SPQR: Modern Italian Food and Wine


A cookbook and wine guide celebrating the regional traditions and exciting innovations of modern Italian cooking, from San Francisco's SPQR restaurant.

The Roman Empire was famous for its network of roads. By following the path of these thoroughfares, Shelley Lindgren, wine director and co-owner of the acclaimed San Francisco restaurants A16 and SPQR, and executive chef of ...

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SPQR: Modern Italian Food and Wine

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A cookbook and wine guide celebrating the regional traditions and exciting innovations of modern Italian cooking, from San Francisco's SPQR restaurant.

The Roman Empire was famous for its network of roads. By following the path of these thoroughfares, Shelley Lindgren, wine director and co-owner of the acclaimed San Francisco restaurants A16 and SPQR, and executive chef of SPQR, Matthew Accarrino, explore Central and Northern Italy’s local cuisines and artisanal wines.
Throughout each of the eight featured regions, Accarrino offers not only a modern version of Italian cooking, but also his own take on these constantly evolving regional specialties. Recipes like Fried Rabbit Livers with Pickled Vegetables and Spicy Mayonnaise and Fontina and Mushroom Tortelli with Black Truffle Fonduta are elevated and thoughtful, reflecting Accarrino’s extensive knowledge of traditional Italian food, but also his focus on precision and technique.  In addition to recipes, Accarrino elucidates basic kitchen skills like small animal butchery and pasta making, as well as newer techniques like sous vide—all of which are prodigiously illustrated with step-by-step photos.
Shelley Lindgren’s uniquely informed essays on the wines and winemakers of each region reveal the most interesting Italian wines, highlighting overlooked and little-known grapes and producers—and explaining how each reflects the region’s unique history, cultural influences, climate, and terrain. Lindgren, one of the foremost authorities on Italian wine, shares her deep and unparalleled knowledge of Italian wine and winemakers through producer profiles, wine recommendations, and personal observations, making this a necessary addition to any wine-lover’s library.
Brimming with both discovery and tradition, SPQR delivers the best of modern Italian food rooted in the regions, flavors, and history of Italy.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This cookbook and wine guide is indeed like “a slow-paced passeggiata,” or stroll, along the ancient Roman roads of Lazio (Via Appia), Umbria (Via Flaminia), Emilia Romagna and Lombardia (Via Aemilia) and Liguria and Toscana (Via Aurelia). Lindgren, the wine director and co-owner of San Francisco restaurants A16 and SPQR, begins each chapter with a description of the regions’ wines, including grape types and producers. Accarrino, the executive chef of SPQR, provides authentic locally inspired recipes. SPQR, an acronym that stands for the Senate and the People of Rome, is a proclamation of Roman democracy. History and travel enthusiasts will be pleased with the wealth of information this book provides. Accarrino admits that his approach to cooking “uses techniques that may be somewhat unfamiliar to home cooks,” but explains, “only by challenging yourself to learn new techniques and methods do you become a better cook.” Smoked trout with warm potato salad and horseradish gelatina requires readers to fashion a stovetop smoker, then cook trout sous vide, in vacuum-sealed pouches. Ambitious and adventurous home chefs will be big fans. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
“Shelly Lindgren and Matthew Accarrino have composed a book filled with their inspirations based on Italian regional cuisine and wines. It gives us a powerful insight into what makes SPQR one of San Francisco’s favorite restaurants. It makes me wish I lived close by.”
—Thomas Keller, The French Laundry

“Shelley Lindgren has done it again. First, there was her restaurant A16 and a stunning cookbook emerged from that still-marvelous restaurant. Then came SPQR. With the remarkable talent of chef Matthew Accarrino, it has become one of San Francisco’s finest restaurants, bar none. If you haven’t yet heard of SPQR and Matthew Accarrino, trust me, you soon will. This book shows why.”
—Matt Kramer, author and Wine Spectator columnist
“Matthew brings a sense of elegance and refinement to Italian cooking that seems at once natural and yet revelatory. There is a humanistic element to the cooking at SPQR that in concert with Shelley’s wine service, creates a memorable and warm experience. I always look forward to returning.”
—Christopher Kostow, chef, The Restaurant at Meadowood
“I am a staunch traditionalist when it comes to Italian cuisine, yet I love Matthew Accarrino’s modern Italian cooking at SPQR.  His food is Italian in spirit but cooked in the region (paese) of California, using local ingredients, contemporary techniques, and infusing the food with soul and sophistication. Shelley Lindgren is my go-to goddess for Italian wine. A charming and delightful educator, she has extensive knowledge of Italian wine making and wine makers. But even more important, she seeks out little known wines from small regional producers. I learn and taste something new with every visit to SPQR.”
—Joyce Goldstein, chef, author, and culinary consultant
“With well-thought-out recipes and little known wine pairings, discover a perfect balance of contemporary flavor and technique with a soulfulness that is respectful of tradition. Through Matthew’s passion and experience, SPQR will challenge you to become a better cook!”
—Rick Moonen, executive chef and owner of rm Seafood

Praise for A16: Food + Wine:
“This is a cook’s cookbook; it deserves a quiet season filled with long chilly nights, the ideal time to enjoy its gutsy dishes.”

Library Journal
At San Francisco restaurant SPQR, executive chef Matthew Accarrino and wine director and co-owner Lindgren pair Italian-inspired cuisine with thoughtfully selected regional wines. With food writer Kate Leahy, they've organized sophisticated dishes—such as Fava Bean Agnolotti with Mashed Black Truffle and Chestnut-Stuffed Veal Breast with Orzotto—into chapters that provide an armchair-worthy look at Italian history, geography, and viticulture. This is a second collaboration for Lindgren and Leahy, whose debut, A16: Food + Wine, was IACP's 2009 Cookbook of the Year. VERDICT While the recipes are for the pros (ready your thermal-immersion circulator), the excellent wine guide makes this a must for oenophiles.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781607740520
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press
  • Publication date: 10/16/2012
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 234,970
  • Product dimensions: 9.06 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Meet the Author

SHELLY LINDGREN is the wine director and co-owner of both A16 and SPQR. She has received a James Beard nomination for wine service and was named Best New Sommelier by Wine&Spirits.

SPQR's executive chef MATTHEW ACCARRINO is the recipient of Star Chefs' San Francisco 2010 Rising Star Award.

KATE LEAHY is a freelance writer and the co-author of A16 Food + Wine.

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Read an Excerpt

Spaghetti with Shrimp and Tomato Passatina
This is a pasta born from my experience of con niente, a meal created from nothing more than the few ingredients we managed to find around us. With this pasta, I’ve striven to recreate the simplicity of the meal we made at Roberto’s casone on the lagoon. The shrimp—gamberetti—were simply cooked with tomato, then sent through a food mill, shells and all. This rich, pink sauce became the condimento for the store-bought spaghetti that Roberto had on hand.
serves 4 to 6
extra virgin olive oil
150 grams  / 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
12 grams  / 3 garlic cloves, minced
150 grams /  1 carrot, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
454 grams  / 1 pound shell-on raw baby shrimp kosher salt and black pepper a pinch of dried red pepper flakes
115 grams  / 1/2 cup white wine
240 grams /  11/2 cups canned tomatoes
50 grams  / 4 breadsticks, like grissini, broken up
2 grams  / 2 teaspoons chopped parsley
340 grams  / 12 ounces fresh spaghetti (page 264) or dried
Heat a thin film of olive oil in a large, wide pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion and sweat until softened, 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sweat 1 to 2 minutes more until aromatic. Add the carrot and sweat until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.

Turn up the heat to medium-high, stir in the shrimp, and season with salt, pepper, and pepper flakes. Pour in the wine and bring to a simmer. Stir in the tomato and return to a simmer. Pour in 1 cup of water, lower the heat, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until the shrimp are soft enough to break up with a wooden spoon if pressed. Stir the broken grissini pieces into the pot, remove from the heat, and stir in the parsley.
Place a food mill fitted with a coarse plate over a clean pot. In batches, pass the shrimp and broth through the food mill. You will have a coarse paste. (If it’s too dry to go through the food mill, stir in more water). Taste the shrimp paste and season with salt and pepper.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti for 4 minutes if using fresh, and as directed on the package if using dry. Drain the spaghetti, reserving a cup of pasta water, and return the spaghetti to the pasta pot. Stir spoonfuls of the shrimp paste into the spaghetti until evenly coated, adding a few spoonfuls of water if the pasta looks dry, and simmer for one more minute before serving.

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Table of Contents


Ancient Information Highways    
La Strada del Vino    
La Strada della Cucina    
Roman Roads
Via Appia—Lazio    
Via Salaria—Le Marche    
Via Flaminia—Umbria    
Via Postumia—Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia    
Via Claudia Augusta—Trentino–Alto Adige    
Via Aemilia—Emilia-Romagna and Lombardia    
Via Francigena—Piemonte and Valle d’Aosta    
Via Aurelia—Liguria and Toscana
Kitchen Road Map: Fundamental Techniques    
Basic Recipes, and Ingredients     

Via Appia—Lazio 
Spiced Ricotta Fritters with Smoked Maple Syrup  
Fried Rabbit Livers with Pickled Vegetables and Spicy Mayonnaise  
Crispy Pig Ears with Pickled Green Tomatoes, Jalapeño, and Radish  
Spring Vegetable Vignarola Salad  
Bucatini with Nettles, Pancetta, and Black Pepper  
Whole Wheat Fettuccine with Funghi Trifolati and Spring Garlic  
Braised Oxtail in Cabbage Leaves with Cranberry Beans  
Goat Cheese and Ricotta Crespelle with Orange-Caramel Sauce  
Spring Lamb  
Lamb Ragù with Semolina Gnocchi and Pecorino Pepato  
Lamb Belly  
Lamb Loin and Rack with Gaeta Olive Sauce  
Leg of Lamb Wrapped in Lamb Mousse and Swiss Chard  
Steamed Artichokes  
Pickled Swiss Chard Stems  
Via Salaria—Le Marche  
Fluke Crudo, Sausage-Stuffed Olives, and Citrus  
Fried Surf Clams with Agrodolce and Onion, Fennel, and Cherry Pepper Salad 
Baked Anchovies  
Passatelli en Brodo  
Lasagna Vincisgrassi  
Rabbit a la Villa Bucci  
Dried Fruit and Nut Biscotti with Sweet Wine Granita  
Via Flaminia—Umbria    

Smoked Trout with Warm Potato Salad and Horseradish Gelatina  
Chopped Chicken Livers with Wine Gelatina, Carrot Marmellata, and Grilled Bread  
Fava Bean Agnolotti with Mashed Black Truffle  
Tagliatelle d’Oro with Chicken Livers, Mushrooms, and Black Truffle  
Linguine al Cocoa with Venison Ragù  
Farro-Stuffed Quail with Chestnuts, Persimmons, and Dandelion Greens  
Pistachio Torta with Meyer Lemon Curd, Pistachio Crema, and Brown Butter  
Suckling Pig  
Crocchette with Pickled Green Rhubarb and Apricots  
Legs and Belly with Thyme, Lemon, and Fennel Pollen 
Chops with Prosciutto Sauce  
Blécs with Suckling Pig Ragù and Rapini  
Pickled Rhubarb and Dried Apricots  
Prosciutto Sauce  
Via Postumia—Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia  
Spaghetti with Shrimp and Tomato Passatina  
Sardines in Saor with Peperonata Jam  
Asparagus with Lardo-Wrapped Rye Dumplings, Goat Cheese, and Sprouting Greens  
Squid Ink Linguine with Braised Squid, Sea Urchin, Broccoli Crema, and Pan Grattato  
Farro Pasta with Speck, Green Onions, and Poppy Seeds  
Duck Ravioli with Sour Cherries and Candied Pecans  
Chocolate Torta with Vanilla Mascarpone  
Via Claudia Augusta—Trentino–Alto Adige  
Chilled Asparagus Soup with Meyer Lemon Yogurt and Fish Roe  
Mustard Spaetzle with Chanterelle Mushrooms and Stridoli  
Rye Gnocchi with Savoy Cabbage, Potatoes, and Crispy Speck  
Mushroom Risotto  
Beer-Braised Pork Cheeks with Escarole  
Venison Loin with Parsnips and Huckleberry Vinaigrette  
Ricotta Bavarese with Verjus-Poached Rhubarb, Orange Confitura, and Powdered Olive Oil  
Via Aemilia—Emilia-Romagna and Lombardia  
Fritto Misto  
Chestnut-Filled Pasta with Broccoli di Cicco, Guanciale, and Burnt-Orange Sauce  
Squash Cappellacci with Medjool Dates, Rosemary Brown Butter, and Saba  
Ricotta and Quail Egg Ravioli with Wild Greens and Fontina  
Veal and Mortadella Tortellini en Consommé  
Bolognese with Egg Noodles  
Erbazzone Torta with Braised Greens, Prosciutto Cotto, and Eggs  
Pork Milanese, Pickled Cabbage Salad, Anchovy, and Lemon Brown Butter  
Buckwheat Polenta Taragna, Rabbit Stufato, Cherry Tomato, and Mimolette  
Fried Quince Pies with Truffle Honey and Aged Balsamic  
 Via Francigena—Piemonte and Valle d’Aosta  
Egg “in the Hole” with Mushrooms and Miner’s Lettuce  
Bone Marrow Sformato with Stuffed Baby Artichokes  
Fontina and Mushroom Tortelli with Black Truffle Fonduta  
Risotto with Crayfish and Sweetbreads  
Savoy Cabbage with Mushrooms, Lardo, and Crispy Prosciutto  
Chestnut-Stuffed Veal Breast with Orzotto  
Baked Polenta with Beef Cheek Ragù, Eggs, and Fontina  
Barolo Beef with Carrots and New Potatoes  
Chocolate Soufflés with Milk Chocolate Gelato  
Via Aurelia—Liguria and Toscana  
Baked Ricotta with Cherry Tomatoes, Saba, and Pignoli Granola  
Scallop Crudo with Sunchokes, Hibiscus Agrodolce, Almonds, and Cherries  
Albacore Tuna Confitura with Panzanella Salad and Anchovies  
Beet and Ricotta Pansotti with Walnuts and Ricotta Salata  
Tomato-Braised Abalone with Farinata  
Smoked Linguine with Clams, Cherry Tomatoes, and Basil Pesto  
Ramp Spaghetti with Crab and Sea Urchin Butter  
Saffron Trofie with Veal Ragù  
Passion Fruit Panna Cotta with Coconut Spuma   

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