La Mia Cucina Toscana: A Tuscan Cooks in America

La Mia Cucina Toscana: A Tuscan Cooks in America

by Pino Luongo, Andrew Friedman, Marta Pulini
     
 

Pino Luongo, prolific and irrepressible restaurateur (Le Madri, Coco Pazzo, Tuscan Square, and Centolire) and author of A Tuscan in the Kitchen and Simply Tuscan, has written a highly personal, completely innovative take on the food of his native region.

For more than two decades, Pino Luongo has been one of New York City’s most

Overview

Pino Luongo, prolific and irrepressible restaurateur (Le Madri, Coco Pazzo, Tuscan Square, and Centolire) and author of A Tuscan in the Kitchen and Simply Tuscan, has written a highly personal, completely innovative take on the food of his native region.

For more than two decades, Pino Luongo has been one of New York City’s most renowned restaurateurs. Inspired by the many culinary crosscurrents in this most cosmopolitan of cities, he has devised an original version of the food of Tuscany that draws on ingredients and inspiration from Italy, America, and even Asia. Grouping recipes by key ingredients (such as grains and legumes, mushrooms, spring vegetables, and fall vegetables) instead of by courses, he explains the Old-World “Il Classico” roots of his recipes, then takes them in exciting new directions with his own vibrant, New-World versions. In this brand new approach, the thick Florentine soup ribollita becomes a delectable filling for ravioli. Polenta replaces bread in pappa al pomodoro (tomato and bread soup). The farro grain finds a new role as the basis of a warm salad made of mushrooms and arugula. Shellfish is happily married with the usually vegetarian dish caponata. There are poultry (Rigatoni with Chicken and Pea Ragout with Prosciutto), pork (Pork Short Ribs, Tuscan Style), and meat dishes (Lemon and Oregano–Marinated Lamb Chops with Roasted Peppers) and for an unusual finish to the meal, he gives advice on serving cheese with unexpected accompaniments. A luscious selection of dolci includes desserts such as Chocolate Pudding with Cherry Sauce and Citrus Zest and Almond Biscotti. Occasionally Pino Luongolooks back to Tuscany’s glorious past for inspiration, as with the dessert dating from the Renaissance, Tagliatelle Torta with Apples and Raisins. Based on dishes served in Pino Luongo’s popular and acclaimed restaurants as well as recipes he has created at home through improvisation, La Mia Cucina Toscana will delight anyone interested in exploring something new from one of Tuscany’s favorite sons.

Author Biography:

A native of Tuscany, PINO LUONGO moved to the United States more than twenty years ago and now owns acclaimed restaurants in New York City and Chicago. The author of three previous books—A Tuscan in the Kitchen, Fish Talking, and Simply Tuscan—he lives in Purchase, New York. ANDREW FRIEDMAN, who also collaborated with Pino Luongo on Simply Tuscan, is the author or coauthor of several cookbooks. He divides his time between New York City and Chatham, New York. MARTA PULINI was born in Modena, Italy. She has worked with Pino Luongo for fifteen years in several of his New York restaurants. She is currently executive chef at Centolire.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
In this muddled book, restaurateur Luongo (Simply Tuscan) takes the simple, unadorned food of Tuscany and other parts of Italy and makes it complex for no discernible reason. The concept is good: Luongo has now cooked in New York City for two decades, and he sets out to illustrate how his native Tuscan dishes have mutated under those circumstances. Almost every recipe is accompanied by two headers, titled "Il Classico" and "La Mia Versione," which explain its origins. But most of these explanations are based on an idea rather than taste-such as a recipe for Tuscan-Style Porcini Mushrooms in which Luongo explains that the cooking method used is one that would normally be applied to a fettina, a cheap cut of meat-leaving the reader to wonder how taste and idea interact. Some of the recipes have no Tuscan roots at all, like a Tuna and Beet Carpaccio with Gorgonzola Cheese based on the famous beef carpaccio served at Harry's Bar in Venice, or an Eggplant-Chocolate Mousse that evolved from an ancient Neapolitan eggplant dessert. Dishes that adhere most closely to the originals, such as a Baked Sea Bream on a Bed of Potatoes and Pecorino (which, Luongo admits, breaks the cardinal Italian rule of no-cheese-with-fish), are the safest bets, while out-on-a-limb combinations such as Watermelon and Fresh Fava Bean Salad feel as if they use strangeness as an attention-getting gambit. (Oct.) Forecast: Luongo's Simply Tuscan has sold more than 53,000 copies, and this is a visually appealing if pricey effort, but its recipes will test the theory that simply slapping the word "Tuscan" on any cookbook translates into sales. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal - Library Journal
Luongo's first book was A Tuscan in the Kitchen, and he says this one might instead have been called A Tuscan in New York. Chef and owner of many New York City restaurants since the early 1980s, including Le Madri and Coco Pazzo, he most recently opened Centolire. There, he and executive chef Marta Pulini serve lusty, flavorful dishes such as Polenta with Pork Sausage and Truffle Sauce, and Seafood Stew with Eggplant and Tomatoes-Luongo's personal take on traditional Tuscan fare. For each of these recipes, he describes "Il Classico" and then "La Mia Versione," explaining how he has updated or otherwise revitalized the dish, perhaps incorporating an "American" ingredient like soft-shell crabs in a beloved Italian preparation. Luongo has a warm, engaging style, and full-page color photographs add to the book's appeal. For most collections. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780767911948
Publisher:
Broadway Books
Publication date:
10/28/2003
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
10.20(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

A native of Tuscany, PINO LUONGO moved to the United States more than twenty years ago and now owns acclaimed restaurants in New York City and Chicago. The author of three previous books—A Tuscan in the Kitchen, Fish Talking, and Simply Tuscan—he lives in Purchase, New York. ANDREW FRIEDMAN, who also collaborated with Pino Luongo on Simply Tuscan, is the author or coauthor of several cookbooks. He divides his time between New York City and Chatham, New York. MARTA PULINI was born in Modena, Italy. She has worked with Pino Luongo for fifteen years in several of his New York restaurants. She is currently executive chef at Centolire.

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