Michael Chiarello's Bottega: Bold Italian Flavors from the Heart of California's Wine Country

Michael Chiarello, Chronicle, $40 (224p) ISBN 978-0-811-87539-4
Chiarello, author of six cookbooks and chef/owner of Napa Valley's acclaimed Bottega restaurant, brings his culinary creations to the masses in this vibrant and alluring collection. Chiarello shares not only a wealth of appealing recipes but also his cooking philosophy, believing that cooking is craft and home cooks can replicate the quality of his dishes through practice. He advocates starting with a well-stocked pantry of staples, with recipes for stocks, oils, crème fraîche, and duck prosciutto. He includes mouthwatering snacks and antipasti such as a bruschetta trio, green eggs and ham, and torn figs and burrata cheese. His potato gnocchi ravioli with egg yolk and sage brown butter is worth the price of the book alone. He also provides appetizing soups and salads, fish and shellfish, and side dishes. While he includes numerous tempting meat and poultry dishes, Chiarello's pork offerings are especially notable, particularly the crispy roasted pork shanks and whole-roasted pig porchetta. Stunning with more than 120 photographs, the book also provides a useful chapter on libations, which contains recipes for lavender limoncello, among others. Home cooks will appreciate Chiarello's clear, concise instructions and wide array of dishes that will whet any appetite. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/04/2010
Release date: 09/01/2010
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