Books: Fine Cooking Italian — 200 Recipes for Authentic Italian Food
Fine Cooking Italian: 200 Recipes for Authentic Italian Food (Taunton Press, 256 pages, $19.95), edited by Carolyn Mandarano
June 2012— Although it may not be possible to bring some of the best Italian chefs in the country to your kitchen, you can do the next best thing by preparing some of their signature dishes for your friends and family. This excellent cookbook offers a variety of recipes for mouthwatering starters, salads, soups, pizza, calzone, pasta dishes and main courses as well as polenta, risotto and desserts.
Each recipe is illustrated with a color photo and is explained with easy-to-follow instructions. Provided by such knowledgeable chefs as Lidia Bastianich, Tony Mantuano and Domenica Marchetti, these recipes are ideal for planning a full formal dinner, tossing together a quick lunch, or preparing a stress-free informal family meal.
For a salad and pizza night you might want to start with cherry tomatoes stuffed with mozzarella and basil or a mushroom salad with lemon, thyme and Parmigiano. The follow-up course could be a grilled pizza with tomato-balsamic sauce, chicken and eggplant, or a delicious calzone stuffed with your favorite cheese and other ingredients.
If you’d like something a little more substantial, you’ll find over 60 pasta recipes. These filling dishes range from spicy capellini and fettuccine with artichokes, hazelnuts and cream to Sicilian vegetable lasagna or rigatoni with red pepper.
Looking for a special occasion main course that will dazzle your guests? Chicken with Marsala, mushrooms and Gorgonzola or a Tuscan-style roast pork with rosemary, sage and garlic will put a smile on everyone’s face and have them asking for seconds.
Once you’ve prepared a meal using this cookbook it will be time to sit down, lift your glass of red wine and wish everyone around the table “buon appetito!”