he’s only posted another 62 times (yes I counted). But for the 926,000 users who follow Tucci on Instagram, it’s a chance to, once again, quite literally feast their eyes on an abundance of beautiful baby purple artichokes, marinated quail seared in a skillet, his family’s eggplant parmigiana (with a recipe!), and his version of Ina Garten’s Tomato & Goat Cheese Crostata.

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Tucci’s Instagram account is a lot like Italian food. It’s humble and understated. It’s not too polished or refined. It’s comforting, wildly appetizing, and a little bit romantic.

Come 5 pm, Tucci turns from television host and actor to mixologist. He demonstrates how to make his version of a Scotch Sour, which he admits is not so sour, a classic margarita (Searching for Mexico, next?!), an Old-Fashioned, and a Christmas-inspired cosmopolitan. He denies that any of these recipes will be in his new book, TASTE: My Life Through Food (which comes out TODAY, October 5th!). But that doesn’t mean I won’t toast to Tucci in celebration of his new memoir.

I have immense pride in cooking delicious food for my family and friends. I’ve tried my hand at Italian-inspired dishes like Risotto Alla Carbonara, homemade potato gnocchi and pasta, a fish dinner with ingredients fully sourced from the Bronx’s Arthur Avenue, cacio e pepe, a hearty bolognese sauce, arancini the size of softballs, panna cotta, and tiramisu. But something about Tucci tossing Spaghetti con zucchine alla Nerano makes me want to devote the rest of my life to making pasta and Sunday sauce (preferably while wearing a denim apron embroidered with the official “Parmigiano Reggiano” logo and a beret for good measure). Stanley (we’re on a first-name basis now) taught me that real Italian cooking only requires simple, good-quality ingredients, plenty of grated hard cheese, and a huge family-friendly bowl to serve it all in. Formalities are cooked down like a good vodka sauce; no sharp sting of alcohol, no intimidating methods. Just warm, cozy meals shared with the people you love.

The most inviting, most mouth-watering photo was a big-batch pasta dish called “Pasta Alla Martina” made with fresh tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, white wine, fresh asparagus, peas, shrimp, and basil.

The most inviting, most mouth-watering photo was a big-batch pasta dish called “Pasta Alla Martina” made with fresh tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, white wine, fresh asparagus, peas, shrimp, and basil. It’s a summer special that I couldn’t wait to make myself. So one Sunday night, I got out a set of Vietri Italian dinnerware for my fiancé and I. He handled making the limoncello cocktails while I did my finest Tucci impression in albeit a much smaller, less alluring kitchen than the countryside abodes he often frequented in his show. I bought fresh papardelle, the most expensive tomatoes I could find, the jumbo-est shrimp, the brightest basil, and the best Pinot Grigio (under $30, of course. I, unlike my internet pal Stanley, am not a multi-millionaire). And after carefully slicing the tomatoes in half, grating the Parmesan into a soft and fluffy pile of snow, and chiffonading the basil in thin ribbons, dinner was served.

According to his Instagram caption, Felicity, Tucci’s wife (and actress Emily Blunt’s sister) thought it would have tasted better with spaghetti rather than wide noodles, but I disagree. Maybe next time Tucci should cook for me.

Have you watched 'Searching for Italy' or gotten your hands on a copy of Stanley Tucci's new book? Spread the love in the comments below!
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1 Comment

Lee October 5, 2021
I have Searching for Italy saved on my dvr, and woe be onto he who deletes it. I watch it regularly. It’s relaxing, interesting, and come on.. it’s Stanley Tucci