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Biba's Taste of Italy: Recipes from the Homes, Trattorie and Restaurants of Emilia-Romagna Hardcover – March 20, 2001
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Biba's Taste of Italy is a fascinating culinary tour of Caggiano's beloved region. In chapters on every course from antipasti to dolci, Caggiano introduces readers to the succulent dishes of the area and paints a vivid portrait of both the food and the people. Her salty-sweet Eggplant Parmigiano stars the region's own Parma ham and Bolognese sausage; Seafood Risotto recalls the irresistible bounty of the Adriatic sea that laps the shores of Romagna; and the trademark of Emilia-Romagna cooking--stuffed pasta--appears frequently in dishes like Squash Ravioli with Squab Ragu and Balsamic Vinegar and Cannelloni with Meat Stuffing
In the spirit of the region's small villages, Caggiano offers recipes for unassuming dishes like Roasted, Marinated, and Skewered Eel, in which the delicately sweet flavor of this unusual fish is expertly balanced with the simple yet robust flavors of extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, fresh sage, and pancetta. Roasted Stuffed Breast of Veal is a truly classic Emilian dish, and Caggiano's version--stuffed with a mixture of sautéed vegetables, Parmigiano, nutmeg, and eggs, then roasted golden brown with a crisp crust--is among the most delectable. Desserts run the gamut from the light, delicious Chestnut-Ricotta Fritters to the dense, sweet Honey-Walnut-Raisin Pie to a refreshing Strawberry Gelato.
The clear, easy-to-follow instructions accompanying each recipe make the book a joy to cook from and the beautiful page design makes it a pleasure to peruse. A brief chapter on the wines of the region and another on Where to Eat in Emilia-Romagna make the book complete. --Robin Donovan
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
My main regret is that I didn't make more sauce, as I could have eaten twice as much of it. When not devouring the halibut, we were both frantically scooping any extra sauce onto the slices of rustic loaf Italian bread I baked earlier in the day - but that's another recipe.
The only additional item I would like to have seen is a wine pairing suggestion. But, I'm perfectly capable of figuring that out for myself, and rather enjoy the challenge. I chose a high quality light Red Zinfandel (1999 Fiddletown Lot 1 Red Zinfandel from Sobon Estate). Ordinarily it might be considered a little heavy for fish, but it balanced well with the glorious sauce in this recipe.
Ms. Caggiano is a native of Bologna and still has a substantial family living in and around the city, so her recipes have a certain cachet, which may be missing from the average Italian cookbook. Her chapter subjects are very traditional, being:
Savory Breads and Savory Fritters
Risotto, Gnocchi, and Polenta
Poultry and Meat
Cakes, Tarts, Fritters, Biscotti, Ice Cream, and Fruit Desserts
While it may not be an entirely fair comparison, I matched this volume to Lydia Bastianich's book `Lydia's Italian Kitchen'. Although Ms. Bastianich is covering all of Italy, her strength is in northern Italy, as is Ms. Caggiano. Both books have about 400 pages at $30 for Ms. Lydia and $38 for Ms. Biba. The indexes for both books are friendly to both Italian impaired and those who know and relish all the lovely Italian names for recipes. Ms.Read more ›
Emilia-Romagna is famous for such ingredients as balsamic vinegar from Modena, prosciutto di Parma, mortadella, and of course Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. These important regional ingredients are discussed in an early chapter, and then can be found used in recipes throughout the book. The chapters are divided into the usual cookbook categories such as Antipasti, Soups, Seafood etc., but each chapter begins with an introduction of the recipes and ingredients specific to the region. For example, in Antipasti, Biba describes the popularity of serving a platter of cured meats, or affettati, including such meats as prosciutto, mortadella, coppa, and salame to name a few.
The recipes in this book have a home style simplicity, using popular, easy to find ingredients. Many of these recipes are family favorites from Biba's childhood spent in Bologna, while others were collected while visiting small, country tratorie, and family style restaurants.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Have several of Biba's books and love them also have been to her restaurant in Sacramento several times and the food and service are excellent.Published 2 months ago by Dora Furniss
I got this as a Christmas gift for my best friend's mother. As a fine Italian cook herself, she was very excited to get it. Read morePublished on April 30, 2014 by Angel
Fabulous cookbook. I purchased one for my daughter and one for myself. This cookbook not only gives recipes, but their history, origin and/or anecdote. Read morePublished on January 23, 2012 by NH Live Free or Die