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Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipes

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich

From Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: Soup with Bread & Fontina Pasticciata (Seuppa ou Piat)    This might seem like an unusual dish, a pasticciata (a layered casserole) of bread and cheese that's baked, cut into portions, and … see full wiki

Author: Lidia Matticchio Bastianich
Genre: Travel, History, Cooking, Food & Wine
Publisher: Knopf
1 review about Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast...

Family-friendly and sumptuous

  • Mar 21, 2010
Organized by region, north to south, and written with her daughter, PBS cooking star and restaurateur Bastianich's sixth book features a must-try dish on practically every well-designed page. Photos highlight the countryside the dishes come from - as well as the food itself. Chapter introductions offer food-themed tours and recipes focus on local specialties, from starters, through first and second courses and dessert; some classic, some unfamiliar.

Like Spaghetti in Tomato-Apple Sauce (Trentino-Alto Adige), Risotto Milan-Style with Marrow & Saffron (Lombardy), Beef Filet with Wine Sauce (Valle D'Aosta), Tagliatelle with ricotta-based Walnut Pesto (Emilia-Romagna), Fish with Pepper Sauce (bell pepper based, with orange zest, tomatoes, and a dash of peperoncino flakes) (Le Marche), Crostini with Black Truffle Butter (Umbria), Meatless Pecorino Meatballs (cheese, eggs, breadcrumbs, herbs) (Abruzzo), Fresh Cavatelli with Cauliflower (Molise), Rigatoni with Lentils (Basilicata), Spicy Calamari (Calabria), Flatbread Lasagna (Sardinia).

Familiar and peasant dishes include: Braised Veal Shanks (Lombardy), Roasted-Pepper & Olive Salad with Fontina (Valle D'Aosta), Bread Salad with Summer Vegetables (Liguria), Spaghetti with Clam Sauce (Le Marche), Wedding Soup (Basilicata), Baked Eggplant in Tomato Sauce (Sardinia).

There are numerous recipes for making fresh pasta and dumplings and many family-friendly comfort foods. A particular favorite of mine is Meat Sauce Genova Style which features a beef pot roast braised slowly in a wine-tomato sauce flavored with sage and rosemary, thickened with toasted pine nuts. There's plenty of sauce for a second meal (or a first course, as Bastianich suggests) of pasta and the whole thing can be made a day ahead. Scrumptious!

Bastianich's short intros give a sense of the dish and offer tips for the novice or the seasoned cook and appendices include her TV series' menus, a recipe finder by course, and a list of sources.

While dishes appeal to a range of ambitions, abilities and tastes, Bastianich assumes an uncomplicated love of cooking.

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