cover image Lidia’s a Pot, a Pan, and a Bowl: Simple Recipes for Perfect Meals

Lidia’s a Pot, a Pan, and a Bowl: Simple Recipes for Perfect Meals

Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali. Knopf, $29.95 (224p) ISBN 978-05256-5740-8

“In many ways, making a one-or-two-pot meal is cooking at its basic level, but also at its most diverse,” writes TV host and restaurateur Bastianich (Felidia) of the premise behind her excellent latest collection. The Italian cooking doyenne proves this with a sweeping selection of simple yet delectable recipes, more than a few of which call for less than six ingredients. To skip an all-day affair in the kitchen, Bastianich gives specific pointers about which dishes can be done in an electric pressure cooker, such as her boiled beef salad and lentil and pasta soup. Lasagnas are made with bread or no-cook noodles to save time and to provide leftovers aplenty on busy weeknights, while an expansive offering of soups—such as her endlessly riffable minestrones for summer and winter—can be frozen to solve the perennial dilemma of “those last-minute, unplanned situations.” Lots of practical whys and wherefores are in recipe headnotes, including the 30-minute salting of salad-bound raw carrots and celery root (to keep them crisp), and how the roasting of vegetables and sausage adds depth to her later mixed seafood bake. Steered by Bastianich’s sure hand and heavy on flavor, this will make a solid addition to any cookbook shelf. (Oct.)