Top positive review
35 people found this helpful
on May 14, 2006
OK..............I admit that I have never been to Patsy's yet, BUT that doesn't disqualify me from knowing this cookbook. It's the best; why, do you ask? Well, I'd be delighted to compose for you.
I am Italian......pure 100%, on both sides, and with enough background to talk about everything that means anything to our culture. I grew up in the 60's and 70's when Frank and Dean were THE only reason for watching TV. I know that it was a turbulent decade, full of discovery and change and restlessness. But some things felt OK and this book tells you about it.
On Sundays, the whole extended family would gather at "Nonni's" house (grandparents). Because of the value and love of our food prepared in its purest form, it took about 14 calls between my mom, her sisters, and my Nonna, to figure out who was bringing what (and with 8 daughters, Illinois Bell made a huuuuuge profit from them). The food was simple and fresh and magic.
This is "Patsy's Cookbook" whole purpose.
The stories that accompany the book are a blast from the past. The pictures that accompany the stories and recipes are even better because if you close your eyes and think about it, you can picture yourself walking down the street, seeing the restaurant sign, and looking forward to opening the door and having all the scents and aromas hit you full force.
All the "regulars" and the stars that have dined there get a good mention; the engagements that were proposed there; the celebrations that were created there. I'm looking forward to going to New York and Patsy's is on the top 10 list of restaurants to experience. Maybe it's just me, but I know it'll be a very welcoming and comfortable place.
The book is broken down into 8 main sections of recipes, preceded by:
Foreward by Nancy Sinatra
Section One--APPETIZERS: stuffed artichokes/asparagus rolls/Joe's eggplant sandwich/figs with prosciutto and mascarpone/roasted portobello mushrooms and asparagus/portobello tower/seasoned bread crumbs/mussels arreganata/roasted red bell peppers/peppers siciliano/palle di riso (rice balls)/shrimp with sauteed fennel over mesclun salad/tomato bruschetta/vegetable napolean
Section Two--SALADS AND VEGGIES: basic vinaigrette/white bean and scallion salad/green bean, potato, and tomato salad/chopped salad/fennel and endive with blood orange segments/mesclun salad with vinaigrette/ricotta salata salad/asparagus parmigiano with basil/broccoli rabe affogato/eggplant parmigiana/cavolfiore fritto/sauteed mushrooms with cognac and cabernet sauvignon (fantastic!)/baked mushrooms with zucchini stuffing/sauteed spinach/fried zucchini blossoms (this was a summer staple as the blossoms were blooming)/zucchini a scapece/Grandma Josie's zucchini pie
Section Three--SOUPS: pasta e ceci/escarole in brodo/pasta con lenticchie/minestrone/pasta e piselli/stracciatella/zucchini and egg soup
Section Four--PASTA, RISOTTO, AND SAUCES: tomato sauce/fettucine alfredo/fettucine tossed with fresh tomatoe and basil/bucatini all'amatriciana/penne bolognese/linguine with artichoke hearts and olives/prosciutto and lemon sauce over linguine/linguine napolitano/orecchiette with broccolini and sausage/penne with roasted eggplant/rigatoni with chicken and mushrooms/farfalla papalina/rigatoni sorrentino/timballo di maccheroni alla Paatsy's/spaghetti frutti di mare/Aunt Anna's Genovese sauce/pesto/risotto con funghi (very deelish)/risotto frutti di mare
Section Five--CHICKEN: chicken cardinale/spicy lemon chicken (great for a good meal at the last minute)/chicken parmigiana/chicken piccata/chicken with mushrooms and red peppers/chicken portobello/scaloppine di pollo zingara/rollatini di petto di pollo e spinaci/herb-roasted
chicken/chicken livers with peppers/chicken veneziana
Section Six--MEATS: filet mignon barolo/manzo alla siciliano/steak alla Patsy's/roasted rack of lamb/hot sausages San Gennaro/pork tenderloin with port/pork chops with vinegar peppers/pezzatino di vitello/braciolettini di vitello/veal marsala (a very elegant dish to prepare)
Section Seven--FISH AND SHELLFISH: Sal's Chilean sea bass with eggplant and olives/cassuola di calamari/fillet of sole arreganata/trota alla giardino/roasted striped bass with orseradish crust/prosciutto-wrapped monkfish/salmon with herb sauce/sauteed shrimp wiwth cognac and dijon mustard/calamari salad/shrimp Milanese/shrimp scampi/swordfish steaks arreganata/marinated tuna steaks with cilantro sauce
Section Eight--DESSERTS (always the best section of any cookbook): Michele's cheesecake/warm chocolate cake/chocolate mousse/tiramisu (yes!)/Maddalena raspberry cookies/lemon granita/coffee granita with whipped cream/fresh figs poached with vanilla and brandy/Macedoine of oranges with Sambuca/peaches in Asti Spumante/pears poached with pear liqueur/lemon ricotta torte/zabaglione/walnut-filled crepes
Patsy's Sauces (which you can purchase)
The book was written on the encouragement and accolades that friends and customers gave to the Scognamillo family. Everything here is simple to find and buy, and all are fairly easy to prepare depending on how fancy you wish to be. I have tried a little of everything and my tastebuds have been most content. Bon appetito!!