Author(s): Julia Della Croce
This book is an homage to traditional and classic Italian home cooking, and to the kitchens of the Italian people who have developed Italian cooking through the centuries and across oceans to new worlds. In America, we call it comfort food. The Italians call it cucina casalinga, home cuisine. In Italy, comfort food is a highly evolved art form, and this book includes recipes from the author's own family of devoted cooks-from appetizers and soups, to salads and meats, from pastas to desserts and even food for children.
There remains a central difference between home cooking--comfort food--and professional cooking, notes Croce (The Classic Italian Cookbook). Cucina casalinga is casual and relaxed, designed to sustain the body and uplift the spirit. The James Beard-award winner puts her money where her mouth is with a lively focus on the sustaining, casual, even homely appetizers, pastas, entrees, and desserts discovered during her time in Italy or handed down from her Italian antecedents. Christopher Hirsheimer's sensuous photography makes recipes as diverse as Carrot and Fennel Soup and Angry Lobsters pop off the page. Wide-ranging enough to be comprehensive yet focused enough to be selective, Croce organizes her effort into 10 chapters, ranging from Welcoming Dishes, like Sage Leaves and Zucchini Blossoms or her Pissaladella pizza-like flatbread, to For the Love of Vegetables, such as Potatoes Schiscionera from Sardinia, to the especially notable Baby's First Food, making it a great choice for paren