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Fine Cooking Italian: 200 Recipes for Authentic Italian Food    by Fine Cooking Magazine order for
Fine Cooking Italian
by Fine Cooking Magazine
Order:  USA  Can
Taunton Press, 2012 (2012)

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Although it may not be possible to bring some of the best Italian chefs in the country to your kitchen, you can do the next best thing by preparing some of their signature dishes for your friends and family.

Fine Cooking Italian: 200 Recipes for Authentic Italian Food offers a variety of recipes for mouthwatering starters, salads, soups, pizza, calzone, pasta dishes and main courses as well as polenta, risotto and desserts.

Each recipe is illustrated with a color photo and is explained with easy to follow instructions. Provided by such knowledgeable chefs as Lidia Bastianich, Bibi Caggiano, Rossetta Constantino, Tony Mantuano and Domenica Marchetti, these recipes are ideal for planning a full formal dinner or just tossing together a quick lunch or preparing a no stress, informal, family meal.

For a salad and pizza night you might want to start with cherry tomatoes stuffed with mozzarella and basil or a mushroom salad with lemon, thyme and parmigiano. The follow-up course could be a grilled pizza with tomato-balsamic sauce, chicken and eggplant, a calzone stuffed with your favorite cheese and other ingredients or a pizza with prosciutto and arugula.

If you'd like something a little more substantial you'll find over sixty pasta recipes. These filling dishes range from spicy capellini, fettuccine with artichokes, hazelnuts and cream, Sicilian vegetable lasagna and rigatoni with red pepper and parmigiano cream sauce to spaghetti with garlic, hot pepper and pecorino or penne with sausage, chard and pine nuts.

Looking for a special occasion main course that will dazzle your guests? Chicken with marsala, mushrooms and gorgonzola, Tuscan-style roast pork with rosemary, sage and garlic, or braised red snapper puttanesca will put a smile on everyone's faces and have them asking for seconds.

For a side dish you might want to try a simple goat cheese polenta or a bowl of risotto with peas, mint and lemon. You don't want to forget the veggies, so green beans and radicchio with shaved parmigiano, glazed carrots with marsala or cauliflower sformato (soufflé) might just fit the bill.

Then there's dessert! The possibilities here include lemon sabayon with blueberry sauce and shortbread cookies, creamy orange-ricotta tart, triple-chocolate biscotti and a nougat glace or lemon curd fruit soufflés.

Along with all the recipes you'll also find sidebars that will make the time spent in the kitchen a little easier and more enjoyable. You'll discover tips on how to purchase fresh fava beans and prepare them, how to core parsnips, make your own marinara sauce, and fill and shape ravioli.

Once you've prepared a meal using this cookbook it will be time to sit down, lift your glass of red wine and wish everyone around the table, 'Buon appetito!'

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