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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2000
I grew up in an Italian community in Hartford much like the one the Tuccis describe. I was moved to buy this book after seeing Chef Scappin and the Tuccis on a cooking show. Their Manicotti recipe was the same as my grandmother's even though we are Sicilian and they come from Northern Italy!
Dona Concetta made stuffed artichokes for me whenever she knew I was coming home and her recipe is remarkably similar to the one in the book.
I couldn't put down the book. As well as being an excellent cookbook, it is a really interesting view of two fascinating families and their close knit community. The book made me long for the simpler days in my grandfather's garden eating fresh figs and picking tomatoes while the Zias sat and gossiped!
Buy this book, you will love it, particularly if you are of Italian descent.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2001
Many will buy this book for the Timpano recipe. I must say that there is just so much more to this book besides that. I've made close to 15 of the dishes in it and they are all gold so far. In particular, I must recommend the vegetable torte. The crust is absolutely fantastic and easy to make if you have a food processor.
As for the Timpano itself, a friend and I made it and it was quite the event. It took about three days to make sure that we had all the things we needed (sauce and meat need to be made ahead of time, not to mention side dishes). One thing to consider before attempting it is the right basin. Enamel basins like the one in the movie are not made any more, so they are difficult to find. I actually was able to secure one from a company recommended by the book, but it took a few days to track down a retailer. I was also able to get one that looked exactly like the one in the movie, but it was used and I don't know what for, so for the sake of being sanitary I went with the one from the retailer. After it was all said and done, the Timpano was everything we expected and more. Follow the recipe exactly and don't skimp on any of the ingredients, it may seem like collosal ammounts of food, but I tell you that it is all accurate.
Bottom line: fantastic cookbook with excellent recipies, comprehensive and easy instructions with preparations requirements that will appeal to everyone from the novice to the expert! Buy it now!
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 1999
It was wonderful to read the stories of the Tropiano, Tucci and Scappin family and then to celebrate their history at my own dinner table. The recipes have the ring of authenticity -- simple, a minimum of ingredients and quick to make. Everything I have tried has turned out great, especially the Anise Biscotti.
I will continue cooking through Cucina & Famiglia with great pleasure.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 1999
I made a the veggie tart from this and it was GREAT! I had some people over and they couldn't stop raving over it. They give you ideas on how to vary the filling and that's what I did...it's a great book!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2001
It's clear the recipes in "Cucina & Famiglia" have been handed down and refined within the family over the years because they all work very well. They're not complicated, but they are satisfying. A few are even inventive, like chicken lasagna that uses besciamella sauce in place of cheese, lentils with spaghetti (once you taste this you wonder why you hadn't tried it long ago) and of course, the timpano. I find myself returning to this book more than any other except perhaps "Vegetarin Cooking for Everyone".
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2001
This book is a work of love, and as we all know...Food is Love. This cookbook is as interesting to read as it is to use. The stories of the emmigration of their families from Italy, bringing their culinary traditions with them and developing new ones in America, are as facinating as the food you'll prepare.
Joan Tropiano Tucci is the mother of actor Stanley Tucci, who wrote the forward and made the movie "Big Night" about a failing restaurant trying to come up with "the" signature dish to keep it alive. The timpano recipe from the movie is here.
There are chapters on appetizers, eggs, soups, pasta, bread, different meats, seafood, vegetables and desserts. Everything you need to know to prepare a fabulous meal for your family and friends is here.
Follow the recipes and you will enjoy a lush culinary experience that can only result from well developed family traditions. Get out your Pavarotti records and get cookin'. "Most of the world eats to live, but the Italians live to eat." Mange, mange!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 1999
Family traditions translate to great foods! Do yourself a favour,read about the families,then the RECIPES. You can feel the culture as you prepare the totally honest recipes.This is a labor of love any cook can appreciate.You will also become a much better cook!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 1999
This is one of the rare cookbooks I enjoyed READING as well as using. The family stories illustrate the importance of food in our culture, and the recipes are fabulous. I couldn't wait to get cooking! Thank you Joan, Gianni, Stanley and Stan!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I have been doing Timpano parties for 15 years now! They are a huge hit! The other recipes are authentic and phenomenal as well as the stories behind them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2013
I was in love with the movie and believe it or not, the cookbook is even better. I love that it's full of family photos and stories!
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