Top positive review
43 people found this helpful
Finally: Italy is in my hands!
on March 16, 2002
Since I returned from a trip to Italy a year ago, I have sought high and low for a cookbook that would put Italy into my hands as it was when I was there. This is that book! I've had it two weeks and used it six times already.
I learned in Italy that there is Italian food, and then there is American Italian food (think "Olive Garden" chain restaurant). A true Italian "trattoria" is small, intimate, and completely reliant on the ingredients of freshness and simplicity. Dried pasta isn't forbidden, and fresh pasta isn't unheard of.
Many of these recipes have only a half dozen ingredients. The techniques are simple, and you need have only a medium level of confidence to turn out the most savory and aromatic food of your life. The recipes run the entire course: appetizers to dessert. Additionally, there are sources for hard-to-find ingredients and equipment.
Some sample dishes: Lemon Risotto, Goat Cheese and Garlic Spread, White Bean Salad with Fresh Sage and Thyme; Tuscan Five-Bean Soup; Roasted Yellow Pepper Soup; Roasted Rosemary Potatoes; Individual Eggplant Parmesans; Penne with Vodka and Spicy Tomato-Cream Sauce; Saffron Butterflies; Tagliarini with Lemon Sauce; Risotto with Tomatoes and Parmesan; Orange, Sage and Mushroom Risotto; several bread recipes; Fried Calamari; Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Sage; Chicken Cooked Under Bricks...oh, enough. Are you salivating yet?
Mille grazie, Patricia! And a big bacia to you for this wonderful, loving tribute to Italy.
If I can't be in Italy, I can pretend.