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Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen Hardcover – October 23, 2001


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Italian-American food--what cuisine is it?" asks Lidia Matticchio Bastianich in Lidia's Italian-American Cooking, a cookbook based on her eponymous PBS TV series. The author of two previous works, La Cucina di Lidia and Lidia's Italian Table, and co-owner of three acclaimed Manhattan restaurants, Bastianich is ideally suited to explore all Italian fare. "Americans fell in love with Italian cooking first," she says, thus enshrining a cuisine born of immigrant adaptation. In celebration of that affection, the book offers over 150 recipes for a wide range of dishes--traditional favorites like Baked Stuffed Shells and Lobster Fra Diavolo as well as personal adaptations such as Scampi alla Buonavia and canneloni made with roasted pork and mortadella. These easily done dishes benefit from Lidia's subtle polishing; fans of her foolproof palate and her direct yet relaxed approach to Italian cooking will welcome the book.

In chapters that reflect the courses of a traditional Italian meal, from antipasti through soups, pasta and risottos, and dolci, Lidia presents a wealth of good everyday eating. In addition to exemplary renditions of Italian-American favorites, Lidia offers "new" Italian regional dishes, such as Long Fusilli with Saffron, Mussels, and Zucchini. Soups, a Lidia specialty, are enticingly represented with the likes of Potato, Swiss Chard, and Bread Soup. And of course there are splendid dolci--favorites like Ricotta Cheesecake, but also treats like San Martino Pear and Chocolate Tart. Throughout, Bastianich provides useful sidebars, such as one on scallopine, and fully illustrated technical instruction, detailing, for example, the best way to stuff a veal chop. With color photos of the mouthwatering dishes, tips, and other cooking insights, the book is a valuable guide to an oft-debased fare finally given its due. --Arthur Boehm

From Publishers Weekly

Despite a misleading title (the book offers few stereotypical restaurant-style dishes), readers will be slightly charmed by the book's actual contents (mainly recipes for straight Italian classics) and its author that they'll quickly forget any disappointment. Bastianich (La Cucina di Lidia), owner of several restaurants, is simultaneously a beguiling storyteller and a no-nonsense guide. Alongside classics like Tri-Color Salad with Arugula and Radicchio and a more unusual Salad of Dandelion Greens with Almond Vinaigrette and Dried Ricotta, Bastianich provides sidebars on beans, capers and many other ingredients. She also waxes personal: a native of Istria, the region given to Yugoslavia after WWII, she emigrated in 1958 and opened her first restaurant in 1971 at age 24. The stars here, though, are the recipes. Pasta dishes such as Cavatelli with Bread Crumbs, Pancetta, and Cauliflower, and Orecchiette with Braised Artichokes, make fine use of fresh vegetables. Recipes are divided into antipasto, soups, pasta and risotto, pizza, entr‚es, side dishes and desserts. Desserts include a San Martino Pear and Chocolate Tart and a rich Chocolate Soup from Udine. Bastianich includes restaurant-style Italian-American food such as Spaghetti and Meatballs, and Lobster fra Diavolo with Spaghettini, although she can't resist reducing the latter's sauce to more "Italian" proportions. Color and b&w photos. (Nov. 12)Forecasts: This companion to a PBS series has a built-in readership, not to mention Bastianich's following from her New York, Kansas City and Pittsburgh restaurants. Expect strong sales.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1 edition (October 23, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037541150X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375411502
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,019 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lidia Bastianich is an Emmy award-winning public television host, a best‐selling cookbook author, restaurateur, and owner of a flourishing food and entertainment business. Lidia has married her two passions in life - her family and food, to create multiple culinary endeavors alongside her two children, Joseph and Tanya. Lidia's cookbooks include Lidia's Commonsense Italian Cooking, Lidia's Favorite Recipes, Lidia's Italy in America, Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy, and Lidia's Italy--all companion books to the three‐time Emmy‐nominated television series Lidia's Kitchen, Lidia's Italy in America and Lidia's Italy. Lidia has also published Lidia's Family Table, Lidia's Italian‐American Kitchen, Lidia's Italian Table and La Cucina di Lidia. Lidia is the chef/owner of four acclaimed New York City restaurants ‐ Felidia, Becco, Esca and Del Posto, as well as Lidia's Pittsburgh and Lidia's Kansas City. She is also founder and president of Tavola Productions, an entertainment company that produces high‐quality broadcast productions. Along with her son, Joe Bastianich, Mario Batali, and Oscar Farinetti, the team opened Eataly, the largest artisanal Italian food and wine marketplace in New York City. Lidia also has a line of pastas and all natural sauces called LIDIA'S, and has just recently launched an exclusive line of ready-made home-style meals with Whole Foods Market in the Northeast. Lidia's first children's book, Nonna Tell Me a Story: Lidia's Christmas Kitchen, was inspired by her five grandchildren. The second installation in the series, Lidia's Family Kitchen: Nonna's Birthday Surprise, was released in the Spring of 2013. Lidia gives freely of her time and knowledge, and is active member of society who participates in community service activities and special events on behalf of several foundations and Public Television.

www.lidiasitaly.com
www.facebook.com/lidiabastianich
www.twitter.com/lidiabastianich

Customer Reviews

All of the recipes are well written, easy to follow and produce delicious results.
Jeffrey Howe
So if the rest of the recipes are as good as the two I made, this is going to be one of my favorite cookbooks.
Diane Emmich
I love watching Lidia on her tv show and finally got around to buying one of her books.
Sarah Frost

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

145 of 148 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 25, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wow, what a great Italian cookbook, the best I have seen-ever.
The directions are fantastic, if you follow everything she says you will make the most unbelieveable tasting dishes, you almost feel high from the flavors you can create with this book. You will not want to, nor will you have to go out to dinner. There are tons of recipes that I have always wanted to make - chicken scaprellio, fried mozzarella, calzones, every scallopine dish ever, grilled and marinated calamari. All these and so much more are in this book. So far (in the past week) I have tried;
Calzones, Gnocchi, Tomato sauce, Ravioli with spinach, Chicken scallopine with peppers, mushroom and tomato, Chicken breast in a light lemon-herb sauce (was like an oreganto), stuffed artichokes. Every dish was like a dream, I can't wait until I can prepare new recipes. Nothing is too heavy, the oil amounts are perfect, not too rich, or too weak. Can't say enough good things about it, just buy it and you will see!
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Joseph J. Martucci on December 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Every so often a cookbook comes along with recipes that not only inspire the reader, but also provide such logical yet intuitive preparations that he or she can envision the final product. As an Italian American who has taken up the heritage of reproducing my grandmother's great dishes, this book not only has recipes that I remember from my childhood, but many that I still make today. Sunday Pasta Dinner with pork in the gravy? It's there. Bracciole and meatballs--the best I've ever made. I just finished a bowl of Pasta e Fagiole-- my grandmother's recipe--and it's in this book.
To sum up: forget writing out all those family recipes to pass on to your children. Buy them the book and annotate it personally. You can't do better than this.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Irene Land on December 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover
If you've ever been to Felidia and seen and spoken even a brief hello to Lidia Bastianich you'll know you need to own ALL of her books. This wonderful third book of hers brings you back to your days (in my case Forest Hills, Queens) when stuffed mushrooms, baked clams, and lasagna were heaven on earth to you and wonderful weekly as well as weekend feasts. Just reading the recipes and you know they will turn out exactly the way the should. Follow them to Italian enchantment. Read all about Lidia and her life. It, like her recipes are down to earth and passionate. Beside food, Lidia extols all the wonders of family gathering, working together, making life delicious. You can just picture her on the wagon going to market when she was little. She was imbued with the wonders of food, its delights, and preparation from the time she was very young so it is no wonder all of her recipes are so enjoyable and accurate you don't know which to start with first. Start with the first one and just go on until you have made the last one. You will have not only read and followed an entire book, you will have made it a permanent part of your life. Thank you Lidia. I anxiously await the next one.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Mele on December 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Everyone knows that Lidia Bastianich knows Italian cuisine, but is this new cookbook of hers something you would want to have in your Italian cookbook collection? This cookbook was created from her popular television show, and in it Lidia shares the type of recipes she first found when arriving in America as a young woman. The recipes are pretty typical of basic Italian American cuisine, and you will find such standards as "Rigatoni alla Boscaiola", and "Bistecca alla Pizzaiola" throughout the book. I did not find any recipe in this book that I have not heard of before, although some were prepared a little differently than I am used to.
Almost all of these recipes would be right at home on my Italian Mother-In-Law's kitchen table, and could easily be reproduced by a cook with minimal experience. Peppered throughout the book are instructions with photographs of some basic kitchen skills that a novice cook would find very helpful. The photographs, although not plentiful enough for my taste are very attractive and will cause you to start planning your next Italian meal. Something I did find in this book was that all ingredients listed would be available to everyone which was not so in Lidia's previous books. In my opinion, although I did not find anything new or unique in Lidia's new book, if you enjoy Italian American food than this is one of the best references you will find available at this time.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By "spirit4_2" on February 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I am an Italian American who grew up helping my mother cook. While I was a professional chef for many years and have maintained my interest in food after I moved on to a non-cooking career, I lost my touch with the foods of my youth. Lidia has given all my childhood memories back to me and then some.
The recipes are authentic because they turn out perfectly and they taste like I remember them. Best of all is their utter simplicity. Lidia's talent comes from combining a few very fresh ingredients using proper technique into a mouth watering dish.
Anyone who has seen the show knows the passion that Lidia has for food. Just watching her enjoy the dish she has prepared can make you hungry. Well, this passion spills over to the book in every recipe and in every description or cooks note in the book.
If you love Italian American food and want to get as close to authentic as you can get, then buy this book.
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Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen + Lidia's Family Table: More Than 200 Fabulous Recipes to Enjoy Every Day-With Wonderful Ideas for Variations and Improvisations + Lidia's Favorite Recipes: 100 Foolproof Italian Dishes, from Basic Sauces to Irresistible Entrees
Price for all three: $65.62

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