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We know iPad cooking apps are trendy, but we’ve always found them significantly less useful than a good old-fashioned, smeared-with-tomato-sauce cookbook.

Then we discovered New Italian Pantry, which goes where no recipe app has gone before.

The brainchild of big-time chef Sara Jenkins (best known for her Manhattan restaurant Porsena), New Italian Pantry is kind of like a cookbook/cooking show/cooking gadget hybrid, offering up everything you need to make top-notch Italian dishes.

The app has plenty of bells and whistles--think droolingly gorgeous videos and info on how to properly stock your pantry--but the main draw is the ability to search for recipes based on what you already have on hand (though you will likely need to buy some meat and produce). We plugged in extra-virgin olive oil, chopped parsley and salt-packed capers and were given some 60-odd meal ideas, including a simple endive salad, decadent bistecca chianina and fantastically easy seared scallops.

Recipes include pop-out photos of relevant cooking techniques (should you not know what an “even char” looks like, for instance) as well as an in-app timer you can use as you go.

The intersection of old-world home-cooking and modern-day technology: Bellissimo!

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