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Soffritto: Tradition and Innovation in Tuscan Cooking Hardcover – March 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 2001 no other dates edition (March 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580082580
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580082587
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 9.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #754,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Soffritto is a homey, meandering cookbook that makes you feel as if you're standing at author Benedetta Vitali's side as she sautés the minced red onion, celery, and carrot mixture for which the book is named. "Good cooking is an act of creativity," she says. "Use the recipes as indications, and trust your instincts to fill in the blanks." A simple Pomarola (Tomato Sauce with Garlic and Basil) can be prepared in just 10 minutes--the variations are as endless as your imagination. Try Fagioli (White Beans with Prosciutto, Tomato, and Sage) as a main dish or pair it with Poached Sea Bass. Finish your meal with Bonnet (Amaretto Custard). Each recipe is a story and therefore is as enjoyable to read as it is to follow. Depending on your palate, some recipes may be better off as stories than as dinners, as evidenced by Ragu con Colli Repieni (Meat Sauce with Stuffed Chicken Necks). --Dana Van Nest

From Library Journal

For many years, Vitali was the pastry chef and co-owner, with her former husband, of Florence's internationally acclaimed Cibreo restaurant. A year or so ago, she opened her own, more casual restaurant, Zibibbo, in the hills above the city. In this cookbook (soffritto is the sauted onion, carrot, and celery mix that is the base for many Italian dishes), she shares her passion for food, for the best ingredients prepared without artifice. It is a very personal book, with recipes organized not by course, but by topics, such as "Aroma and Taste" and "Layering Flavors." "Memory and Innovation" provides a progression from traditional recipes to their newer interpretations, while "Bread, Oil, and Wine" focuses on classic Tuscan dishes. Vitali has a unique style, guiding her readers step by step through the recipes and offering up her philosophy on cooking and life with sensitivity and wit. Highly recommended.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Debra Dawson on November 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
We purchased "Soffritto" as soon as we learned that Benedetta Vitali had published her own book. We also signed up for her one-week course at Zibbibo in Florence at the same time.
Before we left for Florence, we made the arista at home following her recipe in "Soffritto." We had terrible results; the meat was not cooked and gray, not at all like the beautiful photograph of a browned, crusty arista in the book. We decided to take the book with us to Florence and ask her about it. When we showed Benedetta the book, she told us that the recipe was wrong. Subsequently, we looked through other recipes, comparing the instructions in the book to the methods we used in her kitchen, and once again, she informed us that the instructions in the book or quantities were wrong. We now have a copy of "Soffritto" that has been marked-up by us with corrections.
I'm afraid that Ten Speed Press, otherwise a reputable publisher, has not been fair to Benedetta. The emphasis on the production of the book was on the fabulous photography and layout, and not on testing and copyediting the recipes.
I hope that Benedetta has better fortune in the future; she deserves it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Strohl on August 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
You would have to be a pure Tuscan to really appreciate this book to the fullest. Some of the parts of the recipes could be confusing....or there are instances where you have to use ingredients that she does not define what they are or where to find them. I would not purchase this book unless you are really serious about spending time, money, and confusion for this product....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Sanders on October 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I blame it on my husband, Walter. ...
He made me buy another Italian cookbook. But, is it fair to call "Soffritto" just another Italian cookbook?
"Soffritto: Tradition & Innovation in Tuscan Cooking" ... authored by Tuscan restaurateur Benedetta Vitali, is like a respite in Tuscany between two beautifully illustrated covers. The artwork by Antonio Andreucci, in fact, initially attracted Walter, but the contemporary, yet authentic recipes and cooking suggestions won my admiration. Cary Wollinsky's color photographs of Tuscan vistas, Florentine street scenes, food artisans, and restaurant dishes complete the appetizing volume.
Vitali, a lifelong Florentine, is the co-founder and former partner at the famed trattoria Cibreo. Now, she cooks at her own country restaurant Zibibbo, emphasizing fresh produce from the area's small farms and gardens. Guess where I'm dining on my next trip to Florence?
By the way, soffritto translates as "under fried." A sautéed medley of aromatic vegetables, soffritto is the flavoring cornerstone of many Italian dishes.
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