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books - italian food & wine
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Sweet Sicily : The Story of an Island and Her Pastries, by Victoria Granof, Linda V. Lewis (Photographer), Thomas Michael Alleman (Photographer), Melo Minnella
WARNING: Do not read this book unless you want to go into a Marzipan Frenzy. The photography in this book is delicious, and so are the recipes and stories. With plenty of humor and great respect the author shares what she learned from her experiences in Sicily and the friends she made there. Few of these sweets are fancy, and all are very traditional. Light and crispy Sweet Ricotta Turnovers from the Bar di Noto in Piana degli Albanesi and Chewy Pistachio Cookies shared by Giuseppe Chemi of Pasticceria Etna in Taormina are Sicily personified. This book will spend lots of time in your kitchen and on your coffee table.

Pizza: From Its Italian Origins to the Modern Table, Rosario Buonassisi
American pizza is a culinary crime, but you don't have to go to Italy to get the real thing if you're willing to do a little work in your own kitchen. Rosario Buonassisi shows you how easy it is to make this simple but superb treat, and there's every reason to believe that once you taste the real thing you'll never go back to the pizza from take-out shops, which seldom tastes as good as the box it comes in. This book gives clear directions and is beautifully (and encouragingly) photographed. Buonassisi is a scholar (in archeology) and a writer on many other subjects, and he naturally takes something of a scholarly approach here, providing a wealth of detail on pizza's origins and development. It's important to realize, by the way, that once you get the basics down, home-made pizza is a snap. The sauce and dough freeze beautifully, so you can easily make enough at one time to provide for maybe half a dozen home pizza nights--until your neighbors find out how good yours is.

Cooking Up an Italian Life : Simple Pleasures of Italy in Recipes and Stories , by Sharon Sanders
This is a book one can read from cover to cover as though it were a novel. It is well-written and gives us a new perspective on Italian food. Neophyte cooks will be especially delighted because the author has made all the decisions for them. Experienced cooks will find new, fresh ideas. The book's organization is different from most cookbooks. A few of the chapters will illustrate what I mean: Soup and Egg Meals, Bread and Pizza Meals, Pasta Meals, Vegetable, Bean snd Grain Meals. The author has created the whole meal - not just the pasta but also what follows. Her choices are excellent and the chapters are interesting and fun to read. Cooking tips are found on most recipe pages. Interspersed with the recipes are little stories which illustrate a point or teach how to do something i.e. "What I learned About Life from the Risotto King of Milan". I highly recommend this book and I am happy to have it as a part of my culinary library.(by [email protected])

The Italian-American Cookbook: A Feast of Food from a Great American Cooking Tradition, John and Galina Mariani
This is a wonderful book! I highly recommend it. Its 451 pages make it an invaluable resource and compendium for Italian American cuisine. The recipes are arranged the way Italian meals progress so it is easy to find things. It is beautifully illustrated with period photographs and colored paper designs. It makes very interesting reading because of the surprising articles in addition to the recipes such as "The Greatest Movies Ever Made Featuring Italian Food" and "Feeding the Americani". The history of Italian American food is explained clearly and the authors note that this cuisine continues to evolve today. I enjoyed the recipes, some of which are new to me because I learned to cook in Italy. It contains old favorites like Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Mushroom Risotto and "new" ones like Shrimp and Langoustines with Israeli Couscous,and Onion Lasagna. I will treasure this book for years to come and certainly it would make a wonderful gift for anyone, not just Italian Americans. (by [email protected])

Low-Fat Lies High-Fat Frauds and the healthiest diet in the world, by Mary Flynn and Kevin Vigilante
Before you follow any diet read this book! It debunks fad diets (Atikins, Ornish, Low-Carb, Sugar Busters, etc.) by explaining the flawed science behind them in words and examples that anyone can understand and introduces the reader to the Mediterranean diet. Dr.'s Flynn and Vigilante not only speak of "diet" in terms of food but they expand this term to include lifestyle as well. They provide scientific proof of the benefits of olive oil, red wine, and the Italian passeggiata (after-dinner stroll). The authors organized the book to be read either cover-to-cover or browsed. The first part is dedicated to debunking the fad-diet myths, the second introduces the reader to the Mediterranean lifestyle and the third includes practical advice on how to introduce this into your life. As an "out of the closet" reader of other diet books, I was pleased to discover that education, not guilt, is the motivator for loosing weight in this book. (by Laura Pazzaglia)

The Edible Italian Garden, by Rosalind Creasy
Ready, set.. grow! You don't have to be a gardener to appreciate Rosalind's latest book. She takes you by the hand as she describes the vegetable gardens and produce markets she visited in Italy. BTW, you won't need to fly out of the country to see one of the most spectacular gardens, The Sebastiani Winery gardens in Sonoma Valley (California). Want to start a garden? Choose the veggies from the Italian Garden Encyclopedia and use the rare seed sources listed in the back of the book. Want to start cooking right away? Thumb through the recipes for inspiration. New to gardening altogether? Read the author's sage advice on planting, maintenance and pest control. I particularly recommend this book to the struggling dieter as it will give you a new appreciation for vegetables and a great workout in the garden! (by Laura Pazzaglia)

The Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink: An A-to-Z Guide with 2,300 Authentic Definitions and 50 Classic Recipes, John F. Mariani, This book has come to my rescue repeatedly when trying to differentiate between different kinds of pasta. For example, if you're not sure how fettuccine differs from fusilli, here you can find the answer. I've tried several of the recipes and the one for pesto along with one for my favorite dessert, Zabaione, a warm, frothy, wine-based egg custard, will bring pleasure to anyone seeking scrumptious fare. Mariani knows his subject. I've been an avid reader of his books. This book is well written, interesting and easy to use. I take it along not only when dining in Italian restaurants and when shopping for ingredients. It would also be an asset for travelers bound for Italy. (from

cover Little Italy Cookbook, by David Ruggerio
David Ruggerio's "Little Italy Cookbook" is an exploration of not only fine Italian American cuisine (not true Italian as defined by the author, but rather adaptations based upon the Italian immigrant experience once in America) but also of the soul of what it is to be Italian. He journeys back to New York's Little Italy and spends a great amount of effort in trying to create for the reader a sense of desire to be in the locales he is. Many of the recipes he puts forth are amazing. Some of my favorites: "Brisket of Beef with Genoese Sauce", "Collari - Crispy Fried Stuffed Bread", "Penne alla San Giovanni - Pasta with Sage, Walnuts, and Prosciutto", and "Chestnut and Ricotta Semifreddo". One of my favorite essays is about the Royal Crown Bakery and the "revival of a great tradition". The book is loaded with photos, both color and black and white, all of which convey an image of Italian American life. This is not just another Italian cookbook - it is an Italian American story. I highly recommend this to those who love to read while stirring the pot waiting for the pasta to finish. (by [email protected])

The Il Fornaio Baking Book : Sweet and Savory Recipes from the Italian Kitchen, by Franco Galli
This is the book I recommend if bread is the staple of your family meals and you are looking for something new to try. The Il Fornaio Baking Book by Franco Galli may just well be the answer to your needs. The book is full of traditional (and not so tradition al) Italian-style bread recipes. Some of the included bread types: round crusty loaves of pagnotta; slender, crisp breadsticks; rosemary-flecked panmarino; almond-studded cantucci di Prato; fresh fruit crostata with a layer of smooth, rich crema pasticceria; and chocolatey torta d' Alassio. Hungry yet? The author interweaves the recipes with family memories, age-old baking techniques, and the history of Italian baking. He also opens with a chapter on the best quality equipment and ingredients. After reading this book through you will be ready to slap on your apron, fire up your oven, and bake into the night. A must have!!

cover Harvests of Joy: My Passion for Excellence; How the Good Life Became Great Business, by Robert Mondavi
"Wine is Life". With this small but powerful quote from Petronius, Robert Mondavi begins a tale of himself that speaks to many of the virtues of being Italian: hard work, passion, and family. Mr. Mondavi spins for us a tale of his parents origins as poor Italian farm workers who came over to America in search of the Great Dream and how out of this dream he arose to create one of the most well known and respected wineries in the world today. He talks of how he took all of the principles he learned from his humble beginnings and transformed them into a business model, which has driven his passion for excellence and perfection. From the very beginning he had a vision - to make America stand as the best in the realm of fine wines. In this vision he ended succeeding a way he never dreamed. His book reads like a fine glass of Chianti - bit by bit you sip it and savor the flavor of each passing moment. He is an inspiration to all Italians and Italian Americans trying to succeed in the world of business today. A must read! (by [email protected])

more books...
Sophia Loren's Recipes and Memories, Sophia Loren
Lidia's Italian TableLidia Matticchio
Simple Italian Food: Recipes from My Two Villages, Mario Batali
Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, Marcela Hazan
N aples at Table: Cooking in Campania, Arthur Schwartz
Al Dente: All the Secrets of Italy's Genuine Home-Style Cooking, Maria Chiara Martinelli, Giorgio De Camillis
Antipasto Table, Michele Scicolone
Bugialli's Italy: Traditional Recipes from the Regions of Italy, Giuliano Bugialli
Cucina Amore, Nick Stellino
Desserts and Sweet Snacks: Rustic, Italian Style, Viana La Place
The Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink: An A-to-Z Guide With 2,300 Authentic Definitions and 50 Classic Recipes, John F. Mariani
Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, Marcella Hazan
Food and Memories of Abruzzo: Italy's Pastoral Land, Anna Teresa Callen
Italian Wines 1998: A Guide to the World of Italian Wine for Experts and Wine Lovers, Gambero Rosso, Carlo Peterni, Daniele Cernilla
In Nonna's Kitchen: Traditional Italian Cooking and Culture from Contemporary Italian Grandmothers, by Carol Field
Little Italy Cookbook, David Ruggerio
Mangia, Little Italy!, Francesca Romina
cover Naples at the Table: Cooking Campania, Arthur Schwartz
Pom and Sustenanace: Twenty-Five Centuries of Sicilian Food, Mary Taylor Simeti
Rao's Cookbook: Over 100 Years of Italian Home Cooking, Nicholas Pileggi, Rao's Restaurant



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