The Timeless Art of Italian Cuisine
Anna Maria Volpi
Review by Molly
The Timeless Art of Italian Cuisine is a book of seven Chapters: one All Roads Lead to Rome: The Food of the Capital. Two The Land of City States: The Food of Northern Italy. Three The Universal Food Pasta Fresca. Four Under the Sign of the Lily The Food of Tuscany. Five Pizza and Beyond The food of Southern Italy. Six Macaroni Addiction Dry Pasta. Seven The Island of the Sun The Food of Sicily. An overview of Italian Cooking is offered in the Introduction What is Italian Cooking. A How to page is presented to explain methods, ingredients, and the like prior to the beginning page of the introduction. A wonderful recipe for Bruschetta garlic bread, another for Amaretti italian almond cookies, and step by step directions for making pasta all are presented. The recipe for Ravioli Dolci sweet ravioli sounds intriguing, Ragu Alla Napoletana tomato sauce neapolitan style combines olive oil, wine, tomatoes and other ingredients into a taste tempting treat.
Author Volpi "began her culinary education in her native Italy" where she learned to prepare traditional Roman dishes under her fathers tutelage. Today Volpi is a well known teacher and culinary master living in Los Angeles, California where she teaches traditional Italian home cooking to groups, in private classes and for special events. Volpi and her husband, co author, research master of the historical portion of the book Pietro Mascioni have co authored a wonderful addition to any kitchen.
The Timeless Art of Italian Cuisine is a book of 150 jam packed pages of at least 170 recipes sure to delight both the aficionado of Italian cooking and those who collect cookbooks for the book itself. Recipes are presented by region. Along with recipes native to the area a bit of history of the locale is included to guide the reader into a better understanding of how many of the foods we take for granted came to be. Traditional cooking methods are explained, staples to the Italian table are presented in easily understood jargon.
The work is a delight to the eyes whether the reader ever tries a recipe or not. Historical background for specific dishes and areas of Italy, wonderful old wood cut type illustrations, easily followed recipes all are included. I was especially taken with the section entitled And then Alfredo. As an Alfredo addict, reading the historical background for my favorite dish was a treat.
This is one book sent for review that I will keep. I collect cookbooks, and after pouring over this lovely one may even try a recipe or two before too many more days pass by. The Timeless Art of Italian Cuisine is the winner 2003 Gourmand World Award
These reviews are personal opinions only and in no way reflect other readers' opinions of the books discussed.
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