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In her beautifully illustrated new cookbook, Lidia Bastianich lays out a comprehensive curriculum of wise cooking tips-from the cutting board to the kitchen table. Channeling the instructive elements from her TV show of the same name, she teaches us that a good dose of common sense is the key ingredient to a stellar meal. As storyteller and chef, she draws on anecdotes to educate and illustrate. Recalling lessons learned from her mother, Erminia, and her grandmother Nonna Rosa, Lidia pays homage to the kitchen sages who inspired her.
Whether it's Citrus Roasted Veal, or Rustic Ricotta Tart, each recipe is a tangible feast. We learn to look at ingredients as both geographic and cultural indicators. In Campania, the region where mozzarella is king, we discover it best eaten three hours after preparation. In Genova we are taught that while focaccia had its basil origins in the Ligurain culinary tradition, the herbs and flavorings will change from region to region; as home chefs, we can experiment with rosemary or oregano or olives or onions! When it's time for dessert, Lidia draws on the scared customs of nuns in Italian monasteries and convents and reveals the secret to rice pudding with a blessing.
Lidia's Commonsense Guide to Italian Cooking is a collection of 150 delectable recipes, told with commonsense cooking wisdom, that teaches us how create simple, seasonal Italian dishes with grace, confidence and love.