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    Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking Italian

    Rao's Recipes from the Neighborhood : Frank Pelligrino Cooks Italian with Family and Friends

    Pellegrino, Frank

    St. Martin's Press
    Published: November 4, 2004
    ISBN: 0312316364

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    Book Description
    The titular neighborhood of Frank Pellegrino's Rao's: Recipes from the Neighborhood is Manhattan's East Harlem, home to an Italian immigrant population. The area also boasts Rao's, Pellegrino's Southern Italian restaurant that was discovered by local "worthies" and is now New York City's toughest reservation. The book, a follow-up to the bestselling Rao's Cookbook, offers 125 recipes for the kind of fare offered Rao's, and by Pellegrino's extended family and neighbors--dishes like Pizza Rustica, Penne Rigate with Cauliflower, Veal Milanese, and My Mother's Stuffed Calamari. This deeply satisfying, utterly unpretentious cooking is easy to do, but must be handled with care to avoid debasing an already hybrid cuisine. The book scores in this, offering exemplary versions of Old-to-New World dishes, and is neighborhood-authentic down to the use of American convenience products like garlic powder. Readers will also relish the wide recipe range, which includes sweets such as Simple Ricotta Cheesecake and Noni's Chocolate Ravioli, as well as Pellegrino's headnotes, which reveal who made what when. (Of the contributor of Wedding Soup, for example, he says, "his grandmother and my grandmother ... both came to America in 1911 in the same ship.") This flavorsome background, plus homey photos and other memorabilia like Our Kitchen Table make this modest book particularly welcome. --Arthur Boehm

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