Antonio Carluccio's Simple Cooking
Another book on Italian cooking but this one, by Antonio Carluccio, is a summation of fifty years in the business of food. Antonio Carluccio's Simple Cooking collects the very best recipes, refined down to their basics with good honest ingredients that are easy to source. Add to that, simple instructions and the result is a very worthwhile cookbook.
If you've never bought one of Antonio Carluccio's books before, now is the time to do. The recipes here have evolved over time to become the mainstays in many an Italian kitchen.
WHY BUY IT?
All the best Italian recipes you'll ever need brought to you by a real pro. You get the feeling that the chosen recipes are really personal to Antonio Carluccio, some with a history of their origin. They have been tinkered with over the years and are perfect in every way.
CASE IN POINT
A recipe for Polpettine di Spinaci, spinach balls, was first developed twenty-five years ago when Antonio was working on a book on finger food published by The Sunday Times and they are still good enough to be included in this crop of Italian recipes today. Versatile in that they can be used in vegetarian pasta dishes or a lasagne, they are equally good served on their own. Described by Mr Carluccio as very jolly.'
DRESS THEM UP
Quite a few of the recipes include suggestions to upgrade the dish to something more special. This might be a serving a dish alongside a special dressing or adding a more expensive ingredient. Dress up Straciatella by serving it with little chicken dumplings that can bob around in this delicious broth. Leftovers too are addressed with ways to make meals go further. These asides are a good idea, giving more mileage to the book.
Carluccio's mantra, Minimum of Fuss, Maximum of Flavour comes through in his recipe of Tiramisu, the new Black Forest Gateau on menus near you. The recipe for this classic dish was created thirty years ago by Antonio and has changed very little but delivers on the MOF MOF front every time.
TRY THIS AT HOME
The last recipe in the book is one certainly worth trying - Fruit pastels that are a million leagues away from the shop bought variety. Simply take 1kg of good quality jam and juice of one and a half lemons. Stir over a medium heat until the jam has softened and is a sticky paste. Pour into a lightly greased ceramic tray and leave to cool. Then cut into cubes and roll into balls. Dust with icing sugar.
Quadrille Publishing Limited
Buy from Amazon