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The Southern Italian Table: Authentic Tastes from Traditional Kitchens Hardcover – October 20, 2009

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Editorial Reviews Review

From The Southern Italian Table: Macaroni with Zucchini and Ricotta

I learned this dish from Gerardina Costanza, one of Cecilia’s amazing cooks and one of the women who assist me in my Cook at Seliano classes. This is a dish of few ingredients and very much about technique. The zucchini is cut two ways, into batons and finely chopped in a food processor. I especially like this sauce on elicone, "helicopters," whose large spirals catch the zucchini strips like no other pasta does. -- Arthur Schwartz


  • 4 medium zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound large macaroni, such as elicone, paccheri, or rigatoni
  • 1 cup ricotta, at room temperature
  • Grated Parmigiano or pecorino cheese

(Serves six)


Cut 3 of the zucchini into fine strips, about 3 inches long by 1/4 inch. Chop the fourth very finely in a food processor. Slice the onion in half from root to stem end, then cut into fine strips in the same direction.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the zucchini strips until a few are just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and fry another 3 or 4 minutes, until the onion is wilted but still a little bit crunchy.

Add the grated zucchini and toss well with the already fried vegetables. Toss in the parsley. Fry only 1 minute, seasoning with salt and pepper. Transfer the vegetables to a large serving bowl.

Cook the pasta in at least 4 quarts of boiling water with 2 tablespoons of salt. Drain well and pour the pasta into the bowl with the vegetables. Add the ricotta and toss well.

Serve immediately, passing grated cheese at the table.

From Publishers Weekly

Schwartz (Arthur Schwartz's New York City Food and Naples at Table) showcases the cuisine and culture of Southern Italy in this lavishly photographed collection. An aficionado of all things Italian, Schwartz takes the reader on a culinary journey through Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria, Sicily and Molise. Along the way, he shares recipes along with tidbits of information about regional traditions, common ingredients such as olives and salumi, and items of special significance such as broken spaghetti. Schwartz provides recipe titles in Italian and in English, and he identifies which region(s) the dish comes from: lentil soup with sausage and broccoli rabe from Campania; fava puree and chicory from Puglia; and ricotta pancakes from Sicily. Including everything from appetizers to sweets, Schwartz exudes as much pleasure in savoring the simple tomato salad as he does salt-seared swordfish with garlic and mint. Recipes are easy to follow, don't require a ton of ingredients and don't take hours to make. Simple, hearty and wonderfully steeped in tradition, these dishes will tempt every palate and celebrate the rich cultural and culinary history of these remarkable areas. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; First Edition edition (October 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030738134X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307381347
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #846,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By tmp on July 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a gorgeous book. I want to cook everything in it! Arthur Schwartz has such a wonderful understanding of the food of Southern Italy. Having travelled there many times, I feel like he more than many other Italian cookbook authors, helps me to create the true flavors of Italy. Every time I prepare one of his dishes I feel like that's exactly what I want to be eating at that time because he takes me back to Italy each time. He just nails authentic Italian cookery and his recipes are very balanced & not overdone like so many Italian-American preparations. I've never tried a recipe of his that hasn't become part of my rep. Many of my favorite dishes are from this book or his "Naples, At Table" book. I have nearly 350 cookbooks and just about half of them are Italian. His books are 2 of my favorites. So far I've prepared:

Pickled Cherry Peppers Stuffed with Tuna & Giardiniera
Olio Santo
Stuzzico - Eggplant, Red Pepper, & Onion Spread
Linguine con Noce e Colatura
Paccheri con Zucca e Salsicce
Pizza Napolitano
Broccolo Affogato - Smothered Cauliflower
Caponata al Forno
Pasta e Lenticchie alla Siciliana
Zuppa di Lenticchie con Salsicce e Broccoli di Rapa

All of the above dishes are all drool worthy! The Paccheri with the sausage & pumpkin is one of my new favorite pasta dishes. You must try it. His oven baked Caponata is so good that I've already prepared it twice within a month. Get this book & be a happy cook & eater! Buon appetito!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michelle V. Owens-martin on December 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I rented this from the library and just fell in love with it! I usually bite off more than I can chew, difficulty-wise, when choosing a recipe for a nice occasion. But the majority of these recipes are simple with a short list of fresh, simple ingredients that are easy to find. And yet, cooking them still adds some variety to my family's traditional American (and Filipino) dinner table... I also like that these recipes tend to be on the lighter side (such as risotto with ground pistacchios and shrimp cooked in seafood broth and wine as opposed to lots of heavy cream and parmesan)

Great Italian recipes that a cooking novice on a time and money budget could tackle easily. I definitely recommend to anyone!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Susan Van Allen on September 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Arthur Schwartz is genius at capturing the practical and entertaining aspects of Southern Italian cuisine and passing all that along to us. This book is beautifully written with loads of rich anecdotes and the photographs are exquisite. I have been going through it page by page and every recipe I've tried is an absolute winner. I highly recommend it as a great gift for anyone who wants to impress their guests or family with simple, delicious food, or for Italophiles, or for anyone who wants to simply understand the history of southern Italian food.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Enrico F on December 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Arthur Schwartz has nailed southern Italian cooking down in this new book, which is my absolute favorite. It is explained in a user friendly way and the photographs are exceptional. He is the best, as his books are not so much "technical" as they are cultural, and that is what separates him from the rest.

Enrico in RI
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Inquiring Consumer on December 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
A perfect book from a personable author: a Brooklyn New Yorker who totally understands the food and lifestyle of Southern Italy. The bookcover just hints to the terrific receipes and "personal" advice from the Food Maven, Arthur Schwartz.

Enjoy his many other books, including: The Southern Italian Table: Authentic Tastes from Traditional KitchensArthur Schwartz's New York City Food: An Opinionated History and More Than 100 Legendary RecipesSoup Suppers: More Than 100 Main-Course Soups and 40 Accompaniments

He has a cooking school in Southern Italy as well. What a Treat!

Steve Trombetti, Asharoken, NY
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Format: Kindle Edition
So happy to find this authoritative cookbook on the cooking of Southern Italian cooking on Kindle. This book goes way beyond foolproof recipes and captures the spirit, the soul of this region's cuisine. I turn to it often both for entertaining guests or for weeknight meals. If you want to cook authentic Italian, this book is a must.
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