Review Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy
I’ve mentioned this book a lot in the past few weeks and have been cooking from it quite a bit. Most of the recipes are quite quick to make and the ingredients are simple and easy to find just about everywhere. Because the ingredients are simple, and often so few, Lidia Bastianich often recommends you buy the best you can afford to get the best, most authentic flavor.
Bastianich has divided the book up by region, and provides a number of recipes from 12 different regions in Italy, covering the countries diverse cuisine north to south. It’s quite interesting to see the variety of ingredients used, based on the region of cooking, from different cooking fats, to different types of cheese, and even bread. The regions in the north of Italy close to Switzerland, Austria, and France all have recipes influenced by the neighboring countries, respectively. While the regions in the south have more of a Mediterranean influence. Regions touching the sea have a lot of recipes containing seafood. In Italy, people cook with what is available near them, which makes a lot of sense. The food quality will taste better and most likely be less expensive.
Each section starts off with Bastianich describing the region, its history, and her experience in that region. Then a number of recipes are provided. The section concludes with essays written by her daughter, Tanya Bastianich Manuali, describing the art history of the region and sites and places of interest to visit.
This cookbook is filled with interesting and tasty information. The recipes are diverse and quick and easy to make. I highly recommend you check it out.
by Lida Bastianich