Ciao Italia Family Classics: More than 200 Treasured Recipes from 3 Generations of Italian... by Sausage Making Books
Updated on 5-8-2013.
- Hardcover: 464 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Press October 25, 2011
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312571216
- ISBN-13: 978-0312571214
10.4 x 8 x 1.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
A beautifully conceived cookbook representing the best of Italian cooking brought to us by the trusted host of the longest-running television cooking show in America
On Ciao Italia, which has been airing on PBS for more than twenty years, Mary Ann Esposito has taught millions of fans how to cook delicious, authentic Italian dishes. In her previous books, she has shown us how to make a quick meal with just five ingredients, helped us get dinner on the table in just thirty minutes, and encouraged us to slow down and take it easy in the kitchen while re-creating the rich aromas of Italy. Now Mary Ann returns to her family's humble beginnings to bring us a treasure trove of more than 200 time-honored recipes. They represent traditional, everyday foods that she regards as culinary royalty—always admired, respected, and passed down through generations. Even better, they are easy to make and guaranteed to please. You'll be dog-earing the pages to try such classics as:
- Sicilian Rice Balls
- Spaghetti with Tuna, Capers, and Lemon
- Risotto with Dried Porcini Mushrooms
- Lasagna Verdi Bologna Stylegnese
- Homemade Italian Sweet Sausage
- Veal Cutlet Sorrento Style
- Roasted Sea Bass with Fennel, Oranges, and Olives
- Almond Cheesecake
- Orange-Scented Madeleines
Georgeously designed with appetizing full-color photographs of recipes and homespun essays about Italian cooking and family traditions throughout, Ciao Italia Family Classics will have fans old and new pulling it off the shelf again and again.
I'm not of Italian descent but grew up in Connecticut with a large Italian immigrant population. We had access to Italian import grocery stores and family run restaurants were everywhere. I married an Italian American man who loves to cook so my exposure expanded and I began to cook more and more Italian "slow food" at home. When I moved to Texas last year I realized I'd taken access to these foods for granted now that I have a hard time finding high quality ingredients and imported Italian foods. I can't even find decent restaurants that make authentic type Italian food or even a decent pizza. So we're cooking slow food at home now more than ever before.My first impression of this cookbook was one of familiarity, because it is has over two dozen recipes that our family already enjoys eating at home or in favorite Italian restaurants. Now that we have the recipes we can make these at home. The other 150 recipes are new to me and I can't wait to go through the book and try some. Esposito explains that some recipes are from her grandmothers, some are newer recipes served at gourmet restaurants in Italy and some are her own creations using classic Italian ingredients.I want to stress the word classic that's in the title. There is a whole chapter on pastas and another on sauces, a chapter on bread and pizza, and I'm thrilled to have a chapter on risotto. In the Introduction she mentions family dinners served in courses and eaten leisurely over multiple hours' time. The recipes in the book are meant for this purpose, so it starts with antipasti and then goes through the courses: soup, bread/pizza, pasta and sauces, rice, fish, meat, vegetables, salads then desserts. Of course not all of us eat long meals in courses so we often take one food or two, and eat it as the whole meal (pasta, pizza, or a meat or seafood entrée with a small salad on the side). The recipes stress using high quality ingredients. Many don't use many ingredients at all, yet these are slow food recipes and some take work (risotto and handmade pasta) or long cooking (sauces, soups). That's just the nature of slow food, and it is worth it.The book opens with an explanation of what a well-stocked pantry for Italian cooking should look like. The plea to use high quality ingredients and the comment about using only real cheese is made (and I agree with both as being a firm foundation for good Italian meals). There are some stories in the book and some explanations about some of the food such as telling about her visit to the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese making factory which make this an enjoyable read not just a book of recipes.The book is hardbound and high quality. The pages are sewn into signatures which are longer lasting than binding with just glue. The pages are thick and glossy (and not see through). There are a lot of full color, full page photographs that tempt me into wanting to make everything. The ingredients are in decent sized font down the margin edge for easy reference with the directions taking up most of the page. The over 200 recipes span 450 pages which makes this a hefty book.Mary Ann Esposito has over twenty cookbooks on the market but this is the first book of hers that I've read. I enjoyed Ciao Italia Family Classics so much that I am curious about her prior publications. Esposito is the host of the PBS cooking show by the same name - Ciao Italia which boasts as being the longest running cooking show on television.I highly recommend this book for slow food cooks who want to know how to make classic Italian dishes and to learn some new twists using classic Italian food staples.I rate this book 5 stars = I Love It.
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Updated on 5-8-2013.