Cooking Rice with an Italian Accent!: The Grain at Home in Every Course of Italy's Meals

Overview

It seems safe to say that most Americans whose roots are not in Italy consider pasta the foundation of Italian cuisine (with the possible exception of those who don't see beyond pizza). There's justification in that, of course: In Italy pasta is indeed ever present, in hundreds of forms, served alone and in combination with just about any edible meat, plant, or seafood one can think of, and with an endless variety of sauces, even one named for she who practices the oldest ...

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Overview

It seems safe to say that most Americans whose roots are not in Italy consider pasta the foundation of Italian cuisine (with the possible exception of those who don't see beyond pizza). There's justification in that, of course: In Italy pasta is indeed ever present, in hundreds of forms, served alone and in combination with just about any edible meat, plant, or seafood one can think of, and with an endless variety of sauces, even one named for she who practices the oldest profession.

But wait till you see the great dishes that Father Orsini has brought you from the farms and cooks of northern Italy, wonderful dishes based on-rice!

No matter what you think, rice was not brought to Italy by Marco Polo. The techniques of rice farming (and presumably some seeds or cuttings) came to Italy in the ninth century with the Arab invasion of Sicily. Rice farming prospered against great odds, thanks to the determination and hard work of Sicilian farmers and the money of the Sicilian elite. And even though Father Orsini's own roots are in the country's south, he readily concedes that northern Italy has raised cooking rice to an art.

This book will guide you through that art museum of Sicilian rice dishes, with everything from delicious soups (Minestre) to desserts (Dolci), a whole chapter on a fabulous selection of risotti (Risotto, that's right! How'd you guess?), and enough marvelous and often unsuspected rice dishes of many kinds to send you off to the store for a Great Big Bag of Rice. Father Orsini is an experienced cookbook author and an experienced chef, and his readers needn't fear that his recipes are difficult or complicated to follow. They taste really special, but the good father has made them as easy to put together as they are delicious to eat. The history of rice is a bonus for the intelligence; the recipes are the basic gift for your honest hunger. What more could you ask?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
From Radicchio Risotto to Almond and Rice Pudding, the retired priest-cum-cookbook author offers several courses' worth of creative recipes in this homage to rice, which, he points out, has long been a staple of Italian cooking. After all, "Rice is the pasta of Northern Italy." The author provides a brief history of rice's place in Italian culinary history-in the ninth century, Arabs brought the grain to Sicily, where it became a favorite with the wealthy-as well as a helpful list of cooking terms, instructions for determining the sex of an eggplant (males are less bitter than females) and the provenance of his recipes-many of which he sampled during visits to Italy. Humorous asides (e.g., Glutton's Risotto will test your fortitude in the face of the eponymous sin) are balanced by clear, straightforward instructions for creating rice dishes, and there are recommendations for the best rice, cheeses and broths to buy (though, of course, Orsini would prefer you to make stock from scratch). Many recipes call for butter and cream, but just as many emphasize vegetables. This is an upbeat, thorough cookbook that should please novice and experienced chefs alike. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312339029
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2005
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 7.76 (w) x 9.37 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Father Joseph Orsini is the author of Papa Bear's Favorite Italian Dishes, Father Orsini's Italian Kitchen, and Pasta Perfetta. In addition to ministering part-time at the Italian parish of Our Lady of the Assumption in New Jersey, he is also the co-chaplain of the Bayonne, New Jersey, chapter of Unico National and the national spokesperson for the Una Voce National Italian-American Anti-Bias Foundation. Father Orsini is the founder and chairman of a new Italian food company called Father Orsini's Italian Specialities.

All of Father Orsini's personal earnings from his books and his food company are donated to charities.

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