Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipes
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Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipes

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by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, Tanya Bastianich Manuali
     
 

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In this inspiring new book, Lidia Bastianich awakens in us a new respect for food and for the people who produce it in the little-known parts of Italy that she explores. All of the recipes reflect the regions from which they spring, and in translating them to our home kitchens, Lidia passes on time-honored techniques and wonderful, uncomplicated recipes for dishes

Overview

In this inspiring new book, Lidia Bastianich awakens in us a new respect for food and for the people who produce it in the little-known parts of Italy that she explores. All of the recipes reflect the regions from which they spring, and in translating them to our home kitchens, Lidia passes on time-honored techniques and wonderful, uncomplicated recipes for dishes bursting with different regional flavors—the kind of elemental, good family cooking that is particularly appreciated today.

Penetrating the heart of Italy—starting at the north, working down to the tip, and ending in Sardinia—Lidia unearths a wealth of recipes:

From Trentino–Alto Adige: Delicious Dumplings with Speck (cured pork); apples accenting soup, pasta, salsa, and salad; local beer used to roast a chicken and to braise beef
From Lombardy: A world of rice—baked in a frittata, with lentils, with butternut squash, with gorgonzola, and the special treat of Risotto Milan-Style with Marrow and Saffron
From Valle d’Aosta: Polenta with Black Beans and Kale, and local fontina featured in fondue, in a roasted pepper salad, and embedded in veal chops
From Liguria: An array of Stuffed Vegetables, a bread salad, and elegant Veal Stuffed with a Mosaic of Vegetables
From Emilia-Romagna: An olive oil dough for making the traditional, versatile vegetable tart erbazzone, as well as the secrets of making tagliatelle and other pasta doughs, and an irresistible Veal Scaloppine Bolognese
From Le Marche: Farro with Roasted Pepper Sauce, Lamb Chunks with Olives, and Stuffed Quail in Parchment
From Umbria: A taste of the sweet Norcino black truffle, and seductive dishes such as Potato-Mushroom Cake with Braised Lentils, Sausages in the Skillet with Grapes, and Chocolate Bread Parfait
From Abruzzo: Fresh scrippelle (crêpe) ribbons baked with spinach or garnishing a soup, fresh pasta made with a “guitar,” Rabbit with Onions, and Lamb Chops with Olives
From Molise: Fried Ricotta; homemade cavatelli pasta in a variety of ways; Spaghetti with Calamari, Shrimp, and Scallops; and Braised Octopus
From Basilicata: Wedding Soup, Fiery Maccheroni, and Farro with Pork Ragù
From Calabria: Shepherd’s Rigatoni, steamed swordfish, and Almond Biscottini
From Sardinia: Flatbread Lasagna, two lovely eggplant dishes, and Roast Lobster with Bread Crumb Topping

This is just a sampling of the many delights Lidia has uncovered. All the recipes she shares with us in this rich feast of a book represent the work of the local people and friends with whom she made intimate contact—the farmers, shepherds, foragers, and artisans who produce local cheeses, meats, olive oils, and wines. And in addition, her daughter, Tanya, takes us on side trips in each of the twelve regions to share her love of the country and its art.

Editorial Reviews

You can peruse Lidia Bastianich's new cookbook in two equally pleasing ways. You can read it as an expert culinary tour of Italy, complete with recipes, or you can simply pillage its bounty one recipe at a time. Either way, you will be eventually tempted by the Risotto Milan-Style with Marrow and Saffron, the Stuffed Quill in Parchment and the Spaghetti with Calamari, Shrimp, and Scallops.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307267511
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/20/2009
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
616,263
Product dimensions:
8.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

Read an Excerpt

Frittata with Asparagus and Scallions

 

Ingredients:

 

1 pound fresh, thin asparagus spears

 

4 ounces prosciutto or bacon, thick slices with ample fat (about 4 slices)

 

1/2 pound scallions

 

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

 

1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt, or more to taste

 

8 large eggs

 

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

Recommended Equipment:

 

A sturdy 12-inch nonstick skillet with a cover

 

A heat-proof rubber spatula

 

Serves 4 as a light meal or 6 as an appetizer

 

This is a different sort of frittata, not the neat golden round of well-set eggs that's probably most familiar. Here the eggs are in the skillet for barely a minute, just long enough to gather in soft, loose folds, filled with morsels of asparagus and shreds of prosciutto. In fact, when I make this frittata or the "dragged" eggsuova strapazzate, page 143I leave my eggs still wet and glistening so I can mop up the plate with a crust of country bread. That's the best part of all.

 

Snap off the tough bottom stubs of the asparagus, peel the bottom few inches of each spear, and cut them crosswise in 1 1/2-inch pieces. Slice prosciutto or bacon into strips, or lardoons, about 1 inch long and 1/3 inch wide. Trim the scallions, and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces.

 

Pour the olive oil into the skillet, scatter in the lardoons, and set over medium heat. When the strips are sizzling and rendering fat, toss in the cut asparagus, and roll and toss them over a few times. Cover the skillet, and cook, still over moderate heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until the asparagus is slightly softened, 5 minutes or so.

 

Scatter the scallion pieces in the pan, season with a couple pinches of salt, and toss the vegetables and lardoons together. Cover the skillet, and cook, shaking the pan and stirring occasionally, until the scallions and asparagus are soft and moist, 7 or 8 minutes more. Meanwhile, beat the eggs thoroughly with the remaining salt and generous grinds of black pepper.

 

When the vegetables are steaming in their moisture, uncover the skillet, raise the heat, and cook, tossing, for a minute or so, until the water has evaporated and the asparagus and scallions seem about to color.

 

Quickly spread them out in the pan, and pour the eggs over at once. Immediately begin folding the eggs over with the spatula, clearing the sides and skillet bottom continuously, so the eggs flow and coagulate around the vegetables and lardoons.

 

When all the eggs are cooked in big soft curds—in barely a minute—take the skillet off the heat. Tumble the frittata over a few more times to keep it loose and moist. Spoon portions onto warm plates, and serve hot and steaming.

 

Dry Fettuccine with Squash and Cauliflower
Bavette con Zucca e Cavolo
Serves 6

Ingredients
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 plump garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
1 small onion, thinly sliced (1 cup)
3 cups butternut squash cut in ½-inch cubes
3 cups cauliflower cut in small (about 1-inch) florets
4 tablespoons small capers, drained
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt, or to taste, plus more for cooking pasta
1/2 teaspoon peperoncino flakes, or to taste
2 cups canned Italian plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, crushed by hand
1 pound dry fettucine or bavette
1 cup freshly grated pecorino

Recommended Equipment
A heavy-bottomed skillet or sauté pan, 14-inch diameter, with a cover
A large pot, 8-quart capacity or larger, with a cover, for cooking the pasta

 
Dry Fettuccine with Squash and Cauliflower
Bavette con Zucca e Cavolo
 

   1. Pour the olive oil into the big skillet, and set over medium-high heat.

   2. Scatter in the sliced garlic, and let it start sizzling.

   3. Stir in the onion slices, and cook for a couple of minutes, to wilt.

   4. Spill in all the cut squash and cauliflower pieces, scatter the capers, salt, and peperoncino on top, and with tongs toss all together for a minute or so.

   5. Pour a cup of water into the skillet, cover tightly, and steam the vegetables for 2 to 3 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally.

   6. Pour in the crushed tomatoes along with a cup of water sloshed in the tomato cans. Stir well and cover; when the tomato juices are boiling, adjust the heat to keep them bubbling gently. Cook covered for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

   7. When the vegetables are softened, uncover and continue cooking to reduce the pan juices to a good consistency for dressing the pasta, about 5 minutes. Adjust the seasoning to taste, and keep at a low simmer.

   8. While the sauce is cooking, heat salted pasta-cooking water to a rolling boil (at least 6 quarts water and a tablespoon salt).

   9. Drop in the fettuccine or bavette, and cook until barely al dente.

   10. Lift them from the water, drain for a moment, then drop into the simmering vegetables. Toss and cook all together for a couple of minutes over moderate heat. Moisten the dish with pasta water if it seems dry; cook rapidly to reduce the juices if they're splashing in the skillet.

   11. When the pasta is perfectly cooked and robed with sauce, turn off the heat. Sprinkle over it the grated cheese, toss into the pasta, and serve.

 

 

Meet the Author

Lidia Matticchio Bastianich is the author of five previous books, four of them accompanied by nationally syndicated public television series. She is the owner of the New York City restaurant Felidia (among others), and she lectures on and demonstrates Italian cooking throughout the country. She lives on Long Island, and can be reached at her Web site, www.lidiasitaly.com.

Tanya Bastianich Manuali, Lidia’s daughter, received her Ph.D. in Italian Renaissance art history from Oxford University. Since 1996 she has led food/wine/art tours of Italy. She lives with her husband and children on Long Island.

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Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 71 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been waiting for this cookbook for months. The recipes are authentic and easy to follow. My family adores everything I make from her books. Well done, Lidia!
FoodLuvr More than 1 year ago
My husband and I are huge fans of Lidia's cooking shows. This is my second Lidia cookbook and I LOVE IT. We've been having the best time trying out a new recipe at least once a week. We live in a rural area of New Jersey so we don't always have the best luck finding exact ingredients but we've learned to improvise for the items we can't find. Ignore the nay-sayers...if you like to cook and you like simple delicious food like your Nonna would make...BUY THIS BOOK!
LadyCNY More than 1 year ago
This cookbook follows the TV series Lidia's Italy recipes. It is arranged in a way that you can easily look up a recipe that is taken directly from the series. As a reference book for the series, it's great. It's concise, informative and displays many colorful pictures of the dishes she prepares. The instructions are easy to follow, and the ingredients needed for the many delicious dishes will be easy to find in most supermarkets. If you are a PBS cooking show watcher, this one is a must for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Purchased as a Christmas present for my sister who has been to Italy and is an excellent cook. She adores Italian food and especially enjoys preparing Italian dishes for family and friends. When I asked if the cookbook was useful I was given a resounding YES! The recipes are delicious and easy to accomplish. She really loved the personnel touch of Lidia discussing the regions from where the recipes originated. If you know someone who loves to cook Italian Food or has been to Italy and would like to cook Italian, this is a good recipe book for them.
Rica More than 1 year ago
This book has so many wonderful pictures of the true Italy. The travel section makes me want to get on a plane and I have tried some of the recipes and they are easy and my kitchen smells fabulous.
Procook More than 1 year ago
This book is filled with great recipes for the true cook! I just love her and all the info gives on the different sections of Italy and the people in the villages. I look forward to her next book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In the week I have had this book, I have tried four recipes from the first region featured (Trentino-Alto Adige): Country Salad, Spaghetti in Tomato-Apple Sauce, Whole-Grain Spaetzle, and Beef Braised in Beer. All were so simple that I feared the results would be boring, but all turned out to be delicious.
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SandyI More than 1 year ago
Have watched all the episodes of Lidia that are in this cookbook and wanted to have "hard copy" of them. Always have good luck with her recipes. Ingredients are easy to find and most recipes are easy to prepare.
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excellent companion to the pbs show
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