Synopses & Reviews
The best-loved and most-admired of all America's television cooks today, Lidia Bastianich, now gives us her most generous, instructive, and creative cookbook. The emphasis here is on cooking for the family, and her book is filled with unusually delicious basic recipes for everyday eating Italian-style, as well as imaginative ideas for variations and improvisations.
Here are more than 200 fabulous new dishes that will appeal both to Lidia's loyal following, who have come to rely on her wonderfully detailed recipes, and to the more adventurous cook ready to experiment.
She welcomes us to the table with tasty bites from the sea (including home-cured tuna and mackerel), seasonal salads, and vegetable surprises (Egg-Battered Zucchini Roll-Ups, Sweet Onion Gratinate).
She reveals the secret of simple make-ahead soup bases, delicious on their own and easy to embellish for a scrumptious soup that can make a meal.
She opens up the wonderful world of pasta, playing with different shapes, mixing and matching, and creating sauces while the pasta boils; she teaches us to make fresh egg pastas, experimenting with healthful ingredientswhole wheat, chestnut, buckwheat, and barley. And she makes us understand the subtle arts of polenta- and risotto-making as never before.
She shares her love of vegetables, skillet-cooking some to intensify their flavor, layering some with yesterdays bread for a lasagna-like gratin, blanketing a scallop of meat with sautéed vegetables, and finishing seasonal greens with the perfect little sauce.
She introduces us to some lesser-known cuts of meats for main courses (shoulders, butts, and tongue) and underused, delicious fish (skate and monkfish), as well as to her family's favorite recipes for chicken and a beautiful balsamic-glazed roast turkey.
And she explores with us the many ways fruits and crusts (pie, strudel, cake, and toasted bread) marry and produce delectable homey desserts to end the meal.
Lidia's warm presence is felt on every page of this book, explaining the whys and wherefores of what she is doing, and the brilliant photographs take us right into her home, showing her rolling out pasta with her grandchildren, bringing in the summer harvest, and sitting around the food-laden family table. As she makes every meal a celebration, she invites us to do the same, giving us confidence and joy in the act of cooking.
"Fans will appreciate this companion book to Bastianich's latest PBS series of the same name (after Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen), and it may win her some new admirers as well. It presents the food Bastianich prepares at home for her large family (which includes children, grandchildren, siblings and her 80-plus-year-old mother and her companion, who live upstairs), but it's also proof that home cooking need not be oversimplified, with plenty of projects for those who relish a challenge. There are also many photographic illustrations offering gentle guidance to readers attempting Grilled Tuna Rollatini under Tomato-Lemon Marinade, or Pasticciata Bolognese. Elegant recipes, such as Fresh Pear and Pecorino Ravioli, are sprinkled throughout, but the majority are for hearty dishes that lend themselves to serving family-style, like Zucchini and Country Bread Lasagna with day-old bread in place of pasta and Braised Beef Shoulder Roast with Venetian Spice, which incorporates cinnamon and coffee beans. As testament to both Bastianich's creativity and the endless supply of good food from Italy, there are authentic, unusual treasures here, like Riso Sart, which packs risotto into molds for individual towers. Bastianich is also generous with clever tips and brainstorms: Why not use poached garlic pure for those with delicate digestion, or poach corn on the cob in tomato sauce? The range is impressive, the flavors strong. It's enough to make readers clamor to be adopted into the Bastianich clan. 85 color photos. Agent, Jane Dystel. (Dec. 1) Forecast: A 10-city tour, not to mention the visibility offered by the author's newest PBS series, to begin airing in March 2005, should win plenty of support for the 150,000-copy first printing. " Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[A] delight....Bastianich has a warm, reassuring tone, and she includes innumerable helpful tips, serving suggestions...and other invaluable information....An essential purchase." Library Journal
Here are more than 200 fabulous new dishes ranging from seasonal salads, vegetables, and treats from the sea, to soups, pastas, quick sauces, main courses, and desserts from this popular American television cook.
About the Author
Lidia Bastianich is the author of three previous books: La Cucina di Lidia and the best-selling Lidia's Italian Table and Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen also the names of her nationally syndicated public television series. She is the owner of the very successful New York City restaurant Felidia, as well as Becco, Esca, and Lidia's in Pittsburgh and Kansas City, and she gives lectures on Italian cuisine throughout the country. She lives on Long Island in New York and she can be reached at her Web site, www.lidiasitaly.com.