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55 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly good menus that will have you looking for ANY party excuse
My late husband's grandmother was known for her legendary Sunday dinners on Jamaica Way in Boston. She'd lay on a spread that would crush a lesser crew of an entire restaurant staff, everything from pasta to bracciolini, her speciality. And she'd do this every week. By the time I met her, she was nearly 100 years old and no longer able to do this, but I treasured the...
Published on April 14, 2012 by Joanna Daneman

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars It okay
Did try one or two of the recipes. Not what I thought it would be but it still a keeper and I can pass it on to my daughters.
Published 8 months ago by Joann Scalone


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55 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly good menus that will have you looking for ANY party excuse, April 14, 2012
This review is from: Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner?: A Year of Italian Menus with 250 Recipes That Celebrate Family (Hardcover)
My late husband's grandmother was known for her legendary Sunday dinners on Jamaica Way in Boston. She'd lay on a spread that would crush a lesser crew of an entire restaurant staff, everything from pasta to bracciolini, her speciality. And she'd do this every week. By the time I met her, she was nearly 100 years old and no longer able to do this, but I treasured the family stories about how she made her own sausages (it involved junkets all over Boston's North End to gather various cuts of pork, and the jar of bootleg Marsala wine, the secret ingredient, kept well-hidden under the sink.)

If you didn't have an Italian grandmother, you probably, like me, would adore this book. And even though I don't cook for a crowd very often, I really coveted many of the recipes in this book. And the menus? Perfect. Open a page, gather ingredients, you have an absolutely marvelous menu that you could serve to just about anyone on your guest list.

Several of my personal favorites are in here--Pasta alla amatriciana, a bacon (pancetta or guanciale) flavored rough tomato sauce that is pretty much addictive. Also a lasagne with cheese and mushrooms, elegant, rich but not heavily overpowered with too many ingredients. And simple spaghetti al limone, spaghetti with lemon sauce, which is so easy and so good, you won't believe it.

My favorite menu starts with a hearts of palm salad with balsamic vinegar. Hearts of palm are not well-known in the US but they are common in Brazil and they have a texture something like asparagus with a sweet-savory taste something like artichoke hearts. Then the menu continues with good old minestrone soup for the pasta course, chicken with oil and garlic and for the contorno (vegetable course), peas and prosciutto and ending almost ridiculously, but wonderfully with hazelnut truffle tart. The menus are incredibly well-designed, but beware, they are very festive, that is, serve this at Sunday midday and be worthless until 8 pm.

The book is actually particularly good for the vegetable course, using chard stems, brussels sprouts, escarole, and artichokes. But there are also many of the current American favorites that are particular to some Italian communities (Chicken Vesuvio, for example) and those beloved vodka sauces, things that are in vogue now and things that are never out of fashion, such as Saltimbocca.

I think this is one of the best Italian cookbooks I've seen in years, and I'm planning to give it out as gifts as well as keep one for myself for entertaining purposes. (Right. I've been known to eat pasta alla matriciana five days running.) And one gift will be to our pastor, who is Italian, and generally starts waxing lyrical, if off-topic, about ravioli and how good Italian food is, about three-quarters of the way through his sermons at 11:45 on Sunday and making everyone completely crazy. He gets the first copy. On a Sunday, of course. Before lunch. Hah!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My new favorite Italian cookbook ..., July 24, 2012
By 
L. Mountford (Bellingham, WA United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner?: A Year of Italian Menus with 250 Recipes That Celebrate Family (Hardcover)
Usually, in a book this size, I'll find 10-15 recipes that look interesting enough to make me want to spend the time to prepare them.

THIS book, however, is filled with recipes I can't wait to try. I've already made 7, and they've all been winners.

I'm single, so it's not like I'm cooking for a crowd every night. But I do enjoy entertaining, and my friends seem to enjoy being "guinea pigs" for my culinary experiments. I let 'em know when I get a new cookbook, and we plan 3-4 parties based on it.

The book is organized into menus which can help with planning. But there's no law that says you can't "mix and match" recipes from multiple menus. Each menu includes an appetizer, a pasta dish, a main dish with at least one side, and a dessert. The desserts are worth noting: they're all consistently good, and most general Italian cookbooks won't give you 52 dessert recipes. A HUGE hit with my friends was the zuppa inglese -- trifle with lemon pudding and pound cake: rum-splashed layers of cake, pudding, strawberry jam, and fresh strawberries, topped with whipped cream and a bit of lemon zest. I've done the pollo alla Vesuvio (chicken vesuvio) and manzo marinato (marinated flank steak) for company with excellent results.

This is a seriously good Italian cookbook, well-organized, and full of mouth-watering recipes that your family and friends will love.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars reminds me of the way mom used to cook, May 10, 2012
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This review is from: Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner?: A Year of Italian Menus with 250 Recipes That Celebrate Family (Hardcover)
Just got this book about an hour ago and am already planning tonights dinner.Every recipe reminds me of back home in New York and the way mom used to cook. My only problem is trying to decide which recipe to make first. The recipes in this book are not fancy. It's good home cooking such as what you would find in any Italian neighborhood on a Sunday morning. This is home cooking if your Nona was from Brooklyn or Staten Island I plan to buy a few more copies of this book to give as gifts to friends. Bon apetite
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A new favorite!, February 25, 2013
By 
Book Lover "Book Lover" (Houston, TX United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner?: A Year of Italian Menus with 250 Recipes That Celebrate Family (Hardcover)
4.5 Stars. My husband and I lived in Italy early in our marriage and were lucky to be invited to a number of Italian family feasts. This cookbook draws from several regions in the country and stays true to the tradition, but with ingredients that are reasonably easy to get in a well-stocked US grocery store. The book is arranged in menus sized for 8-10 people- and I've cooked the first four for guests and our own family. Every recipe has been good, and at least one per menu has been spectacular. I've served 9-10 people each time including 2-3 teenaged boys, and so far we have had PLENTY of food, with a small amount left over for my lunch the next day. If you were serving people with normal appetites, I think the recipes would stretch to 12 people.

My only suggestion for the author's next edition (and the reason I'd give it fewer than 5 stars) is to consider adding a 'game plan' for each menu with some steps to do ahead. I find myself studying the menus, looking for things to chop/measure/pre-cook so that the steps that must be done when guests arrive are as few and easy as possible. Getting 5 courses on the table in less than 3-4 hours is a challenge if I don't work ahead.

Also, these are traditional recipes with full-fat ingredients and lots of delicious olive oil. if you are watching calories or fat grams, then you might want to modify some of the recipes. They would still be delicious, I'm sure.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Like Home, June 11, 2012
This review is from: Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner?: A Year of Italian Menus with 250 Recipes That Celebrate Family (Hardcover)
This book's recipes brought me back to the great food that my grandmother, my mother and my aunts made all the time. Sunday was always special because we all ate together. The best part of this book is that the recipes that we forgot to ask about are here and it tells us how to make them. Now we have the time honored recipes to pass on. I am buying two copies today, both for shower gifts so that the next generation will have the secrets of our past.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cookbook, January 7, 2013
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This review is from: Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner?: A Year of Italian Menus with 250 Recipes That Celebrate Family (Hardcover)
This is a charming cookbook of wonderful Sunday or everyday dinners. You can feel the love of the family and the fun they had through the years.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Family Dinners, March 9, 2014
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This review is from: Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner?: A Year of Italian Menus with 250 Recipes That Celebrate Family (Hardcover)
Some of the recipes seem a little complicated for just a Sunday dinner, but this is a must have if you enjoy homemade Italian cooking!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!, March 8, 2014
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This review is from: Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner?: A Year of Italian Menus with 250 Recipes That Celebrate Family (Hardcover)
What a great book to browse even if you're not going to cook! If you are going to cook and need inspiration and fantastic, delicious meals... this is the book!! So nice to know that many feel as I do about food and family and the need to get back to the family meal. So much more than a book of recipes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great recipes, February 15, 2014
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This review is from: Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner?: A Year of Italian Menus with 250 Recipes That Celebrate Family (Hardcover)
This book I have used for many Italian dinners for a family gathering for a week. I just mixed and maxed a few recipes out of the whole book.
The recipes were tried and true.
Bueno and Ciao
RM
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of recipes to try, December 26, 2013
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This review is from: Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner?: A Year of Italian Menus with 250 Recipes That Celebrate Family (Hardcover)
I originally borrowed this cookbook from the local library but found so many recipes I wanted to try that I bought it. Inspired and satisfied.
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