The Italian Country Table
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
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.
Where 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.