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

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...

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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
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Rocco DiSpirito may not prevail in the courtroom; but in the kitchen, he's a winner. Embroiled in legal fights, the embattled chef of NBC's reality show The Restaurant still can't miss with his Rabbit Cacciatore and his Sardines with Fennel & Orange. In this spirited offering, Rocco shares the stage with surprise TV star "Mama," who shares her secret recipes for meatballs, frittata, and happiness. Each recipe includes a personal note or story, and the book is lavishly illustrated with DiSpirito family photos, old and new.
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786868575
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 11/3/2004
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 707,411
  • Product dimensions: 7.32 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Rocco DiSpirito

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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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2004

    Wheres the tiramisu?

    Just bought the book and haven't tried the recipes yet. They look quite good actually. My problem is that the book itself looks like something that was put together sloppily and in haste: spelling errors galore, recipes with the same ingredients printed twice, and a recipe listed on the inside front dust cover (Classic Tiramisu) that doesn't seem to be in the book. Also, the recipe for Mama's meatballs now lists only two eggs (which seems much more realistic) as opposed to the eight-egg recipe that was online for months. So which one is correct? And why does the back cover have more to say about Rocco's previous book than this one? All in all, it sounds like the publisher needed to get this one out for Christmas before Mr. DiSpirito's star extinguishes altogether.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2004

    CRAVES YOUR HUNGER!

    i was in need for a good cookbook, and this was definetly satisfied my taste.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2008

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