Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Wright (Grill Italian; Lasagne) offers 150 recipes that enable home cooks with other lives and jobs to prepare hearty meals in often less than half an hour. First insisting on the use of fresh ingredients, Wright employs helpful sidebars to explains how crucial components of a dish (e.g., basil, pine nuts, peppers) are best utilized and whether they can be preserved. Most of the recipes are pasta-based, and can serve as substantial and diverse piatti unicie, or one-platter meals, for those who cook with one eye on the clock. Spaghetti with Spinach, Raisins and Pine Nuts can be made quickly and served after tossing from a bowl; with saffron added, it can be piled into a baking dish, covered with bread crumbs and popped briefly into a hot oven for a varied presentation. Wright brings to the table diverse meat dishes that are not heavy (Mezze Ziti with Pancetta, Prosciutto, Pistachios, and Peas; Linguine with Grilled Pork Chops and Oregano Flower Buds), and such seafood recipes as Broiled Shark with Pesto Trapanese, a mix of basil, almonds, tomatoes and olives. Chapters on Antipasti, Soups, Rice, and Vegetable Side Dishes explain how the family cook can add an extra dimension to round out a meal. In an introductory note about seeking out fresh ingredients, Wright argues that even his mother who lives in a "gastronomically challenged" region of Florida can find pine nuts and pancetta at her local Winn-Dixie. (Feb.)
The author of Grill Italian (LJ 2/15/96) presents more of the recipes he cooks for family and friends, the majority of them pasta dishes, although there is a chapter on antipasti and "other little foods" and some other light main courses. These are casual dishes, often more Italian in spirit than strictly authentic; the headnotes and sidebars, however, include lots of information on Italian cooking and ingredients. Italian cookbooks abound, but if you can use another "quick and easy" one, Wright's offers a nice assortment of recipes.
Read an Excerpt
The rich taste of this frittata comes from the dark, meaty, earthy tasting portobello mushroom. MAKES 1 SERVING - 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 portobello mushroom cap, any size, thinly sliced
3 large eggs, beaten until frothy
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Finely chopped fresh parsley leaves (optional) for a garnish
1. Preheat the broiler.
2. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick omelet pan over medium-high heat and cook the mushroom until moist and dark looking, about 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour in the eggs, add salt, and sprinkle the cheese on top. Once the bottom sets, 30 seconds to 1 minute remove from the burner and place under the broiler until the top sets, another 30 seconds to 1 minute.
3. Remove, slide the frittata onto a plate, folding it over if desired, and serve with a sprinkle of parsley
Copyright ) 1998 by Clifford A. Wright