Who enjoys Italian? A lot of people do! Two cookbook authors and mother-daughter duo, come together to create 100 foolproof dishes in "Lidia's Favorite Recipes" by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali.
An author of eight previous books and star of a nationally syndicated public television series, Matticchio Bastianich is also the owner of a New York City restaurant and gives lectures on Italian cuisine. In her introduction, she addresses the fact that she wanted the ingredients used in the recipes in this book to be affordable and easy to find. She also states that these are "family size dishes" meant to be shared with large families or saved in the freezer for nights when you don't want to cook.
The book is divided into Appetizers, Salads and Soups, Sandwiches and Pizza, Primi (Pastas, Polentas and Risottos,) Sauces, Sides and Vegetables, Seafood, Poultry and Meats and Desserts.
Appetizers has dishes like Panzanella (Bread and Tomato Salad) and Involtini di Zucchini Fritti (Egg-Battered Zucchini Roll-Ups.) Salads and Soups serve up dishes like Insalata di Scalogno e Asparagi (Scallion and Asparagus Salad) and Minestra di Riso e Patate (Rice and Potato Soup.)
Sandwiches featured are Panino con Frittata di Peperoni (Sausage, Egg and Peppers Breakfast Sub) and Panino con Frittata di Asparagi e Cipolla (Asparagus, Onion and Egg Sandwich.) There's also a recipe for basic pizza dough.
Examples of Pastas, Polentas and Risottos are Spaghetti al Sugo di Pomodoro e Mele (Spaghetti in Tomato Apple Sauce) and a basic risotto and polenta recipe with a few variations.
Sauces include Sugo di Carne (Italian American Meat Sauce) and Salsa di Burro e Salvia (Butter and Sage Sauce.)
Sides and vegetables feature Scarola Affogata (Smothered Escarole) and Zimino di Bietole e Fagioli (Braised Swiss Chard and Cannellini Beans.)
Seafood includes Zuppa di Pesce (Savory Seafood Stew) and Aragosta in Brodetto (Lobster in Zesty Tomato Sauce.)
Poultry and Meats has recipes for Agnello 'nicip'ncisape (Lamb Stew with Olives), Pollo alla Parmigiana (Chicken Parmigiana, New Style) and Braciole di Manzo (Braised Beef Rolls.)
Things end on a sweet note with Strudel di Mele (Apple Strudel) and Torta di Ricotta (Ricotta Cheesecake.)
I made Paglia e Fieno (Straw and Hay) which is two-tone pasta, peas and prociutto bits in a cream sauce. The cream sauce included heavy cream, chicken broth and a bit of parmigiano-reggiano cheese. I added a bit of garlic to mine for that extra kick. This was a simple dish to prepare and get to the table one busy weeknight, and was one that everyone in the family enjoyed, which is always nice.
"Lidia's Favorite Recipes" is published by Knopf. It is $24.95.
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