From Library Journal
Both Famularo and Wasserman-Miller stress the regional nature of Italian soups, and both include dozens of traditional recipes for minestre and minestrone, brodo, and zuppe. But Famularo, who grew up in a large Italian-American household, has a more personal approach, while Wasserman-Miller, who fell in love with Italy on her first visit there and later opened a Boston food shop called Formaggio, takes a somewhat more formal one, with more explanations of basic techniques and culinary background. Famularo includes many fondly remembered family recipes as well as favorites from his travels to Italy; Wasserman-Miller's collection seems a bit more wide-ranging, featuring some less well-known recipes along with the classics. Although there is some overlap here, of course, the two authors' approaches and interpretations of the traditional recipes are different enough to make both these books worth adding to most collections; they're also good companions to Margaret and G. Franco Ramagnoli's Zuppa! (LJ 12/96).
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Inside Flap
After a zealous soup quest across the length and breadth of Italy, Joe Famularo presents 150 Italian soups for every occasion and mood. There are soups to start a meal and soups to make a meal. Humble soups, born of necessity during leaner times, and the inventive soups of professional chefs. Seasonal soups, regional soups, family soups. Vegetable soups and pasta soups, fish soups and meat soups, bean soups and rice soups.
But behind the great variety of soups are the qualities found in all true Italian cooking-simplicity, integrity, ingenuity, and the use of only the best ingredients. A fat bunch of spring's first asparagus, lightly cooked and then added to a broth of arborio rice, creates an incomparable Sauteed Asparagus Soup. Glistening fresh fish, angel hair pasta, and two handfuls of peas, is transformed into minestra di pesce con piselli e capelli d'angelo-a dazzling fish soup from Liguria on the Italian Riviera.
Other soups, like the minestrones, reveal yet another side of Italian cuisine-its marvelous regional character. In mountainous Abruzzi, pork is used as a flavor base while fresh fennel and mint make it indescribably lush. Romans, meanwhile, favor a minestrone founded on beef and beef broth, red beans and red wine. The Milanese add rice to theirs, the Genovese pesto and pasta, and the Calabrians give an unexpected flourish to a tomato- and garlic-based minestrone with a shower of slivered yellow peppers.
Delicious, naturally healthy, and with a depth of flavor that satisfies right down to the bones, Italian soups nourish body and soul. And from basic brodo (broth) to meal-in-a-pot minestrone, Joe Famularo serves them up.