Italian cooking

Patricia Well's Trattoria: Healthy, Simple, Robust Fare Inspired by the Small Family Restaurants of Italy

By Patricia Wells

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A collection of over 150 authentic recipes that capture the flavor of the small towns and villages of Italy.

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Mario Batali, Simple Italian Food: Recipes from My Two Villages

By Mario Batali

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The host of TV Food Network's "Molto Mario" and owner of two N.Y. City eateries helps readers recreate his classic Northern Italian fare with contemporary flair.

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Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-quoting Butcher in Tuscany

By Bill Buford

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"Writer Buford's memoir of his headlong plunge into the life of a professional cook. Expanding on his award-winning New Yorker article, Buford gives us a chronicle of his experience as 'slave' to Mario Batali in the kitchen of Batali's three-star New York restaurant, Babbo. He describes three frenetic years of trials and errors, disappointments and triumphs, as he worked his way up the Babbo ladder from "kitchen bitch" to line cook, his relationship with the larger-than-life Batali, whose story he learns as their friendship grows through (and sometimes despite) kitchen encounters and after-work all-nighters, and his immersion in the arts of butchery in Northern Italy, of preparing game in London, and making handmade pasta at an Italian hillside trattoria."

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A Culinary Traveller in Tuscany: Exploring & Eating off the Beaten Track

By Beth Elon

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When it's time for the foodie to plan his Tuscan trip:

"Each of the ten itineraries in this cookbook/guidebook takes readers through parts of Tuscany that still remain largely undiscovered and into the kitchens of more than fifty superb but little-known restaurants specializing in regional cuisine-those that are for the most part overlooked by tourists and known only to the locals. Each regional section begins with illuminating and absorbing explanations of what makes Tuscan cooking so unique: location, location, location. You'll read about a bean so beloved by a village that it's been elevated to cult status-but unknown a few kilometers down the road; an aboriginal baby lamb that is almost unknown outside of the Zeri valley; the endless array of vegetable tarts found nowhere in Tuscany but Lunigiana and Garfagnana.

"With this guide in hand, you'll not only know where to dine but what to order when you get there. In addition to 100 recipes, also included are nearby points of interest, descriptions and contact information for restaurants,trattorie, gourmet shops, wineries, olive oil producers, local markets, and regional food festivals, and how to find the monasteries, workshops, and artisans' studios that offer local items ranging from herbal beauty products to traditional ceramics and handwoven linens."

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Rosemary and Bitter Oranges: Growing Up in a Tuscan Kitchen

By Patrizia Chen

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Featuring 25 authentic Tuscan recipes, this cookbook/memoir is by an Italian home chef who tells the story of her childhood in post-World War II Tuscany and of the beloved family cook who taught her every kitchen secret.

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Italy Today: The Beautiful Cookbook

By Lorenza de' Medici

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None of these books leaves out mention of delicious Italian wines and foods. We'll need some snacks on our trip so why not try "crostoni of pecorino cheese and fava beans on grilled bread, or ravioli filled with squash flowers followed by grilled scampi with lemon sauce. Taste updated classics such as stracciatella alla maggiorana, Roman egg soup with fresh marjoram; or pollo arrosto al balsamico - roasted chicken sparked with balsamic vinegar. Or relax with a slice or orange cake and a glass of Vin Santo." You'll have to move to the kitchen table to enjoy this oversized book, part travel book and all yum.

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Honey from a Weed: Fasting and Feasting in Tuscany, Catalonia, the Cyclades, and Apulia

By Patience Gray

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"Honey from a Weed is a Mediterranean odyssey. Patience Gray, who has lived and traveled widely in the region's countryside for over twenty-five years, brings to life its people, their culture, and most of all their rustic cooking, with sumptuous prose and reverence."

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Flavors of Tuscany: Traditional Recipes from the Tuscan Countryside

By Nancy Harmon Jenkins

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"For the last twenty-five years, Nancy Harmon Jenkins has spent a good part of her time with her family in the hills of eastern Tuscany in an antique stone-walled farmhouse surrounded by fields, vineyards, and forests of oak and chestnut. Working through the seasons, gardening, marketing, cooking, and sharing food and its lore with Tuscan friends and neighbors, she has developed a deep attachment to the cuisine of the Tuscan countryside, to which she brings a unique perspective as one of this country's foremost food writers.

"Often imitated but seldom clearly understood outside Italy, Tuscan country cooking is hearty and appealing in its simplicity and its straightforward insistence on fresh, authentic, unadulterated flavors--fragrant, homey herbs like parsley, sage, and rosemary; the lush, peppery aromas of newly pressed extra virgin olive oil; the appetizing redolence of farm-raised chickens braising in a wood-fired oven; or spitted pork loin, basted with garlic and wine, roasting on the hearth. Drawing on her extensive firsthand experience, Jenkins has re-created for American cooks and the American table the rustic, robust way of cooking and eating that is the heart of Tuscan life, the flavors of Tuscany."

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Cooking with My Sisters: One Hundred Years of Family Recipes from Bari to Big Stone Gap

By Adriana Trigiani and Mary Yolanda Trigiani

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For the Trigianis, cooking has always been a family affair--and the kitchen was the bustling center of their home, where folks gathered around the table for good food, good conversation, and the occasional eruption. Example: Being thrown out of the kitchen because one's Easter bread kneading technique isn't up to par. As Adriana says: "When the Trigianis reach out and touch someone, we do it with food." Like the recipes that have been handed down for generations from mother to daughter and grandmother to granddaughter, the family's celebrations are also anchored to the life and laughter around the table.

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97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement

By Jane Ziegelman

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"In 97 Orchard , Jane Ziegelman explores the culinary life that was the heart and soul of New York's Lower East Side around the turn of the twentieth century-a city within a city, where Germans, Irish, Italians, and Eastern European Jews attempted to forge a new life. Through the experiences of five families, all of them residents of 97 Orchard Street, she takes readers on a vivid and unforgettable tour, from impossibly cramped tenement apartments down dimly lit stairwells where children played and neighbors socialized, beyond the front stoops where immigrant housewives found respite and company, and out into the hubbub of the dirty, teeming streets. Ziegelman shows how immigrant cooks brought their ingenuity to the daily task of feeding their families, preserving traditions from home but always ready to improvise. While health officials worried that pushcarts were unsanitary and that pickles made immigrants too excitable to be good citizens, a culinary revolution was taking place in the streets of what had been culturally an English city.

"Along the East River, German immigrants founded breweries, dispensing their beloved lager in the dozens of beer gardens that opened along the Bowery. Russian Jews opened tea parlors serving blintzes and strudel next door to Romanian nightclubs that specialized in goose pastrami. On the streets, Italian peddlers hawked the cheese-and-tomato pies known as pizzarelli , while Jews sold knishes and squares of halvah. Gradually, as Americans began to explore the immigrant ghetto, they uncovered the array of comestible enticements of their foreign-born neighbors."

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