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Mary Ann offers a unique blend of recipes and menus culled from her family archives and from today's Italian kitchen. Start Thanksgiving Dinner by adding an American classic to an Italian standard in Pumpkin Risotto. Savor Mary Ann's fondly remembered rehearsal dinner escarole-and-meatball Wedding Soup, or Nonna Galasso's Cheese Rind Soup, flavored with leftover ends of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Two chapters are entirely devoted to breads; one for the special breads of Christmas, Easter, and saints' days, such as Gubana, Easter Dove Bread, and the Eyes of Saint Lucy, and the other for everyday breads such as semolina, whole wheat, and dinner rolls. Easy-to-preparemain courses include Little Pork Purses filled with Fontina cheese, prosciutto and leeks, a dramatically packaged Chicken in Paper, and Spicy Cold Beef Rolls with artichoke hearts, bell peppers, and capers.
There are Italian desserts for every occasion cookies, cakes, tarts, and puddings — Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti, raisin-and-nut Little Christmas Cakes, and simple fruit desserts such asCantaloupe and Bananas with Ricotta.
Author Biography: Mary Ann Esposito is the author of the best-selling Ciao Italia, Nella Cucina, and Celebrations Italian Style. She is the host of the PBS television show Ciao Italia. She lives in New Hampshire.
From the host of Ciao Italia comes a book of recipes and menus for Italian-style celebrations, including a Traditional Sicilian Buffet, a Do-Ahead Engagement Supper, and A Winter Meal in a Pot. Mary Ann shares dishes in trademark style with recollections of the special celebrations of her childhood. 12-page color insert.
At first this seems like a strange treatment for spinach, just fried in vegetable oil until crisp and then topped with a sprinkling of grated Pecorino cheese, but it is truly delicious. Be sure to dry the spinach leaves very well before frying them. I serve this with a medley of other quickly fried vegetables, such as zucchini and yellow squash sticks, for a colorful buffet presentation.
Serves 6 to 8
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Two 10-ounce bags fresh spinach, stemmed, washed, and thoroughly dried
1/3 to 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1. In a deep-fryer or a deep heavy pot, heat the vegetable oil to 375°F. Carefully add the spinach a handful at a time, and fry until dark green and crisp. Drain on paper towels and keep warm in a low oven while you fry the remaining spinach.
2. Transfer the spinach to a serving dish and sprinkle with the cheese. Serve immediately.
Variation: Fry slices of tomatoes, zucchini, and squash, dredged in flour, in the oil after frying the spinach. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.
Copyright © 1995 by Mary Ann Esposito.