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Cucina Povera: Tuscan Peasant Cooking Hardcover – September 13, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449402380
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449402389
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #332,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The "Pasta and Grains" chapter (is) a well-edited introduction to Italian food for those still stuck in a jarred pasta sauce era. --Jenn Garbee in LA Weekly

"The recipes in the book are handed down from harder times when money was dear and nothing went to waste. The author writes that a Tuscan proverb sums up the message behind the book, which translates to `we were better off when things were worse.' "I think that pretty much describes the situation we are facing now. But if being strapped tastes this good, I'm not going to mind." --Kate Lawson, The Detroit News

About the Author

Pamela Sheldon Johns is a well-known cooking instructor and the host of culinary workshops throughout Italy. She has authored 14 cookbooks, many specializing in Italian food, such as Parmigiano! and Balsamico! Pamela has spent 20 years exploring and writing about the back roads of Italian food culture. She hosts many of her food and wine workshops from her farm in Tuscany, which was recently featured as one of the top 20 culinary workshops in Italy by Food & Wine magazine. She returns to the U.S. several times a year to teach cooking classes and promote her cookbooks.

Online:


/foodartisans.com

More About the Author

Since 1992, Pamela Sheldon Johns has coordinated food and wine workshops in Italy.
A regular visitor to Italy since 1983, Pamela now lives full-time in Tuscany and coordinates wine and food workshops in various regions: Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, Cinque Terre, Campania, Sicily, Veneto, Abruzzo, and Piemonte. Info about the workshops can be found at www.FoodArtisans.com

Pamela owns Poggio Etrusco, a 15-acre farm near Montepulciano. She certified organic in 2003 and produces "Pace da Poggio Etrusco," an excellent extra-virgin olive oil. The farm has apartments and rooms for rent and Pamela's breakfast includes her homemade organic jams. Info about Poggio Etrusco rentals, cooking classes, and olive oil can be found at www.Poggio-Etrusco.com

Pamela's culinary workshops and organic farm have been featured in Food & Wine magazine (top ten cooking schools in Italy), Cooking Light, Bon Appetit, Canadian Geographic, and many other reviews.

Pamela returns to the US once a year for a cooking tour. Contact her to receive the newsletter with updates, Pamela@FoodArtisans.com

Follow Pamela on Twitter: PamelaInTuscany
on Facebook: Poggio Etrusco

Customer Reviews

I love the sincerity of this book and the historical perspective.
Mario Kitty
Pamela Sheldon Johns suggests we take pleasures in small things and eat well - eating well comes easily, simply, inexpensively with Cucina Povera.
Gail Cooke
This is the kind of Italian food I love - simple yet delicious, no fussy sauces, Italian to its core.
Mara Dinsmoor

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
For this reader/food lover there's nothing more tempting or satisfying than Italian food, especially the recipes offered by Pamela Sheldon Johns in her beautifully illustrated book. While "cucina povera" literally translated means poor kitchen these dishes are priceless!

Jones opens with an Introduction in which Virio Neri, the cobbler of Montepulciano, is quoted as he praises the food of his youth, a childhood spent "in a time of poverty and intense hunger." He rhapsodizes about fava beans with a touch of sheep's milk cheese, a simple cake. Perhaps, the author notes, "those simple, pure flavors are harder to find now."

Not so, thanks to the over sixty dishes Johns has collected over the years from neighbors, friends and local food producers. The dishes may be simple, but they are supremely satisfying such as the Gnudi, Spinach and Ricotta Dumplings served in a bath of tomato sauce or the Acquacotta, Bread, onion, and Greens soup.

Photographs throughout by Andrea Wyner are gorgeous, and often evocative of happy times past.

One of my favorite parts of a cookbook is the Resources section, which is where I discovered Gustiamo, a purveyor of the finest in Italian foods and found at [...]. We used their Bucatini by Carlo and Carla Latini to make Pasta all Bricole (p.93). This is an amazing dish, comfort food I'd call it, topped with spicy bread crumbs, which are often called "poor man's Parmigiano." Delicious!

Pamela Sheldon Johns suggests we take pleasures in small things and eat well - eating well comes easily, simply, inexpensively with Cucina Povera.

- Gail Cooke
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By CristiAk on September 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautiful book that is more than a cook book. This is a book you, (and your guests), will thumb through just for the beauty of it. The amazing photographs give one a glimpse of Tuscan and mouthwatering views of the food. The recipes are ones that I found easy to make. The Ricotta Cake is super easy and amazing to serve to guest with coffee. The Acquacotta is now a simple but favorite soup in our home. We also love Uova ai Piselli alla Marelia, (Marelia's Peas and Eggs). This lovely "cookbook" is perfect for gift giving and is one you will want in your home as well.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bundtlust TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I recently spent three weeks in Northern Italy, including Tuscany (Siena, Volterra, Pisa, and Florence). Along the way, I had the opportunity to sample regional Tuscan specialties at numerous osterias, including several Slow Food restaurants. Upon returning home, I was looking for a cookbook that would capture the magical essence of the Tuscan landscapes, honeyed sunsets, and simple but soulful cooking that I'd enjoyed. When I heard about "Cucina Povera," I contacted the author, who was kind enough to write back almost immediately and send a review copy via her publicist.

Pamela Sheldon Johns gives culinary workshops in several regions of Italy, and is the owner of an agriturismo in Montepulciano that has a 1,250-tree olive farm. A regular visitor to Italy for nearly three decades, she has written sixteen cookbooks, many with distinctly Italian themes (Gelato!: Italian Ice Creams, Sorbetti, and Granite, The Williams-Sonoma Collection: Risotto, Prosciutto, Pancetta, Salame, etc.). Her latest work "Cucina Povera: Tuscan Peasant Cooking" focuses on peasant dishes borne of necessity and hardship that are now served in restaurants around the world.

Hit particularly hard during and after WWII, many Tuscan families lived on the brink of starvation, forced to forage and hunt. Leftovers were scrupulously reused, particularly unsalted bread.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn Leptich on February 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just because the so-called Peasants relied upon the bounty of their harvests and used grains and locally-available proteins to create their meals doesn't mean they ate poorly. They ate like Kings! This cookbook captures the very essence of some heartwarming meals, as described by the people who ate them and fondly remember them. This book is a delight to read, and even better to make the recipes and taste the simple flavors...and perhaps to remember a wonderful trip to Tuscany. Create a memory for your family and friends, and buy this book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By George Erdosh on October 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Italian regional cookbooks appear on bookshelves like mushrooms in the fall. There are many good ones but //Cucina Povera// is simply awesome. This hard-covered volume is medium sized and its production spared no expenses--it is beautiful. Illustrations match the peasant theme with many photos showing village folks in their homes and surroundings, landscapes and, of course, food. Most photos are full color but some are black and white--they are all artistic and wonderful. Each chapter is preceded by a full-page black and white photo and its own table of contents--very convenient.||The first 41 pages include stories and memories of the villagers and accompanying photos. Recipes are excellent and range from very simple (sliced cured meat arranged on a board) to fairly complex but few cooks would have problem following any. Each recipe is illustrated, and head notes are informative and appropriate to the recipe. The layout was designed with cook's convenience in mind--rarely do you need to flip pages to work on a recipe. Ingredients in the 60+ recipes are mostly easily available anywhere and when uncommon, the author gives alternatives. The subject index, both in English and Italian, is excellent, well cross referenced.
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