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Stir: Mixing It Up in the Italian Tradition Hardcover – November 2, 2009
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Although Barbara Lynch was born and raised in South Boston, not Tuscany, many critics believe her food rivals the best of Italy. It has been praised by Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, and Gourmet, and many more. Lynch's cuisine is all the more remarkable because it is self-taught. In a story straight out of Good Will Hunting, she grew up in the turbulent projects of "Southie", where petty crime was the only viable way to make a living. But in a home ec class in high school, she discovered her passion. Through a mix of hunger for knowledge, hard work, and raw smarts, she gradually created her own distinctive style of cooking, mining Italian and French classics for ideas and seasoning them with imagination. The 150 recipes in Stir combine sophistication with practicality. Appetizers like baked tomatoes and cheese and crisp, buttery brioche pizzas. Dozens of the artful pastas Lynch is famous for, such as little lasagnas with chicken meatballs, and potato gnocchi with peas and mushrooms. Lobster rolls with aoli. Chicken wrapped in prosciutto and stuffed with melting Italian cheese. Creamy vanilla bread pudding with caramel sauce. Accompanied by Lynch's forthright opinions and stunning four-color photographs, these dishes will create a stir on home tables.
Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from Barbara LynchDear Amazon Reader, Growing up in public housing in a tough neighborhood in Boston, I couldn't afford culinary school. Cookbooks like Waverly Root's The Food of Italy not only taught me about new ingredients and techniques but were an escape. (They also helped me bluff my way through my first cooking job.) Now I get to do what I love best: making people happy by feeding them really delicious food. In Stir, I share my passion and my hard-earned knowledge. And of course, I give you my recipes, which the regulars in my restaurants have been clamoring for over the years. Some are almost embarrassingly easy, like Gorgonzola Fondue, Baked Cheese and Tomatoes, and Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Thyme. Others are a little more involved but oh-so-worth-it, like Chicken and Vegetable Soup with Caraway Gnocchi. There's plenty of weekday cooking, including Green Bean and Seared Shrimp Salad with Spicy Curry Sauce, which I eat all the time, and Lemony Breaded Chicken Cutlets, which my daughter Marchesa loves. Then there are my pastas, which are my very favorite things, such as Chicken Meatball Lasagnettes (a favorite of Julia Child's) and sauces that pair well with both fresh and dried pasta, such as my signature Bolognese (I share my secret ingredient). All of my recipes are written with the home cook in mind and so are full of the details that make a difference. I hope Stir will inspire you. Enjoy!
(Photo © Justin Ide)
Recipe Excerpts from Stir
Roasted Fennel and Green Beans
Butcher Shop Bolognese
Creamy Vanilla Bread Pudding
From Publishers Weekly
Top Customer Reviews
Filled with mouthwatering recipes that are easy to follow, "Stir" turns intimidating foods, such as homemade gnocchi, into approachable, show stopping meals that can be made by just about anyone. One of the most fantastic aspects of this well written book, are the notes Chef Lynch shares regarding preparing the dishes ahead of time. Let's face it, when hosting a dinner party, there is nothing worse than having to slave in the kitchen while the guest are enjoying the cocktails and appetizers that have been prepared. Lynch offers tips on which recipes can be made ahead of time, and how to reheat the dishes so they may be perfectly served.
With wit and a no-nonsense "Southie" undertone, this cook book is destined to be a classic for cooks at any level. The Italian, meets French meets Boston cuisine offers everything from comfort foods to Barbara Lynch's signature Prune Stuffed Gnocchi with foie gras (btw... don't knock it until you've tried it!)
I'm thrilled to have added this cookbook to my collection and look forward to making even more recipes from it. Oh, and I might not need to stop by the Butcher Shop as often, since I now have the recipe for the Bolognese!
I'm happy to say that Stir is an exception. I've made several recipes from it. They have all turned out nicely, received compliments, and none have been overly complicated. I find myself reaching for it when I'm in the mood to make something Italian and innovative. I highly recommend the recipes for Butcher Shop Bolognese (p. 121, who knew that livers made such a difference?), Spicy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese (p. 91), and the Pappardelle with Tangy Veal Ragu (p. 138).
One special day I will make the gnocchi recipe (I had the gnocchi once at No. Park, and the texture was to die for). I've been to many of the Barbara Lynch Gruppo restaurants and had spectacular service and food each time. The recipes in Stir are the real deal, I think.
The recipes are Italian in context, but I would say that the American spin on them is excellently fused so that no matter who you are serving to, kids and adults alike will love this food.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Huge fan of Barbara Lynch's restaurants (No 9 park, The Butcher Shop, B&G oysters) and this recipe book is probably in my top 5 recipe books now (and I have a LOT of recipe... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Leah H
Excellent recipes, clearly written and not complicated. In general, an enjoyable cookbook to read as well as use.Published 14 months ago by Robert C. Davis
My wife and I dined at Chef Lynch's gruppo restaurants in Boston. All foodies should consider this a must-have on their shelves! Read morePublished on June 2, 2014 by Victor
Pork Chops with Caramelized Apples,Celery and
Spiced Walnuts, cooked to perfection in the photograph. Is not what my Concord,Ma. Read more
Beautifully written and photographed. Barbara Lynch's story is an interesting one and her recipes are amazing. Read morePublished on November 9, 2013 by writer614
Fantastic! I not only enjoy reading her comments but also love the recipes. The recipes are a breeze and require few ingredients.Published on August 1, 2013 by Cynthia Wagner