cover image Recipes from Rome

Recipes from Rome

Katie Caldesi and Giancarlo Caldesi. Hardie Grant, $24.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-78488-628-8

Married London restaurateurs Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi (Venice: Recipes Lost and Found) serve up a well-researched compilation of recipes from the Eternal City. Several celebrate centuries-old Italian cuisine and include fascinating historical context: the original chicken alla cacciatora, for instance, wasn’t a tomato-based stew; it originated as an ancient Roman dish flavored with herbs, vinegar, and anchovy sauce. Other recipes come from the contemporary kitchens of Roman friends and chefs who share their secrets: chef Rossana Gialleonardo uses the “risotato” method to create the classic cacio e pepe pasta: the pasta is cooked in a frying pan, and the water reduces to become the creamy sauce. Whether readers are looking for weeknight dinner solutions like veal cutlets with marsala orange sauce or a frittata stuffed with ricotta and Parmesan, or “slow numbers” such as roasted porchetta or fried ravioli filled with walnuts and dates, the offerings on tap will suit an array of palettes. Equally engaging is the authors’ writing, which is straightforward and full of intriguing cultural tidbits (“In the 4th century BC there was already a grid of streets with bars that had counters and mosaic pictorial menus for the illiterate,” they note in the cocktails chapter). This memorable volume will enlighten and inspire Italian cuisine aficionados. (Apr.)