cover image The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual

The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual

Frank Falcinelli, Frank Castronovo, Peter Meehan, Artisan, $24.95 (212p) ISBN 978-1-57965-415-3

It is surprising to learn that Castronovo and Falcinelli are in their 40s. On one hand they are pulling off a 20-something hipster vibe these days, lighting up Brooklyn with their Café Pedlar pastry shop and the much lauded Prime Meats steakhouse. On the other hand, their new book, with recipes culled from the Italian eatery they launched in 2004, gives the impression that they are well into their 60s, with many a meatball under their belts. Aided by New York Times food writer Meehan, they have created a heartfelt tribute to red sauce dining, bound in an embossed, gilded, faux-leather cover. Their sauce is simple math: 13 garlic cloves into 96 ounces (six pounds) of tomatoes, plus olive oil, salt, and a dash of red pepper flakes. The meatballs are slightly more complex. Whether it's the handball-size baked version or the fried golf-ball–size, they are seasoned with white pepper and contain both pine nuts and raisins. Other hearty meat options include a pork braciola and sausage with peppers and onions. Vegetarians can get their sauce fix via an eggplant marinara, or pasta choices like gnocchi marinara with fresh ricotta or orecchiette with pistachios. A 13-page chapter entitled "Sunday Sauce" is a revelry in old school family dining. Described as "the meal, the menu, the way of life," the authors expound upon this traditional Sunday dinner of meaty sauce and pasta, listing all the essential ingredients, a time line for shopping and preparation, and a vital recipe for turning the leftovers into lasagna. (Aug.)