Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking Italian
Naples at Table : Cooking in Campania
Published: November 1, 1998
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Naples gave the world pizza and spaghetti with tomato sauce. In Naples at Table, Arthur Schwartz reveals the unexpected breadth and depth of dishes to be enjoyed in Naples and throughout Campania, the rich region where this culinarily
underappreciated city is located.
Campania is the home of mozzarella. In fact, by Italian law, only cheese made from the milk of the water buffalo of Campania should be bear this name; the cow's-milk cheese we call mozzarella is more rightly
called fior di latte, "flower of the milk."
To most people, southern Italy is the land of red sauce, from the light salsa insalata, made with raw tomatoes marinated in olive oil and seasoned with salt and basil, to hefty, long-simmered,
meat-flavored ragu. Schwartz introduces us to La Genovese, an onion-based sauce Neapolitans began making centuries before the tomato arrived from the New World so they could pair it with its soul mate, pasta.
Anyone interested in Italian food will
find the more than 250 recipes and the almost overwhelming wealth of information in Naples at Table fascinating. There is history, going back to the ancient Greeks, and stories as only Schwartz can recount them. One of the best is how Zuppa Inglese may
have gotten its name. Discover Woodman-Style Baked Pasta with Meat Sauce and Mushrooms; lusty Baccaland#224; "Arrecanato," a casserole of salt cod and potatoes; an authentic Zuppa Inglese; and so much more as you travel around Campania with Schwartz,
meeting chefs and home cooks from Naples and Salerno, Benevento up in the mountains, out along the Amalfi coast, and the jewel-like islands of Ischia and Capri. --Dana Jacobi
Arthur Schwartz, popular radio host, cookbook
author, and veteran restaurant critic, invites you to join him as he celebrates the food and people of Naples and Campania. Encompassing the provinces of Avellino, Benevento, Caserta, and Salerno, the internationally famous resorts of the Amalfi Coast,
Capri, and Ischia -- and, of course, Naples itself, Italy's third largest and most exuberant city -- Campania is the cradle of Italian-American cuisine.
In Naples at Table, Arthur Schwartz takes a fresh look at the region's major culinary
contributions to the world -- its pizza, dried pasta, seafood, and vegetable dishes, its sustaining soups and voluptuous desserts -- and offers the recipes for some of Campania's lesser-known specialties as well. Always, he provides all the techniques
and details you need to make them with authenticity and ease.
Naples at Table is the first cookbook in English to survey and document the cooking of this culturally important and gastronomically rich area. Schwartz spent years traveling to Naples
and throughout the region, making friends, eating at their tables, working with home cooks and restaurant chefs, researching the origins of each recipe. Here, then, are recipes that reveal the truly subtle, elegant Neapolitan hand with such familiar
dishes as baked ziti, eggplant parmigiana, linguine with clam sauce, and tomato sauces of all kinds.
This is the Italian food the world knows best, at its best -- bold and vibrant flavors made from few ingredients, using the simplest techniques.
Think Sophia Loren -- and check out her recipe for Chicken Caccistora! Discover the joys of preparing a timballo like the pasta-filled pastry in the popular film Big Night. Or simply rediscover how truly delicious, satisfying, and healthful Campanian
favorites can be -- from vegetable dished such as stuffed peppers and garlicky greens to pasta sauces you can make while the spaghetti boils or the Neapolitans' famous long-simmered ragu, redolent with the flavors of meat and red wine. Then there's the
succulent baked lamb Neapolitans love to serve to company, the lentils and pasta they make for family meals, baked pastas that go well beyond the red-sauce stereotype, their repertoire of deep-fried morsels, the pan of pork and pickled peppers so dear to
Italian-American hearts, and the most delicate meatballs on earth. All are wonderfully old-fashioned and familiar, yet in h
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