The essence of Italian cooking. Susan has gone to the source, where the techniques are still genuine and the recipes tied to the culture. ITALIAN FARMHOUSE COOKBOOK is a must-have for anyone seriously interested in Italian cookery.O (LIDIA BASTIANICH)
Simple as a luscious ripe tomato rubbed over rustic bread, intensely flavored as a Sunday leg of lamb smothered in fresh herbs, joyous, unexpected, vibrant farm food is the heart and soul of Italian cooking, and the prize of Susan Herrmann Loomisís years-long quest. Working side-by-side in the kitchen, walking through fields at dawn, eating, drinking, and above all listening, she discovers the secret ingredient of Italian cooks accortezza, or simply ýknowingO and weaves it into every recipes of this sensuous, sun-filled book.
ON THE FARMHOUSE MENU
The Real Panzanella
Potato and Artichoke Soup from Campania
Garlicky Cheese Polenta
Chestnut Pasta with Wild Mushrooms
Sicilian Double-Crusted Potato Pizza
Herbed Farmhouse Lamb Chops
Spinach and Ricotta Dumplings
About the Author
Susan Herrmann Loomis is a European-based food writer whose work appears regularly in The New York Times; she also writes a weekly column for Conde Nast's epicurious.com. Her other books include Italian Farmhouse Cookbook, French Farmhouse Cookbook, Farmhouse Cookbook, and Clam Bakes & Fish Fries.
Read an Excerpt
ROASTED PEPPERS WITH TUNA
(Peperoni Al Tonno)
This dish was sitting on the table in the Maneras' family dining room table in Piedmont, the prelude to one of the finer meals I've ever eaten, and the first of many since I've taken in their company. I make these peperoni often in summer, when red bell peppers are plentiful. Itís very easy and fast, and perfect for a large group. You can easily cut the recipe in half to suit a smaller group. Serve this, as Luciano Maneras did, with a dry but fruity red, such as Dolcetto.
6 whole roasted medium red bell peppers*
2 cans (6 ounces each) tuna packed in olive oil, drained
6 tablespoons capers, preferably preserved in salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnish
*Susan suggests this method for roasting peppers yourself: Place peppers over the flame of a gas burner on medium-high, turning with tongs until they are charred all over (the skins crackled and flaking). Watch carefully to prevent the peppers from burning. Remove from the burners and wrap in a kitchen towel, aluminum foil, or a brown paper bag for 15 minutes. The steam from the peppers will loosen the skin, and when cool enough to handle, the skins will rub right off. Over the sink, remove the seeds and pith from the peppers and proceed with the recipe.
1. Cut the peppers lengthwise into quarters. Arrange, insides up, on a serving platter and set aside.
2. Combine the tuna and capers in a food processor and process until finely chopped. With the machine running, add the oil in a steady stream through the feed tube and continue processing until the mixture has turned an ivory color and is quite smooth (8 to 10 minutes).
3. Fill the pepper quarters with the tuna puree, using about 1 generous tablespoon per pepper.
4. Mince the parsley leaves, if using, and garnish. Serve immediately. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
LEMON AND PINE NUT TAGLIATELLE
Tagliatelle Con Limone E Pinoli
Lisa Bonacossi, her husband, Ugo Contini Bonacossi, and most of their seven children run the Cappezzana winery near Pistoia, in Tuscany. Though Lisa is from a noble family, she is the kind of person who canít stay out of the kitchen (any more than she can stay away from the winery), and she often prepares simple country dishes herself.
"This is one of my favorite pastas," Lisa Bonacossi said, citing its simplicity, "It is made with the lemons, pine nuts, and oil that everyone has at hand." The flavors are simple and brilliant. The sauce is best served with fresh tagliatelle. I serve it with lemon wedges too for those who like to squeeze a bit of fresh juice over the pasta. Serve with a well-chilled Pinot Grigio for a nice, bright combination.
1 cup (gently packed) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Zest of 2 lemons, cut into fine (julienne) strips
1/2 cup pine nuts
Fine sea salt
1 3/4 pounds fresh tagliatelle
Freshly ground black pepper
Table of Contents
AN INTRODUCTION TO ITALIAN FARMHOUSE COOKING......xii
APPETIZERS AND SNACKS
Tantalizing platters of salami, stuffed vegetables, and herb-redolent olives welcome you to a meal or fill the spaces in between.
A Very Happy Farmer or Is He a Baker? on Lido
The Maneras of Piedmont
The Vena Brothers of Gangi
An Agronomist, a Genius, and a Lucky Farmer
The Buffalo and Their Cheese
From the simples mix of greens to the famous Tuscan bread salad (panzanella) and the citrus-infused salads of Sicily, Italian farmhouse insalate are as varied, and as interesting, as the regions of Italy itself.
The Real Balsamic Vinegar\
The Capers of Salina
Soups on the Italian farm table are hearty, satisfying paeans to the past. Steaming bowls rich with the freshest vegetables, aromatic herbs, and flavorful beans speak of ingenuity and tradition.
The Lancellottis: A Farm Family off the Farm
At the farm table, dishes are presented like a vast patchwork, seemingly without rules and without end. However, in Italy, pastas always come first, and so they lead off this chapter as well. The second part of the chapter includes a tempting selection of other classic first courses Garlicky Cheese Polenta, Spinach and Ricotta Dumplings, Artichoke Frittata that can easily be turned into entrees.
Two Sicilian Brothers
A Look at Parmifiano-Reggiano
The Best of the Mountain
A Living Relic
In the past, farmers reserved meat and gish for celbratory occasion, and in fact still treat them with infinite care. Lamb is a favorite, as is pork, and chicken as well as guinea hen and rabbit are fixtures. Plates of succulent Herb-Marinated Leg of Lam, or richly spirited Guinea Hen with Vin Santo, take their rightful place as the nourishing secondi.
THE VEGETABLE GARDEN
The farmhouse table would be incomplete with the many offerings from the garden. Whether from an open-air market, a truck garden, a country field, or someone's small kitchen garden, fresh vegetables and herbs are the epicenter of Italian Farmhouse cooking.
Gorgeous Grappa: The Noninos of Friuli
The Italian Orto
On A Ligurian Slope
Fabio's Babbo The Urban Pepper Farmer
Biodynamic and Organic Farming
FROM THE BREAD OVEN
There is nothing more welcoming than the warm scent of freshly baked bread, or the golden heat that emanates from the hearth. For the Italian baker, the fruits of this labor of love are crisp-crusted loaves, fragrant pizza and focacce (flat breads), and biscotti, all of which you will find in the pages of this chapter.
Prosciutto with Love
A Mysterious Flavor
Desserts are one of the great pleasures of the Italian farm table. Finish a meal with fresh fruit heaped in a bowl and served alongside a richly flavored torta di nocciole (hazelnut cake), or with pastries like crostate, crisp-crusted tarts bursting with everything from ripe apricots to lemon marmalade. These simple and delicious desserts beg to be made often, and with abandon.
The Train Going 'Round the Mountain
An Afternoon with Maria Maurillo
The well-stocked pantry, with its lively array of pepper- and herb-infused oils, jars of fresh tomato sauce, and jam made with ripe figs and grapes straight off the vine, hints at the many possibilities of the Italian farmhouse kitchen.
The Italian Pantry
Dominic and terranova
The basics are the simple little recipes that every Italian farmhouse cook knows inherently. They are the rustic tomato sauce, the homemade pastas, the perfect dough for tender pizza all the from-scratch foods and seasonings that are elemental to the success of any dish.
Pecorino, As It Once Was
What People are Saying About This
The essence of Italian cooking...Susan has gone to the source, where the techniques are still genuine and the recipes tied to the culture. Italian Farmhouse Cookbook is a must-have for anyone seriously interested in Italian cookery.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is one of my go to cookbooks - the best baked chicken with lemon, garlic, and salt in the entire world, bar none! And a quick, easy pizza dough. Loomis gives a little history of each recipe, which makes great reading, but the proof is in the eating!
If you are interested in 'real' Italian food from the farmhouses or peasant kitchens around Italy you will find this cookbook a great reference tool. It is evident that Susan Herrmann Loomis spent a great deal of time researching the recipes and culinary history while writing this book. As the Italian Food Host at BellaOnline and an avid cookbook collector of anything related to Italian cuisine, I would highly recommend this book for someone collecting Italian cookbooks. If it were your first Italian cookbook however I would encourage you to do more research. The one glaring negative of this book was that it did not have a single food photo. I can't imagine that in this day and age that publishers have not figured out that great food photos sell cookbooks!