Cucina Di Calabria: Treasured Recipes and Family Traditions from Southern Italy

Mary Amabile Palmer, Author Faber & Faber $34 (320p) ISBN 978-0-571-19918-1
Demonstrating that Calabria, the region at the toe of Italy's boot, is as important to America's Italian cuisine as Sicily and Naples, food writer Palmer, whose mother was Calabrian, offers more than 200 recipes based mostly on pasta, vegetables, olive oil and seafood. A brief history of the region introduces the recipes that, generally easily prepared, are presented in the sequence of an Italian meal. Antipasti include Carciofi Ripieni, artichokes stuffed with pecorino cheese, garlic, parsley and bread crumbs, and Fiori di Zucchini Fritti, batter-dipped zucchini flowers fried in olive oil. No less than their compatriots, Calabrians take seriously the making and eating of pasta, the prima piata, often spicing it up with red pepper. Salsa al Pomodori Secchi blends sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, pine nuts, capers and red pepper (in an amount that Palmer kindly suggests halving for a milder version). Main courses range from Braciole di Vitello alla Calabrese, pounded veal cutlets stuffed with bread crumbs, prosciutto and provolone and simmered in wine, to a Grigliata di Pesce Spada (grilled swordfish marinated in lemon and oregano). Fruit is the preferred dessert, but Palmer bows to the demands of the American sweet tooth with the surprisingly low-effort Fichi al Cioccolata, chocolate-dipped figs stuffed with almonds, and various fruit ices. Holiday menus round out this volume which delivers fully on its promise of an authentic Southern Italian culinary experience. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 10/01/1997
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-7818-1050-0
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