La Cucina Siciliana Di Gangivecchio: Recipes from Gangivecchio's Sicilian Kitchen

Overview

Tucked away on a remote Sicilian mountainside is Gangivecchio?once a Roman outpost, then a fourteenth-century Benedictine abbey, now a world-class restaurant and inn.

Poached Lemon-flavored Ricotta Gnocchi with Sage Butter.  Arancine (the sublime rice croquettes of Sicily) Stuffed with Bechamel, Ham, and Mozzarella.  Veal and Pumpkin stew.  Sofficini (elegant little pastries, filled with warm lemon cream, that defy description.)  These are...

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Overview

Tucked away on a remote Sicilian mountainside is Gangivecchio—once a Roman outpost, then a fourteenth-century Benedictine abbey, now a world-class restaurant and inn.

Poached Lemon-flavored Ricotta Gnocchi with Sage Butter.  Arancine (the sublime rice croquettes of Sicily) Stuffed with Bechamel, Ham, and Mozzarella.  Veal and Pumpkin stew.  Sofficini (elegant little pastries, filled with warm lemon cream, that defy description.)  These are just a few of the spectacular dishes prepared at Gangivecchio for anyone lucky enough to dine at this magical spot, with its roaring fireplace, blossoming orchards, roaming animals, and acres of wild poppies.  For anyone not able to make this incredible journey, Wanda and Giovanna now have prepared La Cucina Siciliana di Gangivecchio, the ultimate country cookbook, with recipes culled from generations, handed down as part of the extraordinary and charming history of the family, the town, and the island of Sicily itself.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The mother-and-daughter authors of this charming cookbook run a restaurant in a restored 14th-century monastery in rural Sicily. Their unique recipes will foil many common preconceptions about Sicilian cuisine: not on the Western part of the island, the Tornabenes exhibit little Arab influence; nor, being inland, do they rely heavily on fish. Rice Balls in Chicken Broth, Milk Croquettes and Quacelle-Style Fava Bean and Potato Casserole all make something delicious out of virtually nothing. A salad of Arugula with Pine Nuts and Pomegranate and the restaurant's signature Veal Rolls Stuffed with Ham, Provolone and Pecorino are more sophisticated. The Tornabenes throw in Sicilian classics like Baked Sardines Stuffed with Pine Nuts and Currants and two types of Rice Ball Croquettes. The company is as spirited as the food as, with help from cookbook and travel writer Evans, the Tornabenes spin engaging tales. On their first trip to New York, they transported a rolling pin and some cheese; occasionally, they've been too softhearted to eat the animals they've raised (including a wild boar named Giorgina); they describe a bread-making experiment conducted with friends who "need wine like cars need gasoline to work." Family photos and recipes from Paolo Tornabene (Wanda's son, Giovanna's brother) and his wife, Betty, who together run a nine-room inn in what was originally the stable, enhance this warm and friendly volume. 35,000 first printing. (Nov.)
Library Journal
In a tiny town in the mountains of Sicily, the Tornabene family runs a restaurant whose authentic Sicilian fare has attracted international attention. In 1978, when the family fortunes were on the wane, matriarch Wanda decided to open a restaurant in the 13th-century abbey that was the ancestral home, serving her treasured recipes and those handed down from her mother-in-law, and her mother-in-law in turn, both talented cooks as well. The restaurant, expanded and thriving, is still serving those dishes today, with contributions as well from Giovanna, Wanda's daughter, and her son and daughter-in-law. Local produce and other ingredients figure strongly in their cooking, but with coauthor Evans, the Tornabenes have succeeded in making these recipes, from Sicilian Potato Croquettes to Gemelli with Aromatic Herbs to Peasant-Style Artichokes, accessible to the American home cook. Particularly because Wanda at first had no intention of sharing her family recipes with a wider public, this is a privileged look at a remote and personal adventure. Highly recommended.
From Barnes & Noble
Tucked away in the remote Sicilian mountainside is Gangivecchio, once a Roman outpost, later a 14th-century Benedictine abbey, and since 1978, a world-class restaurant and inn. In this delightful book, the owners of Gangivecchio offer authentic recipes well-loved by their guests, along with charming anecdotes of food, flavors, and unique area history. A wide range of marvelous country cooking, from Arancine (the sublime rice croquettes of Sicily) and Penne Pasta with Artichokes and Peas to Gangivecchio's Stuffed Veal Medallions and Torta alla Frutta (a delectable fruit tart). Color photos and half-tone photos.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679425106
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/1/1996
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 8.13 (w) x 9.53 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Wanda Tornabene and her daughter, Giovanna, live in the interior Madonie Mountains in Gangivecchio, Sicily, in a restored fourteenth-century Benedictine monastery, where they have operated a restaurant since 1978.  The Tornabenes opened a nine-room albergo with a second restaurant, called Tenuta Gangivecchio, on the property in 1992.  Tenuta Gangivecchio is run by Wanda's son, Paolo, and daughter-in-law, Betty.

Michele Evans is the author of thirteen previous cookbooks, and is also a travel writer.  Her Caribbean Connoisseur: An Insider's Guide to the Islands' Best Hotels, Resorts, and Inns is in its third edition.  She and her husband, Tully Plesser, are residents of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.

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