Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking Italian
In a Roman Kitchen: Timeless Recipes from the Eternal City
Published: February 3, 2003
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Jo Bettoja, who hails from Savannah, Ga., first visited Rome on a modeling assignment more than 30 years ago. Not only did she fall in love with her future husband, she also fell in love with the city (and its food) and decided to make it her
home. In 1976, Bettoja founded Lo Scaldavivande, a now world-famous cooking school in Rome. She has also written two cookbooks. The newest, "In a Roman Kitchen: Timeless Recipes From the Eternal City" (John Wiley, $35), features more than 200 traditional
recipes the author gathered from private households in Rome.
The book also offers a peek into the daily lives and routines of residents who, as Bettoja notes, no longer enjoy leisurely midday dinners, followed by a nap. Romans these days are out
working for a living and spending less and less time in the kitchen, the author explains. That rich lunch has evolved into a pasta and salad quickie, with people now eating their larger dinner in the evening. Still, Romans love their food and spend hours
preparing and perfecting dishes with the finest ingredients they can find.
An extensive chapter on pasta and rice features plenty of dishes you're not likely to find elsewhere, including a sweet pasta flavored with sugar, ricotta and cinnamon, and a
fine spaghettini with salmon caviar. There are no fewer than three classic veal scaloppine recipes, one with braised artichokes, another with lemon, and one "alIa romana," with prosciutto, fresh sage and white wine.
There are a number of intriguing
vegetable offerings that are nice for spring, particularly fresh fennel baked in milk and fresh peas with lettuce and cream. ( New York Daily News, March 26th, 2003)
Winter is the perfect time to retreat to a warm kitchen and explore new
cuisines and techniques. All it takes to get started is a great cookbook. Anyone curious about what it's like to live and cook in Rome will love In a Roman Kitchen, by Jo Bettoja, who founded and ran the popular cooking school Lo Scaldovivande. The
book's 200-plus recipes follow the progression of a typical Roman meal: antipasti, pasta, main dish, salad, dessert. Classics like Penne all' Arrabbiata and Meatballs in Savory Tomato Sauce are predictable delights. But the surprise stunners are quick,
delicious dishes -Spaghetti with Arugula and Angelica's Pasta with Raisins and Pine Nuts-gleaned from modern Romans, who are as pressed for time as the rest of us. (Fine Cooking, January 2004)
"Not only has Jo Bettoja
captured the intensely flavorful, bubbly, textured cuisine of Rome in her delightful book, she has captured the spirit of the Romans in each recipe.This wonderful addition to the world of Italian cookbooks will make you savor Rome with every bite."
-Lidia Bastianich, author of Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen and Lidia's Italian Table, and host of the PBS series Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen
"Of the major cities, Rome has the biggest heart. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the
street markets and at the Roman table. Jo Bettoja takes us there-she cooks with a heart as full of largesse and gusto as that of her adopted city."
-Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun
"No one can come close to Jo Bettoja in either
knowledge or intrinsic understanding of Roman cooking. She has lived in Rome for so long that the waters of the Tiber are mixed with her blood. In a Roman Kitchen is a classic."
-Nick Malgieri, author of Great Italian and Perfect Cakes
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