Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking Italian
Esposito, Mary A.
Published: 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.
Join the popular host of Ciao Italia, seen nationally on public television, for an intimate journey back to her childhood in
Buffalo, New York, to a time when her mother and grandmothers ran the household from their kitchens.
Food was the connector in our lives; it brought people together. In an Italian family, love is expressed through kisses, kudos, and in the
kitchen, writes Mary Ann Esposito. Yet, as a girl, Mary Ann took for granted the endless parade of delicacies emanating from the family hearth. Only when she began studying cooking in Italy did she realize that the techniques and recipes she was learning
were so familiar because she'd seen them prepared countless times before! Inspired, Mary Ann spent ten years combing Italy for the secrets of its great regional cooking. Now, in this companion volume to her enormously popular cooking show, she offers two
hundred recipes -- some straight from the Mediterranean, others from her family's archives and memories -- plus dozens of anecdotes and tips, to create this intimate loving tribute to her Italian heritage.
The hallmark of Italian cuisine is its
freshness, and Esposito shows how to make the most of every ingredient. Here's her recipe for quick tomato sauce, ready in just thirty minutes, plus one made with red peppers and another with yellow tomatoes. A chapter on breads covers everything from
hearty focaccia to calzoni with a choice of four fillings to sweet, fruit-filled panettone. Many of her soups are meals in themselves, like rich Sardinian Fish Soup or Spinach and Meatball Soup.
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