Adventures of an Italian Food Lover: With Recipes from 254 of My Very Best Friends

Overview

Faith Willinger has spent three decades exploring Italy, traveling from the Alps to Sicily to visit its artistic and architectural wonders and track down the best restaurants, regional cooks, winemakers, and food markets. Along the way, she’s made many friends, eaten lots of tasty meals, and collected a wealth of authentic Italian recipes. Now, in Adventures of an Italian Food Lover, she pays tribute to her friends and to the food and wine she’s enjoyed in their company. If you plan to visit Italy, you can use ...

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Overview

Faith Willinger has spent three decades exploring Italy, traveling from the Alps to Sicily to visit its artistic and architectural wonders and track down the best restaurants, regional cooks, winemakers, and food markets. Along the way, she’s made many friends, eaten lots of tasty meals, and collected a wealth of authentic Italian recipes. Now, in Adventures of an Italian Food Lover, she pays tribute to her friends and to the food and wine she’s enjoyed in their company. If you plan to visit Italy, you can use this book as a guide to finding some of Willinger’s favorite places, from tiny shops stocked with foods available nowhere else in the world, to outdoor markets overflowing with an incredible variety of fish, cheese, fruit, and vegetables, to great restaurants in big cities and small villages. If you can’t travel to Italy as soon as you’d like to, Willinger’s recipes from real Italian kitchens, her warm, engaging profiles of the cooks who perfected them, and her sister’s charming watercolors of Italian friends and scenery beautifully evoke the essence of this enchanting country.

The recipes all start with great ingredients—extra virgin olive oil, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, heirloom wheat pasta, salt-packed capers, and other Italian pantry favorites—and use the freshest meat, fish, and seasonal produce. Willinger’s friend and neighbor in Florence shares her recipe for the delicious home-style Turnips and Their Greens with Garlic and Chili Pepper; the chef-owner of a bustling Neapolitan trattoria combines the freshest ingredients from the sea and the field in his Pasta with Mussels and Zucchini Flowers; and a Milanese marketing consultant who inherited his family’s vineyard in Le Marche and started an enological revolution in the region provides the recipe for the rustic Polenta with Tomato Sauce and Sausage Ragù he often serves to guests in the elegant formal dining room of his art deco villa.

Part cookbook, part travelogue, Adventures of an Italian Food Lover is an insider’s guide that will bring the best of Italy into your home and into your heart.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307346391
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/10/2007
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 7.68 (w) x 9.35 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Faith Heller Willinger is the author of Eating in Italy and Red, White & Greens, and is a frequent contributor to Epicurious, the Condé Nast food website. She lives in Florence with her Tuscan husband, Massimo. Visit her at www.faithwillinger.com.

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Read an Excerpt

spaghetti with walnuts and anchovies
Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

   • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
   • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
   • 2 whole salt-cured anchovies, filleted, or 4–6 anchovy fillets
   • 3–4 tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts
   • Chili pepper to taste
   • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
   • Coarse sea salt
   • 14–16 ounces spaghetti Heat the extra virgin in a large skillet and sauté the garlic over low heat until it barely begins to color. Add the anchovy fillets and, with a wooden spoon, mash them until they dissolve into the oil. Add the walnuts, chili pepper, and parsley; stir to combine and remove from heat.

Bring 5 to 6 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add about 3 tablespoons of sea salt, then add the spaghetti and cook until it offers considerable resistance to the tooth, approximately three-quarters of the package-recommended cooking time. Drain the pasta, reserving 2 cups of the starchy pasta cooking water.

Add the spaghetti to the sauce in the skillet along with 1/2 cup reserved pasta-cooking water, and cook over high heat, stirring with a wooden fork, until the pasta is cooked al dente, adding a little more pasta water as the sauce dries.

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Table of Contents


Introduction     7
Northern and Central Italy     13
Tuscany     89
Southern Italy and the Islands     159
Acknowledgments     250
Recipes by Region     251
Index     252
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