Tag Archives: Italian cooking

Best New Italian Cookbooks for Gift Giving on Cyber Monday

It’s that time of year! Gift giving time, people and it’s Cyber Monday. I must say my favorite gifts are usually cookbooks. Italian cookbooks are even better. Check out my faves and today is the best time to buy them all online at Amazon since it’s Cyber Monday!

As most of you know, I am a bit of an Italiophile (understatement). There are quite a few folks, who like me, adore Italy as their adopted country and write about their favorite Italian recipes. These talented ladies are fanatical Italiofoodiephiles… Here’s a list of some of the best new Italian cookbooks that have come on the scene this year. All of these ladies are obsessed with sharing their favorite Italian recipes, and let’s face it, Italian food is best enjoyed at home. Pick-up a copy for a friend or family member, and of course, don’t forget to gift yourself one or all of these beauties, too.

Happy gift giving. xx

I should add I enjoy following these ladies on Instagram; they have amazing feeds and adventures. I suggest you head over and follow them as well.

Florentine

  1. Emiko Davies runs a super cool blog; she’s a food writer, but she’s now authored a couple books, and this is her latest (and her first), and she has one on the way in March 2017. Can’t wait. She’s a transplant from Australia living her life with her family in Italy. She runs cooking classes, writes form Italian newspapers, and has a vast knowledge of all things Italian. Her book Florentine: The True Cuisine of Florence is tremendous and well written. I highly suggest it. Emiko’s Blog : Emiko Davies

Preserving Italy

2. Domenica Marchetti has written the quintessential Italian preserving book, Preserving Italy. Domenica grew up in an American Italian family. She is a writer and with a passion for all things Italian especially food, she has turned her passion into writing about and cooking Italian cuisine. Domenica will be joining me in Italy for a workshop at the Fortress in 2018. Wait for details. In the meantime, pick-up this book; it’s really the perfect gift. Domenica’s Blog: Domenica Cooks

tasting Rome

3. Katie Parla and Kristina Gill are both American transplants in Rome their book Tasting Rome is one of my favorites as the recipes are easy straight forward and delicious. Katie is a food writer, and Kristina is a food writer and photographer (she photographed most of their book). Pick-up a copy and be transported to Rome. Katie’s blog: Katie Parla , Kristina Gill Photography

Five Quarters

4.Rachel Roddy is the author of 2 cookbooks about Rome; either one or both make an excellent gift. Five Quarters is her latest endeavor. I love this book because it highlights Roman neighborhoods. Cooking from each quarter! Would that make a great dinner party theme! Just sayin’… Rachel is a contributor to The Guardian.

Italian Street Food

5.Paola Bacchia is one of Australia’s most popular Italian food bloggers. Her book Italian Street Food is one of my newer acquisitions. I am going to cook from it this holiday season. I think it’s such a clever premise. I will let you know how I like it, but I am pretty sure I am going to love it. Definitely on the radar as a great holiday gift. Paola’s blog:  Italy on My Mind

Let me know which ones you buy, and if you make recipes from these books. I would love to hear about them. Happy Holidays, it’s truly the most delectable time of year. xx

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Easy Summer Pesto that will Last all Fall, too

August means that summer is slowly winding down. In fact, it’s only a matter of time before we’ll be well into fall. Can you believe it? If you have loads of basil in your garden like I do, I’m sure you’re looking at ways to use it before the end of the season. Here’s my trick:

As the summer comes to a close, I make sure to harvest all the basil in my garden. Then, I make this summer pesto recipe and freeze it. I like to freeze it in ice cube trays and use it throughout the winter. By doing this, you’re able to enjoy wonderful, homemade pesto throughout the year.

This pesto recipe is straight from the source, my sweet Ligurian friend Monica Damonte. Here’s her version of pesto ala Liguria. Hers has a twist with Ricotta Salata on top; it’s delish. Try it.

Enjoy xx

Pesto

Coin Pasta with Pesto
Serves 6

You will need:

– 4 cups basil
– 1 cup olive oil
– 1¼ cups grated Parmesan cheese
– ½ teaspoon salt
– 4 cups dried coin pasta, or trofie pasta
– 12 cups water for boiling the pasta, reserve ¼ cup pasta water
– 1 cup ricotta salata
– ¼ cup chopped tomato
– 6 mint leaves

To prepare:

Place basil, 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, oil and salt into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade. Pulse for 3 minutes until it forms a paste. Set aside. In a large pot cook pasta for 10 minutes until al dente and drain. In a large bowl combine pasta, pesto, and the reserved water (¼ cup). Add ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese.

Serve in individual bowls with a dollop of ricotta salata. Top each serving with a mint leaf and tomato for garnish. Serve immediately. Place the extra Parmesan on the table for guests.

Photo credit : Victoria Lacarrieu

Food Styling: Me

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I am giving away 3 copies of:: Tasting Rome

Butcher Shop

I am so excited to share this new Italian cookbook with you. My sweet friend Kristina Gill has written a lovely cookbook with co-author Katie Parla titled Tasting Rome. When I first heard about the project, I mistakenly thought that Kristina (who I regard as a photographer) was the photographer on the project, but she is in fact the co-author of the cookbook.

I was captivated by the story of making this book happen as she shared it’s conception recently at a book signing in Atlanta. Kristina, who lives in Rome, started working on this book many years ago. As a way to communicate with the cab drivers, she would chat about their favorite Roman recipes. Kristina wrote down all the recipes, tried them at home, and eventually had collected 100! More than enough for a book. I enjoyed hearing her interviewed in Atlanta recently, and this story resonated with me. How clever to talk to cab drivers about their food experiences. Living in Italy, I know that everyone in Italy has an opinion when it comes to food. Everyone in Italy’s Mama is the best cook, or makes the best this or that. Italians love of food is a serious passion; a pastime that is not only relished but revered.

The book is a little gem, filled with Roman food history, and beautiful recipes. These recipes are typical of the region since in Italy eating regionally is the way it is. The recipes are simple and ingredient-based.

One word of advice before delving into these recipes: if you live anywhere other than Italy, make sure the ingredients you use are the best of the best. For example, I made the chicken meatballs. I must say they were delicious, however I really wish I would have had the butcher grind the dark and light meat for me, rather than buying the pre-ground white meat. The taste would have been richer. I cannot stress enough that Italian food is mainly based on the gorgeous ingredients.

The recipe that I wanted to share today is one of my favorite salads in all of Italy. When I saw it in Tasting Rome, it was like seeing an old friend. The first time I tasted it was in Genova many years ago; my best friend’s boyfriend made it as a lunch course. It’s called insalata di carciofi crudi. I had never tasted raw artichokes, and they were so good. Eating young artichokes raw in Italy is quite common in most regions, and I was blown away. The delicate crunch and mild green flavor is sensational. Give it a try.

Shaved Artichoke Salad

 

Note: ROMANS TYPICALLY cook the tender inner leaves, hearts, and stems of artichokes, but wine bars, many of which lack a full kitchen, have taken to serving raw artichoke salads as a fresh, crisp, and flame-free alternative. The texture is best when the artichokes are sliced as thinly as possible, ideally on a mandoline. Their slightly sweet, bitter, and nutty flavors pair well with the tangy lemon juice and a hard cow’s-milk cheese.

SHAVED ARTICHOKE SALAD
Serves 4 to 6

You will need:
– 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon), plus more to taste
– 4 tender young artichokes cleaned (see below)
– ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
– Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
– 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves
– Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano, for shaving

To prepare:

Put the lemon juice in a medium bowl and set aside.

Remove each artichoke individually from the lemon water and halve them. Using a teaspoon or melon baller, scoop out and discard the fuzzy inner choke and trim off any rough, pointy bits.

Slice each artichoke half into the thinnest possible wedges, then add them to the bowl with lemon juice and mix well. Slice the trimmed stems into the thinnest possible rounds and add to the bowl. Add the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste and mix well.

Garnish with the mint leaves. Use a vegetable peeler to shave slices of Parmigiano-Reggiano over the salad. Serve immediately.

Note: Rome’s local artichoke, called carciofo romanesco, is a staple that floods market stalls from December until May and appears on tables as a starter or a side dish. If you can’t find them, substitute young, tender artichokes, ideally fresh and in season. You may need to adjust seasonings to accommodate. In Rome, they are available already cleaned and pruned, but you’ll likely need to do this yourself.

Begin by filling a large bowl with cold water. Add the juice of 1 lemon and drop in the squeezed lemon halves. Snap off the tough outer leaves of each artichoke just above the base, one at a time. Continue to remove the layers until you reach the light-colored inner leaves. Cut off the stem, leaving about 1 inch attached to the base. Using a small knife with a short, thin blade, or a vegetable peeler, peel off the fibrous outer skin from the removed stem until you reach the pale green inner flesh. Drop it in the bowl with lemon water.

Carefully peel away the tough, dark green skin from the base of the artichoke and its trimmed stem. Remove and discard the upper cone of leaves. Hold in the lemon water to prevent oxidizing until ready to use.

GIVEAWAY

Now for the fun stuff! I am giving away 3 copies of Tasting Rome. I know right?! 3 copies!!!

Enter the giveaway below, and I hope you win! As we say in Italy…Boca di Lupo. GOOD LUCK!

Winners will be announced May 3rd, just in time for Mother’s Day! xx

9780804187183
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Photo credit: Kristina Gill

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