Cucina of Le Marche: A Chef's Treasury of Recipes from Italy's Last Culinary Frontier

Fabio Trabocchi, Author, Peter Kaminsky, With , with Peter Kaminsky. Ecco $32.50 (241p) ISBN 978-0-06-074162-4

Trabocchi, chef at Maestro in Washington, D.C., is a native son of Le Marche, the Italian region that the New York Times recently deemed "the new Tuscany." Trabocchi grew up in the small town of Santo Stefano, and with assistance from Kaminsky (Pig Perfect ) he achieves a lovely style that is rather low-key in comparison to the commanding tone many chefs affect in cookbooks. Trabocchi also does an excellent job of isolating the best, most characteristic recipes from Le Marche, as cucina marchigiana is often difficult to differentiate from that of Umbria or Emilia-Romagna. Yet what makes the food of Le Marche so special is its rustic quality, which is hard to imitate in American kitchens. It's fun to read about dishes like Roasted Suckling Pig Ascolana-Style and Turbot in Smoky Hay, but preparing them may be out of reach ("You will need to get clean green hay from a local farm," instructs the latter recipe). Fried Stuffed Olives Ascolana-Style, one of the region's classics, calls for pitting, stuffing (with a mixture of chicken liver and pork butt) and deep-frying 60 individual olives. There are less labor-intensive choices, such as Ancona's famous fish stew, and Trabocchi includes an excellent discussion of local wines. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 05/22/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
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