A delicious collection of timeless family recipes -- including Mamma's Meatballs -- from culinary superstar Rocco DiSpirito!
Superstar chef Rocco DiSpirito made a name for himself by taking flavor where it had never gone before. But this decorated chef who blazed through the Culinary Institute of America and burst onto New York's fine dining scene -- landing himself on the cover of Gourmet -- actually honed his taste buds on the timeless Italian recipes handed down through his family for generations. Rocco's Italian-American lifts the lid on these age-old meals and shares their secrets, as well as the histories and family traditions that go along with them.
More than just a cookbook, Rocco's Italian-American is a celebration of the family recipes and experiences of one immigrant family in New York and is sure to become a classic. It is also filled with the wisdom of Rocco's Mamma, who is beloved by the millions who know her from her television appearances.
Each delicious recipe includes a personal note on the dish, a story associated with it, or a variation preferred by certain relatives. The book is organized by parts of the meal (antipasto, soup, pasta, fish, meat, salad, bread, sweets, and holiday menus). Rocco describes the techniques of the Italian-American kitchen and instructs on the indispensable ingredients, such as tomatoes, olive oil, basil, and beans. The book is lavishly illustrated with (old and new) photos and other artifacts and mementos from his family's treasure chest, including maps, handwritten recipes, and childhood drawings.
Now for the first time, Rocco shares his favorite family recipes, including:
Rocco DiSpirito, chef and proprietor of Manhattan's Union Pacific and Rocco's restaurants, attended the Culinary Institute of America at age 16, then studied at the Jardin de Cygne in Paris for two years. In 1988 he went to work at the Adrienne, then later became chef de partie at Aujourd'hui in Boston, and eventually returned to New York, where he worked with David Bouley, Gilbert LeCoze, and Gray Kunz before joining Lespinasse's opening team. In 1997, DiSpirito opened Union Pacific, where the poetry and complexity of his dishes earned three stars from the New York Times. He became a star this past summer when NBC aired the reality show The Restaurant, which is now in its second season, and he is the author of the cookbook Flavor, nominated for a 2004 James Beard Award. Rocco DiSpirito lives in New York City.