Though New York chef/restaurateur Pino Luongo and chef Mark Strausman have been good friends and successful restaurant partners for years, they've spent decades arguing the merits of everything from ingredients to techniques and presentation, always with the goal of getting the very best out of Italy's amazing cuisine. Two Meatballs in the Italian Kitchen is the fruit of that debate.
A native of Florence, Italy, Luongo was grounded in Tuscan culinary restraint. Strausman, the product of a polyglot New York City neighborhood that freely mixed Eastern European traditions with Italian ones, developed a culinary taste for improvisation over authenticity. When each decided to write a cookbook about simple Italian food they love, they began to argue about whose book would be better. The solution: two authors, two stories, two sets of recipes, all in one book. There's no argument about who wins the competition—it's the reader of Two Meatballs, hands down. Here are 150 delicious, simple, honest recipes representing the best of Italian and Italian-American home cooking from not one master but two.