Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking Italian
La Bella Cucina: How to Cook, Eat, and Live Like an Italian
Place, Viana La
Published: October 16, 2001
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In La Bella Cucina, Viana La Place instructs us to look to Italy to discover how to live the good life--la bella vita. She paints a picture of generations gathered together around a table abundant with bowls of pasta, bright platters of
vegetables, glistening olives, ripe fruit, and crusty peasant bread. The image poses a sharp contrast to American society, where most of us rush along spending many hours at work and the rest isolated in suburban homes or city apartments.
Cucina is not just a cookbook, but a guide on how to live la bella vita no matter where you call home. La Place--celebrated author of several Italian cookbooks, including Cucina Rustica and Verdura--details not only the essence of true Italian cooking
but also the way of life so profoundly connected to it. She even includes a blueprint for eating like an Italian--from a breakfast of espresso and biscotti to pranzo, the hearty Italian lunch, to cena, the late, light dinner typical in Italian
In keeping with the traditions of true Italian cooking, La Place relies on simple, earthy ingredients to create evocative recipes that are at once rich in flavor and simple to prepare. Her soulful recipes like Summer Barley, Tomato,
and Basil Soup; Dried Fava Bean Purée with Leeks and Bitter Greens; Sunday Meat Sauce; Spaghetti with a Mountain of Tiny Clams; and Roast Pork with Wild Fennel are more than sufficient for feeding the good life. --Robin Donovan
Viana La Place, coauthor of the classic Cucina Fresca, is passionate about bringing the delights of the Italian table-and the essence of the Italian way of living-into everyone's home. Viana knows the life and food of Italy as well as
anyone who ever fell in love with the place, and in La Bella Cucina we meet her Italian neighbors, travel to local festivals that, of course, feature food, and generally learn how to cook, eat, and enjoy all of life like the Italians.
What are the
staples of an Italian pantry? How do you use a moka to prepare the first coffee of the day? When is the right time for a gelato? Viana answers these and many other questions, then presents a collection of more than 125 elegant, fuss-free recipes for
soups, salads, vegetables, pastas and rice, meat and poultry, fish, and ideas to end a meal.
As with the best of Italian cooking, these recipes are naturally healthful and celebrate the simplest ingredients and techniques. They are an invitation
to not only a meal, but also to a way of life.
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