Rocco's Italian-American: More Than 150 Recipes from Rocco and Mama

Rocco's Italian-American: More Than 150 Recipes from Rocco and Mama

by Rocco DiSpirito
     
 

The star of NBC's reality show The Restaurant dishes up the mouthwatering Italian classics that made his TV show and eateries so hot.

A delicious collection of timeless family recipes—including Mamma's Meatballs—from culinary superstar Rocco DiSpirito!

Superstar chef Rocco DiSpirito made a name for himself by taking flavor where it had

Overview

The star of NBC's reality show The Restaurant dishes up the mouthwatering Italian classics that made his TV show and eateries so hot.

A delicious collection of timeless family recipes—including Mamma's Meatballs—from culinary superstar Rocco DiSpirito!

Superstar chef Rocco DiSpirito made a name for himself by taking flavor where it had never gone before. But this decorated chef who blazed through the Culinary Institute of America and burst onto New York's fine dining scene—landing himself on the cover of Gourmet—actually honed his taste buds on the timeless Italian recipes handed down through his family for generations. Rocco's Italian-American lifts the lid on these age-old meals and shares their secrets, as well as the histories and family traditions that go along with them.

More than just a cookbook, Rocco's Italian-American is a celebration of the family recipes and experiences of one immigrant family in New York and is sure to become a classic. It is also filled with the wisdom of Rocco's Mamma, who is beloved by the millions who know her from her television appearances.

Each delicious recipe includes a personal note on the dish, a story associated with it, or a variation preferred by certain relatives. The book is organized by parts of the meal (antipasto, soup, pasta, fish, meat, salad, bread, sweets, and holiday menus). Rocco describes the techniques of the Italian-American kitchen and instructs on the indispensable ingredients, such as tomatoes, olive oil, basil, and beans. The book is lavishly illustrated with (old and new) photos and other artifacts and mementos from his family's treasure chest, including maps, handwritten recipes, and childhood drawings.

Now for the first time, Rocco shares his favorite family recipes, including:

  • Mamma's Meatballs
  • Mamma's Frittata
  • Sardines with Fennel and Orange
  • Farfalle with Grilled Sausage, Fennel, and Baby Artichoke
  • Rabbit Cacciatore
  • Red Snapper and Heirloom Tomatoes Poached in Olive Oil
  • Asparagus with Besciamella
  • Poached Cherries with Ricotta Gelato and Toasted Pandoro

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
this new cookbook amply demonstrates his mastery of Italian cooking filtered through the immigrant experience.
Wine News
If there ever was a book to snuggle up with and spill olive oil over, this is it.
Publishers Weekly
DiSpirito, who lent his name and career to Rocco's, the restaurant that was the subject of the NBC reality show The Restaurant, offers utterly familiar Italian-American recipes. On television, DiSpirito hired his mother as top meatball maker; here he provides Mama's Meatballs and a host of other dishes he ate while growing up. The most interesting reading is actually DiSpirito's mother's autobiographical essay, which includes the story of how she came to move to Queens from Italy when she was 24, in the late 1940s. In his own essay, DiSpirito repeats some of the same information. (His mother "had overcome monumental challenges for us.") DiSpirito's writing is clunky, with obvious statements such as "Soup is, hands down, the most comforting, restorative food a person can eat, as far as I am concerned." Recipes, which include active time and total time required, tend to the mundane, such as Shrimp Scampi and Linguine with Clams. Some chapters are oddly short, such as a Parmigiana chapter with only three recipes, and one on eggs, which also consists of just three dishes. A master recipe for homemade pasta would be difficult for a novice to follow, and Baked Sausage and Nutella Panini is simply misguided. This is a disappointing follow-up to DiSpirito's far superior Flavor. Photos. (Nov. 17) Forecast: This will get a boost from a Today show appearance, although DiSpirito's current status (as a kitchenless chef, after the recent closing of Rocco's and his firing from Union Pacific, his other Manhattan eatery), could negatively affect sales. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786868575
Publisher:
Hachette Books
Publication date:
11/03/2004
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
7.32(w) x 9.32(h) x 1.25(d)
Age Range:
13 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Rocco DiSpirito, chef and proprietor of Manhattan's Union Pacific and Rocco's 22nd Street restaurants, attended the Culinary Institute of America at age sixteen, then studied at the Jardin de Cynge in Paris. He worked at the Adrienne in New York; was chef de partie at Aujourd'hui in Boston; and was part of Lespinasse's opening team. In 1997, Rocco opened Union Pacific, and in 2003, he opened Rocco's 22nd Street, which was featured in the NBC series The Restaurant. His first cookbook, Flavor, won a James Beard Foundation Award.

Nina Lalli is a recent graduate of Oberlin College. She was part of the opening team at Rocco's 22nd Street, where she created La Gazzetta, the daily fake newspaper on the back of the menu. Nina is a freelance writer and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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