cover image A Tuscan in the Kitchen: Recipes and Tales from My Home

A Tuscan in the Kitchen: Recipes and Tales from My Home

Pino Luongo, Barbara Raives, Angela Hederman. Clarkson N Potter Publishers, $27.5 (240pp) ISBN 978-0-517-56916-0

Chef Luongo has produced a hefty volume fragrant with stories of the lush Tuscan countryside and the simple, robust foods to be had there. (The photographs alone are enough to make you want to move to Tuscany.) Luongo insists that his is peasant fare that can be made in any Tuscan grandmother's kitchen with only a visit to the market for perishable items. It's doubtful, however, that peasants often eat pasta with black and white truffles. Luongo, who runs Il Cantinori restaurant in New York City, also doesn't believe in giving measurements, oven temperatures or many directions; he argues that cooking should be a creative endeavor. Professional chefs can work in this way, but for the less experienced, the thought of trying to make black rice stewed with cuttlefish is daunting. (Merely cleaning a cuttlefish is no job for amateurs.) However, Luongo's pasta recipes are simpler, and most won't drive you into fiscal ruin. (Oct.)