COOKING THE ROMAN WAY: Authentic Recipes from the Home Cooks and Trattorias of Rome

David Downie, Author, Alison Harris, Photographer , photos by Alison Harris. HarperCollins $34.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-018892-4

Food writer Downie explores the streets and alleys of Rome, gathering recipes from trattoria chefs, home cooks, and even his Roman-born mother in this wonderfully complete culinary tour of the Eternal City. The food of Rome has both inspired and been inspired by the food from other regions throughout Italy, and Downie highlights each recipe with history and anecdotes. For starters, Downie explores Rome's Jewish Ghetto and appears with Carciofi alla Giuda (Fried Artichokes, Jewish Style) and Fiori di Zucca Fritti (Fried Zucchini Flowers). Ubiquitous throughout Italy are two dishes—both of which are made with guanciale, cured pork jowl, and generous helpings of Pecorino Romano cheese: the Bucatini all'Amatriciana (named for the mountain town southeast of Rome) and the Spaghetti alla Carbonara (which many believe got its name from the dish's carbon-looking pepper flakes). Main meals include Martino al Forno (Monkfish Baked on a Bed of Lemony Potatoes) and the comfort dish, Frittata con le Zucchine (Zucchini Frittata with Fresh Mint and Pecorino Romano). For dessert there's the Christmastime special, Fichi Ripieni (Dried Figs Stuffed with Ricotto and Almonds and a summer cooler, La Granita di Caffè della Tazza d'Oro, a coffee granita. In his first cookbook, Downie has beautifully and evocatively captured the cuisine of one of the world's best-known cities. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/16/2002
Release date: 10/01/2002
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-06-203109-9
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