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Big Night In: More Than 100 Wonderful Recipes for Feeding Family and Friends Italian-Style Paperback – September 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811859290
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811859295
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 8.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #715,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

While the phrase big night usually evokes an evening out on the town, for food writer Marchetti, it's all about keeping things close to home. A celebratory spirit permeates this well-designed title, divided primarily by course and featuring Italian-style dishes geared for entertaining. While there is a selection of easy-to-prepare yet guest-worthy dishes—farm stand sauté, rosemary-rubbed butterflied leg of lamb, double carbonara—this title isn't all about casual entertaining. Carefully planned multisectioned recipes such as the pasta timballo, stuffed veal involtini with a crumbled sausage sauce, and crepe cannelloni with zucchini and cheese stuffing are time-intensive yet sure to provide a wow factor on the table. A well-versed dessert chapter includes an assortment of crostatas and granitas. (Nov.)
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Review

"A celebratory spirit permeates this well-designed title, divided primarily by course and featuring Italian-style dishes geared for entertaining. While there is a selection of easy-to-prepare yet guest-worthy dishes ... this title isn't all about casual entertaining. Carefully planned multisectioned recipes such as the pasta timballo, stuffed veal involtini with a crumbled sausage sauce, and crepe cannelloni with zucchini and cheese stuffing are time-intensive yet sure to provide a wow factor on the table." -- Publishers Weekly

"Food writer and cooking teacher Domenica Marchetti's charming book provides serving suggestions, variations and do-ahead tips to accompany approachable recipes like grilled Caesar Flank Steaks with Lemon-Anchovy Butter, Baked Farro Pudding, and Pork Ragu. Marchetti's creations are inventive enough to entice readers while still bordering on the familiar - try the Beef and Chestnut Stew with Marsala, which melds the homey flavors of winter into a warming dish." -- San Francisco Chronicle

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Customer Reviews

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I also made her ham and corn chowder with great success.
Anon novice cook
In the end, it was impossible to choose our top 3-5 like we usually do, everything was so good.
Lynda Zuber Sassi
Easy to follow..simple ingredients make for delicious meals.
AM

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Lynda Zuber Sassi on December 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
It has been a long time since we have worked with a cookbook that everyone has loved unequivocally. Despite the fact that most of the recipes we made were labor intensive, time consuming and sometimes involved making 2-3 recipes for a recipe, everyone said that they would continue to cook from the book and re-visit the recipes they had made again.

With music from the movie Big Night streaming in the background, we gathered at the table and spent 3 hours sharing stories about what we made and sampling each dish one by one. In the end, it was impossible to choose our top 3-5 like we usually do, everything was so good.

This book is thoughtfully written and well laid out. We appreciated the front matter with Tips for Planning a Big Night In, Equipment, and Ingredient Information. Domenica makes meal planning a cinch with the Menu Suggestions in the back which were well thought out. Full of mouth-watering photography and appealing recipes, it was hard to choose which to make. We ended up making 18 dishes (19 if you count 2 Minestrone soups) - now that's what I call a Big Night In - Italian family style!

The Cooks Notes, Do Ahead advice, and Goes With sections that were included in most recipes were constructive and wise. They gave us a good feeling for Domenica, at times we felt like she was in the kitchen with us or had become a friend whom we could phone if we needed cooking advice.

Overall, we liked the layout and design elements of the book. A couple people found the ingredient font size too small and hard to read especially with the darker colored ingredient boxes.

Our meal was served in three courses.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Janice Rivera on December 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
After having more than a year to enjoy her Glorious Soups and Stews I was really looking forward to anther chance to taste what Domenica was cooking up for this intriguing new cookbook. Big Night In, so aptly titled has exceeded my expectations. First of all it is such an easy layout- so well designed to help you plan and prepare a special meal. I love the colorful segmented ingredients lists which make it pleasing to the eye and make it convenient to plan. The tips, ingredient descriptions and equipment suggestions at the top of the book are very helpful. Domenica also has a lovely way of personalizing food and entertaining; just like you would exchange ideas with a good friend.
So having said that, the best part: the recipes!
I got the book just prior to my turn to host my monthly book club. This is a group of 5 women who have been meeting and exchanging hosting dinners for over 10 years. We take pride in trying to create something special for each other each time we meet. I was excited to plan a Big Night In experience for them. After pouring over all the menus I decided on the Spicy Seafood Chowder, Spinach & Apple Salad and Frank's Garlic Bread. One reason I picked this was because we have a non meat eater in the group but also it was something I could mostly prepare ahead of time so I would not be fussing in the kitchen when my friends arrived. Domenica takes care to give "Do Ahead" tips that facilitate planning.
Well what a hit it was! Our conversation was frequently interrupted with exclamations of praise over each dish. I had made an entire loaf of the garlic bread thinking I would have leftovers. Well, there were nary a few crusts left.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Anon novice cook on November 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
I bought this after a friend's recommendation, and am so pleased with it. The recipes are a mix of easy ones as well as more involved ones. The photos are beautiful and I like how the book is organized. So far I've tried the carrot soup, loved the splash of rice, what a unique addition. Normally carrot soup recipes are too bland, but this has a nice kick to it. I also made her ham and corn chowder with great success. Great book for holidays.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on June 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
THIS BOOK IS WONDERFUL!!! Recipes are original (just when I thought I'd read them all; Hazan, Batali, rosetto casper, bugialli, etc.) Domenica Marchetti writes for the home cook who wants authenticity, panache but not too complicated. Worth its weight in gold. This is my new go-to book.
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