By unspooling charming stories and encyclopedic information about ingredients, Locatelli, chef at London's Locanda Locatelli, conveys the atmosphere in a busy restaurant kitchen after hours. When Locatelli waxes sweetly sentimental about the joy derived from feeding others-first discovered at his family's restaurant in the small town of Corgeno, Italy-and what he has learned from having a daughter who is allergic to some 600 foods and once went into anaphylactic shock after eating a bit of smoked salmon, he comes off as an Anthony Bourdain without the bluster. With reams of good information about everything from cheese and eel to how to judge a dish of pasta by sight, this volume is a major addition to the English-language Italian cookbook shelf, particularly as a reference. The savory recipes are mostly carefully considered Italian classics like Linguine with Pesto and Chargrilled Chicken Breast with Spinach, though desserts are not the simple pieces of fruit Locatelli admits that Italians prefer, but presumably restaurant-derived showstoppers like Blood Orange and Fresh Loquat Salad with Violet Jelly and Yogurt Foam. At more than 600 pages, the range of recipes is almost as large as Locatelli's personality. One caveat, though: Britishisms abound, as when Locatelli refers to tomatoes as "the steak and kidney pie of Italy." Despite that, this is an impressive achievement, marking Locatelli as a major talent, comparable to Marcella Hazan in his ability to explain Italian cooking. (Nov.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Made in Italy: Food and Storiesby Giorgio Locatelli
Giorgio Locatelli started helping out in the family restaurant at age five. He was raised in Corgeno in northern Italy, close to the Swiss border and Milan. Almost everything his family ate and drank was produced locally. He was told by the head chef at his first real Italian restaurant job that he would never make it as a chef. His grandmother, who shared her
Giorgio Locatelli started helping out in the family restaurant at age five. He was raised in Corgeno in northern Italy, close to the Swiss border and Milan. Almost everything his family ate and drank was produced locally. He was told by the head chef at his first real Italian restaurant job that he would never make it as a chef. His grandmother, who shared her great love of food with him, said Giorgio would have to go back and show him. And so he did. After getting suspended from cooking school because of kissing a girl on the school's steps, he went on to become a greatly admired chef.
Made in Italy is a 624-page, vibrantly illustrated book full of Locatelli's recipes, insight and historical detail about Italian food. He combines food narrative with hands-on expertise of a top chef. He peppers the book with evocative stories and funny and often outspoken observations on the state of food today. This is the contemporary Italian food bible, from the acknowledged master of modern Italian cooking.
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Read an Excerpt
Made in Italy
Food and Stories
Potato gnocchi with black pepper and goat cheese sauce
(Gnocchi di patate al pepe nero e salsa al caprino)
½ recipe quantity of potato gnocchi dough
About 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus extra to taste
3 tablespoons milk
About 5 2/3 ounces soft goat cheese, broken into pieces
Small bunch of chives, half of them chopped and the rest cut into matchsticks
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan (optional)
When shaping your gnocchi, mix 2 teaspoons of freshly ground pepper into the flour. Warm the milk in a saute pan, add the goat cheese and let it melt gently to form a thick sauce. Grind in black pepper to taste.
Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil, put in the gnocchi and keep stirring until they rise to the surface (a minute or so), then lift them out carefully with a slotted spoon or a skimmer and put them into the sauce.
Sprinkle in the chopped chives and toss the gnocchi around very carefully, just to coat them in the sauce. Add the Parmesan and a little of the cooking water, if you think the sauce needs loosening, but don't leave the gnocchi in the sauce any longer than about a minute, or they will start to break up.
Serve garnished with the matchsticks of chives.
Sweet pastry (pasta frolla)
Makes enough for two 11-inch tarts or eight 4-inch tarts
1 cup butter
1 cup confectioner's sugar
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
This is a very good, very easy pastry that isn't difficult to work with and won't break if you roll it. We use it to line a nonstick tart pan and bake it "blind", i.e., empty, so that it can cook a little and crisp up before you add a wet topping of fruit, frangipane, etc. We use ovenproof plastic wrap, filled with rice, dried peas or beans to weigh it down, rather than baking paper, as it is tricky to keep this touching the pastry everywhere and keep it completely flat, whereas plastic wrap immediately sticks to it. Six minutes at 340 degrees F is enough to start setting the pastry, then you can take out the plastic wrap and return the tart case to the oven for about 15 minutes, until just golden. Make sure you preheat your oven for a good half hour before you start.
With the paddle attachment on the mixer, blend the butter until soft. Add the sugar and continue to mix until the mixture turns pale. Add the eggs one by one, and when they are incorporated, add the flour. Continue to mix until all the flour is incorporated. Divide into 2 balls.Made in Italy
Food and Stories. Copyright © by Giorgio Locatelli. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Meet the Author
Michelin-starred Giorgio Locatelli is one of Britain's best known Italian chefs. Giorgio began his career at his family's restaurant in Italy before coming to London. He was head chef at Zafferano, before moving to open Locanda Locatelli, where he remains chef-patron. Giorgio has had a column in the Guardian and written a number of bestselling books, most recently Made In Sicily published in 2011. Giorgio has co-presented series for BBC2 on Sicily and Italy.
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