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Ciao Italia Hardcover – October 23, 1991
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From Publishers Weekly
The host of the PBS series Ciao Italia makes this companion volume reflect her dual roles as worldly-wise TV cooking teacher and grateful granddaughter of Italian immigrants. She concentrates equally on technique and history, in sections on preparation (stocking a pantry, making pasta) and on " trademark " foods (Parmigiano-Reggiano, Balsamic vinegar). Ever filial, she emphasizes straightforward family fare, like polenta con formaggio e verdure (polenta with cheese and vegetables) and minestra con panno sotto (literally, soup with bread under it). Even more complicated dishes--e.g., chicken and rabbit with juniper berries--could seemingly be prepared by a grandmother at an old wooden kitchen table to the strains of Enrico Caruso. Recipe instructions are complete but not wordy; recipe "stories," like that of picking up a piece of bread fallen to the floor and kissing it to ward off germs, add to the book's immigrant sensibility. A full and focused, if not dazzling work. Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
Deep roots and warm memories inform this companion volume to the PBS series of the same name, by the Italian-American cooking teacher who grew up draping homemade pasta over a broom handle hung between two kitchen chairs...and then spent time in Italy learning and teaching other regional specialties. Her bent is toward homey and unpretentious but serious cooking that can be as simple and familiar as fried cauliflower or grilled eggplant--but that also features, in the eggplant line, a more than usually complex molded timballo. Homemade soups (including one with strands of pasta dough poured in through the holes in a colander), homemade pastas (she makes hers with eggs and a five-to-one mix of all-purpose and semolina flour), and homemade breads, gnocchi, and polenta all bear the mark of Esposito's bred-in-the-bone expertise, which she translates here to useful tips for those who really want to cook the way Italians do for their families. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.