Cucina Povera is an expression in Italian cooking that literally means "the poor kitchen". It is used when referring to peasant cooking and having to make do with what you have and not wasting anything. I was recently sent a copy of "Cucina Povera", Pamela Sheldon Johns' beautiful new cookbook in which she has shared just these kind of dishes from Italy. She has a number of interviews with her Tuscan friends who recall what it was like to cook and eat through hard times. It's a very interesting book to read aside from the great recipes it has in it, like classic Ribollita, Farro Salad and a cookie I love - Ugly but Good (Brutti ma Buoni).