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Taster’s Cherce

If I could only have one Italian cookbook, this’d be my cherce:

So you can make things like this:

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1 Shaun P.   ~  Feb 23, 2010 4:00 pm

Alex, I'm thinking you would have loved to have been in my Italian grandmother's kitchen when I was little. Though she and my brother were the only ones in the family who had iron stomachs, and so she often left out the spicy stuff. She'd just cover her plate with a quarter of a bottle of red pepper flakes, then pass the container to my brother.

I frequently regret that I didn't write down every recipe she could have told me.

2 ms october   ~  Feb 23, 2010 4:13 pm

thanks for the book recommendation.
i am going to try the recipe too - i think you wrote about it last year or so and i still haven't made it but i'm going commit to make it soon.

i also got my magnum salt and pepper mill the other day - i love them!
and everyone will be pleased to know they don't sound like a vibrator :}

3 bags   ~  Feb 23, 2010 5:20 pm

Marcella is the very best. The Julia Child of Italian cooking. If I had to have only one cookbook it might actually be her "Classic Italian Cookbook". It is the original -- made her famous. I think it is the most authentic of all her books. My dad had that one (and all the others too) when I was a kid. Great memories.

4 bags   ~  Feb 23, 2010 5:21 pm

btw Classic Italian Cookbook is long out of print but you can still find it on eBay and Amazon. Kind of a collectors item. Which makes it all the better in my book, so to speak.

5 RagingTartabull   ~  Feb 23, 2010 5:48 pm

battling the annual February chest cold from hell, tonight's dinner is pasta fagioli, garlic bread, and a cheapass merlot

6 RIYank   ~  Feb 23, 2010 6:34 pm

I agree, Alex, although I think it's kind of a cheat because Essentials is really two books re-edited into one. But you only have to buy one, so, yeah.

The main problem with Hazan is that sometimes you wonder, "Is this really necessary, or is it one of those traditional elements that makes no real difference?"

People who admire Hazan (as I do) are apt to like reading Elizabeth David's Italian Food. Just sayin'.

7 Alex Belth   ~  Feb 23, 2010 8:08 pm

It's a total cheat, like picking Hot Rocks as your favorite Stones record.

I have the first two Classic Italian Cooking and Marcella cooks and I read her
memoir last year. The memoir was more interesting for the facts of her life than
it was as a read but I swear by her books. She is the queen. Others are great
too with Italian cookbooks but that's the call, she's like Julia.

8 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Feb 23, 2010 8:23 pm

I am going to buy this book..want to learn to cook, finally, and Italian is my favorite! Mrs. OK Jazz covers all the Asian dishes so I'll take the Mediterranean.

Oh, belated "Huzzzah!" to Cliff for the previous post breaking down the prospects!

9 knuckles   ~  Feb 23, 2010 8:27 pm

The Silver Spoon is where it's at for our household. Apparently it was written in Italian only for decades and just recently became available in English. It's hefty, monumental, a little bit imposing, but chock full of the kind of goodness you don't get in most bookstore cookbooks- wild game, fowl, offal, etc.

10 Alex Belth   ~  Feb 23, 2010 9:14 pm

8) Marcella is a good teacher. She explains things clearly. She's also an exacting
beeooch. Bro, she doesn't mess around. There is the right way and the wrong you.
But it's great to try things her way and then spin it to your taste. She'll school you
in the fundamentals. Actually, Italian cooking has a lot in common with some Asian
cuisines in that it is simple food with simple ingredients. The major difference is
how the food is prepared, and different techniques.

11 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 23, 2010 9:15 pm

Marcella is an Italian food snob. With so many Italians living in the United States (including Marcella), I've always found it ironic how she criticizes everything that doesn't come directly from the old country. In other words, authentic Italian cooking can be created outside the borders of Italy.

12 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Feb 24, 2010 1:13 am

[10][11] Sounds great, I need the discipline, otherwise am likely to start getting "creative" in the kitchen..("hmmm..I wonder if this Korean kimchi would mix well in this chicken Kiev I am cooking.."

13 patrick b   ~  Feb 24, 2010 11:59 am

Alex, you would probably really like Lidia's Bastianich's stuff too. Her PBS show Lidia's Italy is great and inspired me to make pesto trapanese (sicilian tomato/almond pesto) and few nights ago. Very authentic and regional stuff but with a slight Italian-American interpretation.

14 Alex Belth   ~  Feb 24, 2010 1:07 pm

I like Lidia. More and more. Used to not like her because she was a ham, and affected that Noni vibe when she's not even that old. Plus, I always thought she put her kids down when they were on the show. But I've eased up and her show is very enjoyable.

15 patrick b   ~  Feb 24, 2010 2:26 pm

"affected Noni vide" thats a very funny take. I guess I resisted it too for awhile but it's been one of my favorites for a year or so. Her son, who lost like 100 pounds, is Batali's wine guy and they opened that Italian wine shop in Tribeca I think (anybody know if it's still open?). I like the travel log/cooking mix that makes Bayless' Mexico One Plate so good too.

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