The Italian Country Table Home Cooking from Italy's Farmhouse Kitchens (Hardcover)
|If you dream of Italy -- and who does not? -- be prepared to fall in love with this extraordinary cookbook. Written by Lynne Rossetto Kasper, author of The Splendid Table: Recipes from Emilia-Romagna, the Heartland of Northern Italian Food (winner of both the James Beard and Julia Child/IACP Cookbook-of-the-Year Awards), it is every bit the equal of its celebrated predecessor.
Read its exuberant pages, eat its lusty dishes, and you enter a landscape vibrant with rural life. You are one with the terrain. In some sense, you are home. That, of course, is the miracle of Italy -- no matter where we come from, we want to be a part of it. And the miracle of The Italian Country Table is its ability to take us there.
And what a journey! You will never be as impatient to get into your kitchen as when you are planning a meal from this book. Two hundred recipes, personally collected from home cooks throughout the length and breadth of Italy, will keep calling you back.
Who could resist the "Gatto" di Patate, a mashed-potato "lasagne" from the Neapolitan countryside? Or a Tuscan Mountain Supper of warm beans tossed with an herbed tomato sauce and eaten with tart greens? Or Pasta of the Grape Harvest, a Sicilian dish of grapes, red wine, orange zest, spices, pistachios and linguine? Or Chocolate Polenta Pudding Cake?
Kasper, host of Public Radio's The Splendid Table, is a master teacher who thinks about cooking in a way that is radically distinctive. Her chapter on tomatoes and tomato sauces, a treasure by itself, will change the way you think about them -- and cook them -- forever. Her guide to buying and saucing pasta contains more useful facts than many books that devote themselves to pasta exclusively.
Kasper, the grandchild of Italian immigrants, describes herself as someone with a love of lingering "in places where life changes slowly." This personal book abounds with stories of artisans, farmers and family. It is a portrait of Italian country life.
Whether you read The Italian Country Table, cook from it or use it to plan a trip (there is an appendix that lists guest farms, country hotels, restaurants and museums), you have only to turn its pages to be transported to a rustic Italy that few of us know, but all of us long for.
From the Publisher:
This eagerly awaited new book by "the culinary diva of public radio" (Minnesota Public Radio) is filled with recipes from Emilia-Romagna, the heartland of Northern Italian cuisine. Over 200 authentic recipes run the gamut from appetizers to main dishes to desserts, accompanied by anecdotes gathered firsthand from farmhouse cooks. of color photos. NPR sponsorship.The author of
Using simple, accessible ingredients, this book of regional Italian recipes is full of information, anecdotes, and profiles of Italian bakers, shepherds, cheese-makers, and dedicated rural cooks. The author also includes a chapter entitled "When in Italy," which provides lists of farms and country homes for tourists.
"This book is a poem to country life....It will guide you gently into the past but leave you with a vision of the future: good food simply prepared, with a deep sense of cultural integrity....[T]he recipes are fascinating, fresh, and perfectly suited to the American table....If you purchase only one book this year, make it THE ITALIAN COUNTRY TABLE." - Christopher Kimball November/December 1999 New York Times
"Ms. Kasper...is keenly aware of the fragility of this way of life....Without sentiment, she tells short tales from remote corners, and together, they give you a strong sense of what is so important about rural life in Italian culture. Ms. Kasper can take you to a place, have you smell it, hear its voices, and teach you something--all in the space of a paragraph....Every aspect of a dish, even a simple one, is well thought out." - Amanda Hesser 10/27/1999 Wall Street Journal
"The granddaughter of an Italian sharecropper, Ms. Kasper spent 20 years searching through the Italian countryside, hunting down farmers, country museum curators and opinionated rural cooks. She gracefully weaves the fruits of her labors into this delightful book....I immediately related to the practical and flexible recipes at hand." - Melissa Trainer 11/15/1999