Italy Anywhere: Living an Italian Culinary Life Wherever You Call Home

Lori De Mori, Author, Jean-Marie del Moral, With, Antonio Tommasi, With
Lori De Mori, Author, Jean-Marie del Moral, With, Antonio Tommasi, With Viking Books $29.95 (338p) ISBN 978-0-670-88539-8
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Frequently offering short narratives about such things as searching for wild mushrooms in Italy or her mother-in-law's kitchen mastery, De Mori brings an infectious enthusiasm to the notion of cooking with the senses. Written with the help of her husband and Tommasi, chef/founders of L.A.'s popular Locanda Veneta and five other restaurants, this debut book assembles 175 recipes that prove Italy is a state of mind and that its food is characterized by grace, generosity and simplicity. The dishes are mostly cook-friendly and familiar. Focaccia is topped with saut ed onions or a slather of tomato paste. Fried Zucchini and Zucchini Blossoms takes advantage of summer's bounty, as does Green Beans and Plum Tomatoes. An easy Meat Rag uses ground beef and ground pork and takes only about an hour and a half to cook. One of the most demanding dishes is Pasta Souffl with Mixed Mushrooms, but even this timballo can be assembled a day in advance. Favorites from the restaurants include Locanda Veneta Linguine with Rock Shrimp, Asparagus and Tomato, Flattened Chicken Marinated in Herbs, Mustard and Vinegar, and Ossobuco with Polenta Fritters. Not forgotten are varieties of risotti and gnocchi. Desserts are as simple as Summer Peaches in Prosecco with Mint and as rich as Vanilla Cream Custard with Caramel Sauce. De Mori makes an appealing advocate for what is still the most popular ethnic cuisine in the U.S. (Oct.)
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