Saturday, August 2, 2014


So what kind of Italian food fancier are you? The kind that pores over cookbooks, gathers ingredients and spends all day in the kitchen? Or are you the kind who loves to browse cookbooks and plans the next meal…at a restaurant. Either way, the Monrovia Public Library has some wonderful titles.
Here are some of the newest. 

In Rustico: Regional Italian Cooking author Micol Negrin explores the 20 different regions of Italy and offers 10 recipes from each region. The recipes, which are easy to follow, are not your standard fare and should inspire some new dishes. 

Franny’s Simple Seasonal Italian by Francine Stephens and Andrew Feinberg, who own restaurants in New York, have written an uncomplicated book that encourages fresh cooking without a zillion hard-to-find ingredients. 

 Now let’s talk about some our favorite Italian cooks and cookbook writers. If you like Lidia Bastianich, known for her PBS series and relaxed methods of teaching Italian cooking, the library owns Lidia’s Italy, Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy and the DVD Best of Lidia. One of the high points of Lidia’s recipes is that they are so flexible that you can freely exchange an ingredient and still have a tasty dish. 

Mario Batali, with his orange Crocs and lively sense of humor, says the best cooking is at home and his recipes are not fussy.  Among his titles are Mario Batali Simple Italian Food and Molto Italiano: Simple Family Meals From My Home to Yours.

Two other standout chefs are Giada deLaurentis, whose Everyday Italian: 125 Simple Recipes is a an easy go-to book when time is short and you're hungry, and Marcella Hazan, who came from Italy many years ago and learned to cook in her tiny American kitchen. Her recipes are the most Italian—strictly using foods found in that country. Try out her recipes in Marcella Cucina.

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