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Ciao Italia Slow and Easy: Casseroles, Braises, Lasagne, and Stews from an Italian Kitchen Hardcover – November 13, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Esposito (Ciao Italia Pronto!), public TV's reassuring face of Italian cooking, is an ideal guide to the appealing world of Italian comfort foods. This slim volume provides main-dish recipes that can be fixed in an unhurried afternoon. Each chapter takes a primary ingredient (fish, meat, pasta, vegetables or fruit) as the base for a stew or casserole, usually adding liberal amounts of eggs, butter and cheese. Without Esposito's confident voice and knack for careful visual demonstration, the written instructions may occasionally seem vague, but other than a few surprises, such as lamb and dandelion casserole, most of the dishes are familiar entries from the Italian canon: Lasagne con Carciofi e Ricotta, Chicken Tetrazzini, Pepperoni Rossi alla Napoletano (stuffed red bell peppers). Some, like chicken pot pie or ham and broccoli casserole, seem positively Middle America. The hearty selection is nourishing if not exciting and will be welcomed by Esposito's fans as well as busy cooks who appreciate the fix it-and-forget it model. Color photos not seen by PW. (Nov.)
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“I learned to trust Mary Ann Esposito implicitly when I saw her prepare timballo di maccarun in person. I'd watched Stanley Tucci make it in "Big Night" – it was the super-duper macaroni casserole at the center of the big night's big meal – and I was duly entranced and at least a little intimidated. Mary Ann did it slowly and easily. It looked great and tasted even better. Amazingly, all of the recipes in "Ciao Italia" deliver the big flavor and satisfaction of Mary Ann's timballo. With "Ciao Italia Slow and Easy" there's no reason why every night can't be a big night.” ―Sara Moulton
“Mary Ann Esposito's new tome of slow cooked classics hits America right in the appetite with exactly what we are longing for and what we are missing. These spectacular, yet simple, recipes are easy to shop for, simple to prepare and give me a window of readiness that means everyone can always eat together, sharing a comforting kind of Italian cooking that says "grandma" in every language known to mankind's love of the absolutely delicious... Brava, Mary Ann!!!!!!!” ―Mario Batali
“For years I've wondered why somebody hasn't produced a much-needed cookbook exploring Italy's many regional casseroles and stews. Now, finally, Mary Ann Esposito has more than filled the bill with this amazing collection of sumptuous but easy recipes that--at least for me--define the very heart of authentic Italian cooking. From a layered cornmeal pie with sausage and wild mushrooms, to a Sardinian mixed seafood cassola, to an utterly fascinating array of unusual pasta and fruit casseroles, the book is an exciting tour of no-nonsense Italian kitchens bursting with enticing aromas, succulent flavors, and, to be sure, lots of soul-warming cheer.” ―James Villas, author of Crazy for Casseroles