From the Emmy-winning host of Lidia's Kitchen, best-selling author, and beloved ambassador for Italian culinary traditions in America comes the ultimate master class: a beautifully produced definitive guide to Italian cooking, coauthored with her daughter, Tanya--covering everything from ingredients to techniques to tools, plus more than 400 delectable recipes.Read more...
From the Emmy-winning host of Lidia's Kitchen, best-selling author, and beloved ambassador for Italian culinary traditions in America comes the ultimate master class: a beautifully produced definitive guide to Italian cooking, coauthored with her daughter, Tanya--covering everything from ingredients to techniques to tools, plus more than 400 delectable recipes.Teaching has always been Lidia's passion, and in this magnificent book she gives us the full benefit of that passion and of her deep, comprehensive understanding of what it takes to create delicious Italian meals. With this book, readers will learn all the techniques needed to master Italian cooking. Lidia introduces us to the full range of standard ingredients--meats and fish, vegetables and fruits, grains, spices and condiments--and how to buy, store, clean, and cook with them. The 400 recipes run the full gamut from classics like risotto alla milanese and Tagliatelle with Mushroom Sauce to Lidia's always-satisfying originals like Bread and Prune Gnocchi and Beet Ravioli in Poppy Seed Sauce. She gives us a comprehensive guide to the tools every kitchen should have to produce the best results. And she has even included a glossary of cuisine-related words and phrases that will prove indispensable for cooking, as well as for traveling and dining in Italy. There is no other book like this; it is the one book on Italian cuisine that every cook will need.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-08-17
- Reviewer: Staff
Bastianich and her daughter give a magnificent master class in Italian cooking in their latest culinary collaboration, following 2013’s Lidia’s Commonsense Italian Cooking. Their book begins with an excellent primer on Italian ingredients and cooking techniques that leaves no stone unturned. Tips are sprinkled throughout, providing both good techniques (“The more you chop garlic, the more intense the flavor and aroma”) and good sense (“Some people are surprised to learn you can make risotto with plain water. Of course you can.”). With over 400 recipes, the collection highlights old favorites that have a firm following in the states—ragù alla bolognese, eggplant parmigiana, and chicken cacciatore—alongside vegetable-centric dishes that are truer to day-to-day Italian cooking: farro salad with grilled eggplant and peppers, and rigatoni with cauliflower, saffron, and golden raisins. Bastianich hails from the Istrian peninsula, and the “Fish and Seafood” chapter includes toothsome recipes such as Istrian whole fish stew. She’s also not afraid to riff on the classics with recipes such as fresh pear and pecorino ravioli with cacio e pepe. The book completes its course with a charming chapter on Italian culture and language, as well as an extensive glossary of food terms. With this passionate treatise on Italian food and culture, readers dreaming of la dolce vita may find armchair travels enough to satisfy their hunger. (Oct.)
Cooking: Gourmet gifts galore
If there’s a super-serious cook on your holiday gift list, NOPI: The Cookbook, Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully’s ode to their latest restaurant in London’s West End, should be your pick. Though this is restaurant food—complex dishes designed to be made by a team of pros—the recipes here have been somewhat simplified so that the courageous home cook can take on the challenge and serve up a reasonable facsimile of a NOPI creation. Just make sure your lucky giftee invites you over for Scallops with Corn and Merguez Salsa and Sorrel Sauce or Baked Blue Cheese Cake with Pickled Beets and Honey.
Curious cooks will be thrilled with J. Kenji López-Alt’s The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science. An MIT-trained nerd with a passion for food (a ferd?), López-Alt believes that only by understanding the scientific principles that underlie what ingredients do when exposed to different techniques will you become a freer, more fluent cook. This may be serious food science, but with more than 300 recipes and 1,000 step-by-step photos seasoned with the author’s charm, wit and clear, patient explanations, it’s revelatory fun.
For lovers of la cucina Italiana, Lidia’s Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine promises to serve up “everything you need to know to be a great Italian cook.” And matriarch Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and her daughter, Tanya Bastianich Manuali, keep their word. With 400 recipes from appetizers to desserts, plus in-depth info on Italian ingredients and cooking techniques, this is her most comprehensive Italian cookbook yet and the book every Lidia fan should have.
Drawn to the more exotic? Yearning for crunchy, fragrant Fried Sesame Pork Tenderloin or lightly sauced Kung Pao Chicken as it’s served in Sichuan? Then Kian Lam Kho’s lusciously illustrated Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees is just right. He has organized the book by cooking methods, rather than by region or ingredient, giving you the gastronomic essentials you need to master these exquisitely varied Chinese dishes—for everyday meals or for more elaborate feasts.
TOP PICK IN COOKBOOKS
Hartwood is a trip—a glorious culinary adventure to the edge of the Yucatán jungle and the delicious edge of contemporary cuisine. Eric Werner and Mya Henry left their restaurant jobs in Manhattan to follow a dream that turned into a restaurant open to the tropical night, serving their unique take on dazzling, wood-fueled, Mexican-infused dishes. Beautifully photographed and compellingly written, Hartwood is their celebration of the “love project” they’ve created. You can make and savor these 88 recipes (almost all the ingredients are obtainable in the U.S.) or you can luxuriate in armchair cooking and dream along with Werner and Henry.