- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Ten Speed Press (September 1, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1580089070
- ISBN-13: 978-1580089074
- Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 1.3 x 10.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 25 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A16: Food + Wine Hardcover – September 1, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. One of San Francisco's most popular new restaurants, A16 is devoted to southern Italy's rustic cuisine and robust wines. This book, by its executive chef and wine director, begins by exploring eight grape-growing areas in the south, from the region's heart in Campania to mountainous Abruzzo and the isolated island of Sardinia in the Mediterranean. With a dizzying number of wines produced in each area, the focus is wisely kept on the grapes themselves, with eloquent essays on the history and qualities of both classic and less familiar red and white varietals, and food pairing tips as well as recommendations of wine producers. The second half presents some of those foods—peasant cooking like pasta with chunky, chili-spiked sauce, a rabbit mixed grill and, of course, Neapolitan pizza, with A16's Bay Area location showing in occasional ingredient twists like the tangerines in an arugula salad and the zesty punch of preserved Meyer lemon in a grilled shrimp dish. Executive chef Appleman's expertise is reflected in a chapter on the pig, including recipes for making pancetta and sausages, which are rather advanced for casual home cooks but, like the rest of the book, make fascinating reading for lovers of Italian food and wine. (Sept.)
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IACP International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook Awards, First Book/Julia Child Award Category Finalist
"Savvy diners focus on the kitchen's soulful renditions of dishes from Campania, the region surrounding Naples, and a wine list that brims with discoveries from southern Italy. Sure, have a bit of pizza, but save room for dishes such as roasted porcini with green garlic, ricotta gnocchi with squash blossoms, or sweet pea ravioli with braised pork, pecorino, and black pepper."
"This is a cook's cookbook; it deserves a quiet season filled with long chilly nights, the ideal time to enjoy its gutsy dishes."
"A book you really can cook and learn from."
"A testament to the rustic fare and a convivial atmosphere of the restaurant."
–San Francisco Chronicle
"Fascinating reading for lovers of Italian food and wine." *Starred Review*
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The book begins with one of the largest and most comprehensive discussions on southern Italian wines, written by wine director Shelley Lindgren. Covering wine from Campania to Sardinia, it's a full 58 pages! Anyone interested in Italian wines should pick the book up for this section alone. One of the white wines she writes about, Falanghina, intrigued me so much I ran right out and bought a bottle. It was such a nice surprise, a really delicious wine and such a change from the mediocre Chardonnays we have too much of around here.
One of the things I loved about this book is the attention to ingredients - it is not just a book of recipes. Chef Nate Appleman devotes a dozen pages to explaining key ingredients and their uses such as San Marzano tomatoes, salt, bottarga, anchovies, capers, herbs, olive oil, cheeses and vinegars. There is also an interesting section explaining the differences in the flours used in pizza making and the difference it can make in your pizza dough. There is a whole section devoted to pizza making which I found helpful. Chef Appleman talks about visiting the famous pizzeria in Naples, "Da Michele" and discovering the secret to its outstanding pizza dough - addding older, fermented dough to fresh dough to build a more complex flavor. A16 uses a method which replicates this taste - letting the dough proof for 2-3 days (which I'm going to try for our weekly pizza nights at home!)
The recipes in this book range from Antipasti to Desserts, with dishes such as Bruschetta Four Ways, Ricotta Gnocchi, Bucatini with Fava Beans and Pancetta, Chicken Meatballs with Peperonata, Short Ribs alla Genovese, Chard Gratinata with Bread Crumbs and Pistachio and Almond Cake. Each recipe is thoughtfully paired with a wine selection. Nice touch. There are also thoughtful discussions on the techniques of making soffritto, meatballs and fresh pasta.
There is also a comprehensive "Resources" list at the back of the book for hard to find ingredients.
Anyone interested in good food and wine will love this book. The photography is gorgeous.