cover image Felidia: Recipes from My Flagship Restaurant

Felidia: Recipes from My Flagship Restaurant

Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, with Fortunato Nicotra and Tanya Bastianich Manuali. Knopf, $35 (288p) ISBN 978-1-5247-3308-7

In her predictably solid 14th cookbook (after Lidia’s Celebrate Like an Italian), TV host Bastianich serves up homey dishes from her first restaurant Felidia, which serves Northern Italian fare on New York’s Upper East Side. As she proudly points out in a frank introduction, staying open for 37 years is no small feat (after opening the restaurant in 1981, her husband grew depressed, and she “was sorrowful, exhausted, and terrified that we might lose everything”). Included are dishes that have remained on the menu since the first night, such as whole roasted branzino with sweet onions and tomatoes, and palacinke crêpes (adapted from a recipe originating in what is now Croatia, where she was born). In 1996, Bastianich handed the reins to Nicotra, a native Sicilian educated in Turin, who contributes, among many other dishes, broccoli rabe with roasted butternut squash and ricotta, and an eggplant flan that reworks pasta alla Norma. Some recipes feel only tangentially Italian, such as salmon in a mustard and cream sauce or poussins with beer, maple syrup, and balsamic glaze. Bastianich worked in a bakery as a teenager, and here she offers such recipes as a blueberry and apricot frangipane tart. While some recipes from this influential restaurant may feel familiar, they are certainly spot-on in a collection that will delight Bastianich’s many fans. (Oct.)