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Italian Cuisine Book Reviews

The Sopranos Family Cookbook: As Compiled by Artie Bucco
by Allen Rucker, Michele Scicolone

Featuring mouthwatering recipes and family food stories straight from the kitchens of the Sopranos and their friends, The Sopranos Family Cookbook is sure to satisfy readers' hunger and craving for more of The Sopranos. Including the history of Neapolitan cuisine and 100 recipes created with the characters in mind, plus luscious pictures of the savory dishes, readers will be baking ziti as good as Carmela's in no time. These are the dishes that the first-generation Sopranos brought over from Naples and Avellino and the fourth generation still enjoys. In addition, the book has color photos of Tony, his family, and his family eating and cooking beautiful Italian meals. Whether it's creating sumptuous Italian pastries or traditional Neapolitan feasts, The Sopranos Family Cookbook lets fans enjoy their favorite show at the table.





Carlo Middione's Traditional Pasta
by Carlo Middione

Who knew pasta could be so philosophical? Traditional Pasta is a revised edition of Carlo Middione's best selling primer on authentic pasta. This beautifully illustrated cookbook contains more than 60 recipes with easy-to-follow instructions for making and identifying pasta, such as Cannelloni in Salsa al Pomodoro and Spaghetti all Putanesca. If you are a pasta lover this cookbook could easily become your favorite companion.

Flavors of Puglia:
Traditional Recipes from the Heel of Italy's Boot

by Nancy Harmon Jenkins

This wonderful cookbook is dedicated to the bountiful region at the Southeast tip of Italy, and combines its author s knowledge of Mediterranean cuisine with the traditional techniques and ingredients she discovered during a long sojourn in Puglia. A scintillating mix of 100 recipes for every course from antipasti to dessert, along with essays and anecdotes detailing the cultural mix of the region an the author s experiences there, Flavors of Puglia is a culinary guide to one of Italy s best kept secrets. The recipes feature an abundance of fish, vibrantly flavorful vegetables, comforting bean soups, aromatic herbs, and a plentitude of breads and pastas. These are simple dishes based on simple ingredients from the land and sea turned into works of art by Pugliese cooks. Jenkins provides invaluable advice for creating authentic Pugliese dishes using ingredients that can be easily purchased in the United States. With a detailed section for travelers, Flavors of Puglia also functions as a culinary travel guide to this charming and, as yet, undiscovered region of Italy.


The Flavors of Sicily
by Anna Tasca Lanza

After Anna Tasca Lanza wrote The Heart of Sicily, a cookbook on the food of her familial hearth, what was left to tell about the cuisine of her legendary native land? The story of her rich, gustatory encounters far beyond the gates of Regaleali, her family's winery -- that's what. For the first cookbook, "I didn't do any research," Tasca Lanza explains during an interview in Berkeley, California, a book tour stop. "Everything was in my heart and from my life. It's what I had grown up with. I just needed to put it out with a pen." Primarily a cookbook but partly a travelogue with a foreword by Carol Field, The Flavors of Sicily, is a field study of a region so diverse "even Western Sicily is different from Eastern." It's the sort of place where old peasant women riotously lobby on behalf of cooking traditions from their own particular villages or subregions. Tasca Lanza is indebted to these purveyors of the purest food ways for drawing her attention to dishes and ingredients, such as wild artichokes, that she would not have otherwise known about.


Foods of Sicily & Sardinia and the Smaller Islands
by Giuliano Bugialli

This stunning collection of 150 recipes, is a tribute to Italy's islands: Sicily and Sardinia primarly while including recipes from a few other smaller islands. The cookbook is extremely visual, capturing the essence of the country through 125 beautiful photos showing festivals, Greek temples and distinctive foods.


In Nonna's Kitchen
by Carol Field

This is a delightful account of the irrepressible guardians of Italys culinary heritage: le nonne, -- the grandmothers. Visiting the homes of nearly 50 matriarchs throughout the Italian peninsula, Carol Field has chronicled more than 180 recipes some nearly lost to time as well as stories, history and wisdom that have made traditional Italian cooking an intense celebration of life. Make no mistake, these are not complicated, elaborate dishes. Indeed, la cucina della nonna is based on simple ingredients that are available to most everyone: a ripe tomato, fresh Parmesan cheese or breadcrumbs. But the results are always the same: splendido! Pairing simple ingredients with timeless wisdom, these tireless keepers of the country hearth create delicious but straightforward dishes, such as Polenta and Beans, Rustic Lamb and Fennel Soup, Creamy Rice and Peas, and Almond-Flavored Meringue cookies, that have been cooked and enjoyed by multiple generations. There are twelve subject chapters, with recipes for every course of the Italian meal. Throughout the text are boxed tips for buying and preparing certain ingredients. Whats more, Field as included personal biographies of some of the nonne. These heartwarming portraits allow readers to become acquainted with the women who share their secrets and stories. Belissimo!


Italian Dinners 1, 2, 3
by Jacqueline Heriteau with Holly Hunter

This unique book offers three seperate mix 'n match sets of recipe cards on each page, so that you can have fun flipping through the cards until you end up with the perfect meal all on one page. The recipes are all fast and simple, made with easy-to-file ingredients that take little time to put together. The cards are divided into three sections; the top section includes Antipasti, Soups and Salads; the middle section features Main Dishes; and the bottom section has Breads, Desserts, and Drinks. Just browse through the cards until you hit upon your ideal combination. Each recipe has an introduction on the back of the card that offers suggestions for other recipes in the book that work well with that dish. The introduction also provides information such as preparation times, make-ahead tips, storage directions, ingredient notes and variation ideas. Italian Dinners 1, 2, 3 is the ultimate cure for the "what to have for dinner" blues.


James McNair Cooks Italian
by James McNair

You might buy this book just for the photos, and that would be understandable. But do yourself a favor: read the text. James McNair breaks down everyone's favorite cuisine by dividing his recipes into three categories: Beginnings (cocktails, antipasti, soups), Intermediates (hearty second courses and salads) and Endings (desserts and coffees). Have some fun and see if your creations can match the pictures.


La Cucina Siciliana Di Gangivecchio:
Recipes from Gangivecchio's Sicilian Kitchen

by Wanda and Giovanna Tornabene with Michelle Evans

Wanda Tornabene and her daughter, Giovanna, have run Gangivecchio since 1978. Giovanna, a restaurant and inn in a 40-room villa on a remote Sicilian mountainside has a colorful history. Along with a beautifully told history, this book exudes the familiar bond seen between a mother and her daughter. Their vivid personalities punctuate and narrate this wonderful cookbook, linking all 10 chapters arranged by food type. Photos show the family, island and food.


La Vera Cucina:
Traditional Recipes from the Homes and Farms of Italy

by Carlo Middione

Middione, a second-generation Sicilian-American, runs the Vivande restaurants in San Francisco and is the author of the award winning "Food of Souther Italy." His newest cookbook is a delightful collection of 200 heirloom recipes, many of which appear in print for the first time. The 20 Sicilian dishes include a wonderful stuffed quail.


Lorenza's Pasta:
200 Recipes for Family and Friends

by Lorenza De'Medici

Based on the PBS Series, The De'Medici Kitchen, this is a visual treat like no other. The Gus Filgate photographs are not your typical brilliant four-color specimens of outstanding recipes. No, they're sepia, soft images, not unlike exquisite paintings both realistic and abstract, and mesmerizing. Juxtaposed in between these are some realistic photos of dishes, a good history of pasta complete with almost harsh-to-view advertising label art and some good black and white drawings to demonstrate pasta cooking techniques. The Filgate photographs will probably linger longer than any of these fabulous pasta dishes, but Mrs. De'Medici offers us nothing mediocre or mundane; these are divine examples of the art of pasta.


Mangia, Little Italy!
by Francesca Romina

This tantalizing 350 page cookbook of authentic Italian recipes, written by a second-generation Sicilian-American, includes chapters devoted to soups and eggs, pizza and calzone, appetizers, fish, meat, poultry, liqueurs and beverages and, of course, an Italian would not leave out dessert. She offers over 150 recipes that make Little Italy come alive in your own kitchen. These are tried-and-true recipes perfected over generations.


Nick Stellino's Family Kitchen
by Nick Stellino

With his simple yet innovative recipes, Stellino, Sicilian-born host of more than 150 installments of public TV's Cucina Amore, shows us how to make every meal a celebration. Classic family favorites, from
Bruschettine, Grandma's Polenta, and Ultimate Tiramisu, to novel contemporary offerings like Truffled Breadsticks, Pasta with Curry Sauce, and Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar and Mint, demonstrate what a knack Stellino has for creating distinctive yet easy-to-prepare dishes. Though not highly decorated with color photographs, it is clear that this is a working cookbook containing recipes which are easy to follow and comprised of ingredients found in any local grocery store.


Pasta & Co. Encore
by Marcella Rosene

Designed for convenient, prepare-ahead cooking, recipe after recipe in this cookbook takes you through the intriguing process of trimming fat and building flavor into your food. Marcella Rosene vividly reflects the dichotomy that marks how we eat today. However, there are also recipes for well-loved recipes that resist fat-cutting, for the die-hard food lovers. From appetizers to desserts, whether prudently lean or extravagantly rich, Pasta & Co. Encore gives you dish after dish that is adventursome good cooking.


Rogers Gray Italian Country Cookbook
by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers

London's Rivers Cafe, has, since 1987, been deemed the best Italian restaurant outside of Italy by critics everywhere, and now chefs Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers have set their recipes down in a no-nonsense manner that makes them all very simple and "do-able." The photographs of grilled vegetables and other tempting creations pop out and seem more real than real and the black and white snaps of the chefs at work are intriguing. A helpful glossary of Italian food terms and a short list of suppliers in the back of the book is tremendously helpful. This is a book to use!


Red, White & Greens:
The Italian Way with Vegetables

by Faith Willinger

Willinger, who lives in Florence, has created a book to be savored, spiced with good basic information, stirred up with wonderful anecdotes and a clever listing of 19 categories of vegetables among which are Broccoli, Cauliflower and Broccoli Rabe; Asparagus and Its Cousins, the Potato and, of course, the Tomato. One category, Capers and Celery, made one wonder about capers as a "vegetable" but they do follow under the red, white and green banner of the title and, of course, the flag of Italy. One also wonders about the designer, for the book is green art and green print on beige paper, a fatiguing combination, but it's the book is so charmingly written, we'd buy it for every vegetable-loving friend. Most recipes are from home cooks, one of which says, these are "Too simple; no one is interested in eating this kind of food in a restaurant, but we eat it at home all the time." You will, too.


Rome For All Seasons
by Diane Seed

Diane Seed believes that all culinary roads lead to Rome. Rome For All Seasons gives us a little history and a lot of good eating. In its five chapters, the book covers Pastas, Rice & Soups, Vegetables, Fish & Shellfish, Poultry & Meat and Desserts. Accompanying these wonderful recipes Marlene McLoughlin's watercolor illustrations evoke rich tapestry of the city's artistic, architectural and culinary history.


Treasures of the Italian Table
by Burton Anderson

From the Alps to Sicily wine expert Burton Anderson introduces us to the artisanal food producers of Italy. These people grow and press olives, bake bread and pizza and age cheese and vinegar in traditions that defy regulation and standardization. There are no recipes but Anderson names names (and phone numbers), suggesting how to buy, serve and store these treasures.


Unplugged Kitchen: A Return to the Simple, Authentic Joys of Cooking
by Viana La Place

La Place sets the tone for this book in her opening introducing. "Eating well...means to know how and when to eat...and attitude of respect toward the food you eat..." And, she argues, food should be fresh, attractive and easy to prepare. Her recipes, a glimpse of Italian with a touch of California, includes a lot of vegetables, great ideas for simplifying the entire menu process with the use of appliances, fancy gadgetry, but just a few good knives, some pots and pans and great spirit. The author of Panini, Bruschetta Crostini and Verdura is definitely on the right track. The book cover had the signature green drawings and tinted photographs that appear throughout the tome. The background is, like several books this year, white -- creations of either very neat cooks or designers unaware of how easily white can stain under the exuberant cook.


We Called It Macaroni:
An American Heritage of Southern Italian Cooking

by Nancy Verde Barr

Barr, who grew up in the Italian immigrant community of Providence, Rhode Island, has compiled adapted recipes, photographs and brief histories related to this influential cuisine. The simple, olive oil and red Wine Biscuits are to die for as well as the vegetable and economical, old-fashioned pasta dishes, such as Macaroni with Cauliflower and Spaghetti Frittata.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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