From Publishers Weekly
After writing seven Italian cookbooks, Esposito, host of the PBS series Ciao Italia
(now in its 15th season), has successfully devoted one to cooks who are time-pressed but still want to enjoy authentic Italian flavors. It covers antipasti, pasta, sauces, meats, sides, pizzas and desserts, with bolstering chapters on time-saving techniques (e.g., using leftovers effectively), stocking ingredients for the "pronto pantry" and planning menus for various occasions (most of Esposito's recipes are impressive enough for entertaining). Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Orange Marmalade Sauce manages to capture a roasted-all-day taste in 20 minutes, and would make a lovely meal when accompanied by one of Esposito's several appetizing salads. Making a large batch of the Tomato Sauce and freezing it—a favorite activity of Italian-American home cooks—proves worthwhile as it is a frequent ingredient in numerous recipes, including Lazy Lasagna, and Layered Eggplant and Zucchini Casserole. Italian food is by nature simple, and Esposito's everyday fare perfectly exemplifies that minimalism. 8-page color photo insert. (Oct.)
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Cooks pressed for time will love Esposito's newest volume. Here she focuses on dishes that take less than half an hour to get to the table. For a super quick appetizer, Esposito stuffs dates with Parmesan cheese and nuts. Frozen prepared puff pastry makes possible tartlets filled with cheese and bits of ham. A host of pasta dishes can all be prepared very quickly. Bucatini all'Amatriciana needs only a few minutes on the stove, and any pasta with pesto needs no cooking save for the pasta itself. Esposito even constructs a speedy "lazy lasagna" using no-boil noodles. Quickly sauteed fish pick up flavor and texture from cheese and almond coating. Neapolitan Potato Pie moves quickly to table if one has some leftover mashed potatoes on hand. Store-bought bread dough makes short work of both pizzas and calzones. A food processor expedites anise cookies for a homemade dessert. As with other cookbooks promising fast-prepared food, this book assumes that one maintains a wide range of Italian foods in one's pantry and refrigerator. Mark KnoblauchCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved