Ciao Italia: Traditional Italian Recipes from Family Kitchens

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Overview

Join the popular host of Ciao Italia, seen nationally on public television, for an intimate journey back to her childhood in Buffalo, New York, to a time when her mother and grandmothers ran the household from their kitchens.

"Food was the connector in our lives; it brought people together. In an Italian family, love is expressed through kisses, kudos, and in the kitchen," writes Mary Ann Esposito. Yet, as a girl, Mary Ann took for granted the endless parade of delicacies emanating from the family hearth. Only ...

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New York, NY 1991 Hard cover New ed. New in new dust jacket. BRIGHT SHINY BRAND NEW Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 277 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade.

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1991 Hardcover First Edition; Seventh Printing New in New dust jacket 0688103170. Mylar coVERED BRAND NEW; 8vo 8"-9" tall; 288 pages.

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Overview

Join the popular host of Ciao Italia, seen nationally on public television, for an intimate journey back to her childhood in Buffalo, New York, to a time when her mother and grandmothers ran the household from their kitchens.

"Food was the connector in our lives; it brought people together. In an Italian family, love is expressed through kisses, kudos, and in the kitchen," writes Mary Ann Esposito. Yet, as a girl, Mary Ann took for granted the endless parade of delicacies emanating from the family hearth. Only when she began studying cooking in Italy did she realize that the techniques and recipes she was "learning" were so familiar because she'd seen them prepared countless times before! Inspired, Mary Ann spent ten years combing Italy for the secrets of its great regional cooking. Now, in this companion volume to her enormously popular cooking show, she offers two hundred recipes - some straight from the Mediterranean, others from her family's archives and memories - plus dozens of anecdotes and tips, to create this intimate loving tribute to her Italian heritage.

The hallmark of Italian cuisine is its freshness, and Esposito shows how to make the most of every ingredient. Here's her recipe for quick tomato sauce, ready in just thirty minutes, plus one made with red peppers and another with yellow tomatoes. A chapter on breads covers everything from hearty focaccia to calzoni with a choice of four fillings to sweet, fruit-filled panettone. Many of her soups are meals in themselves, like rich Sardinian Fish Soup or Spinach and Meatball Soup.

Join Mary Ann Esposito, host of PBS's Ciao Italia series, on a personal journey back to the Italian household of her childhood. In this companion to her cooking show she shares cherished family recipes, as well as favorites from her years of studying and teaching in Italian schools and kitchens. 200 recipes. 25 illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The host of the PBS series Ciao Italia makes this companion volume reflect her dual roles as worldly-wise TV cooking teacher and grateful granddaughter of Italian immigrants. She concentrates equally on technique and history, in sections on preparation (stocking a pantry, making pasta) and on `` trademark '' foods (Parmigiano-Reggiano, Balsamic vinegar). Ever filial, she emphasizes straightforward family fare, like polenta con formaggio e verdure (polenta with cheese and vegetables) and minestra con panno sotto (literally, soup with bread under it). Even more complicated dishes--e.g., chicken and rabbit with juniper berries--could seemingly be prepared by a grandmother at an old wooden kitchen table to the strains of Enrico Caruso. Recipe instructions are complete but not wordy; recipe ``stories,'' like that of picking up a piece of bread fallen to the floor and kissing it to ward off germs, add to the book's immigrant sensibility. A full and focused, if not dazzling work. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Sept.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688103170
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/1/1991
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.24 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

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.
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Read an Excerpt

Frittata di Spaghetti al Forno

Baked Spaghetti Frittata

Another way to make frittata di spaghetti is to bake it instead of trying to flip it out of a frying pan. Here's a version that uses vegetables and all those bits and pieces of cheeses that have been hiding in the back of the refrigerator. Other vegetables and cheeses can be added -- just be sure to cut them all the same size.

SERVES 8 TO 10
1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup diced onion

1 cup diced bell peppers

1/2 cup diced zucchini

6 large eggs

3 tablespoons grated Pecorino
     Romano cheese

3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
     or basil
Salt and freshly ground black
     pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups cubed mixed cheeses (Swiss,
     Italian Fontina, mozzarella, and/
     or Provolone)

1/2 cup oil-cured olives, pitted and
     diced

2 cups cooked spaghetti

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9-X-10-inch or 9-X-12-inch baking dish.

In a large skillet, heat the butter and olive oil. Add the onion, peppers, and zucchini and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until the Vegetables are softened. Let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, until light colored. Add the Pecorino Romano,parsley or basil, and salt and pepper. Add the vegetables to the egg mixture, along with the cheeses and olives. Mix well. Add the spaghetti and mix well.

Spread the mixture in the buttered dish and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the frittata comes out clean. Cut into squares to serve.

Note: This can be made ahead and eaten either warm or at room temperature. It also makes great picnic fare because it travels well.


Fricco di Pollo all' Eugubina

Chicken Gubbian Style

Gubbio is a quiet ancient hill town in the region of Umbria. I love it because people there take time for the important things: work, reflection, and the pleasure of another's company. The winding streets offer surprises at every turn, such as the craftsmen who still fashion by hand the much-coveted ceramic ware the area is noted for. Around mezzogiorno (noon), the smell of lunch being prepared begins to waft its way down the shady strade. The food is simple peasant fare that reflects old traditions.

SERVES 4
1 3-pound chicken, cut into 8
     pieces

1/4 cup olive oil

1 large white onion, coarsely
     chopped

1/4 cup red or white wine vinegar

4 fresh sage leaves or 1 teaspoon
     dried
2 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1
     teaspoon dried

1 cup dry white wine

1 1/2 cups pureed fresh plum tomatoes
     (3 to 4 medium tomatoes),
     strained to remove seeds

Salt and freshly ground black
     pepper to taste

Wash and dry the chicken pieces. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and sauté slowly for 5 minutes, or until tender. Raise the heat to medium high, add the chicken pieces, and brown on all sides. Add the vinegar and boil until it has evaporated. Lower the heat, add the sage and rosemary, and cook for 20 minutes.

Raise the heat, add the wine, and boil until it has evaporated. Add the tomato puree and salt and pepper, reduce the heat to medium low, and cook for 25 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is easily pierced with a fork.

Transfer the chicken to a platter and spoon some of the sauce over the top. Serve immediately.

Note: Sometimes I serve this with polenta on the side or penne.

Ciao Italia. Copyright © by Mary Esposito. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2000

    THE FOOD LOOK GREAT I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE SHOW ON AT 7:00 PM

    I TRYED THE RECIPES ON THE SHOW THE WHERE GREAT

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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