Italian-American dishes are what we crave and what we make, what we order and what we wax rhapsodic about. The last century has seen hundreds of inspired new dishes take their place at the table alongside traditional preparations, resulting in a cuisine that is as current as it is classic. At last, here is the place to look for the tastiest and most definitive renderings of Shrimp Fra Diavolo, Steak Florentine, Pasta alla Primavera, Linguine with Clam Sauce, Spinach with Pignolis, Tiramisu, and all the other treasures of the Italian-American table. In these pages, America's premier restaurant critic, John Mariani, and his wizard-in-the-kitchen wife, Galina Mariani, update and perfect all the classics in lighter, less creamy-and-cheesy versions made with the freshest of ingredients. The Marianis make a convincing case that Italian-American cooking, far from being a watered-down version of Italian cookery, is a full-fledged cuisine in its own right. In fact, as they show in a fascinating introduction, many elements of Italian cuisine in Italy today are actually imports from the Italian-American repertoire. In 250 recipes, they reveal not only how glorious that repertoire is but also how its basic elements may be used in innovative new ways - in a Risotto with Apples and Saffron, for example, or a Pork Roast with Fennel. This is a feast of food, from antipasti and soups through pastas and pizzas all the way to dessert, and also of history and folklore, in the dozens of sidebars and archival photographs that bring to life the family restaurants and home kitchens where these magnificent ethnic dishes are prepared and enjoyed.
About the Author
John Mariani, a three-time nominee for the James Beard Award in Journalism, is an internationally acclaimed food writer and author of the some of the most highly regarded books on food in America. His books include the authoritative Dictionary of Italian Food & Drink as well as The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, which was named Best Reference Book of the Year by Library Journal. His America Eats Out won the IACP Julia Child Cookbook Award for best reference book. Mariani is a food and travel columnist for Esquire, a restaurant columnist for Wine Spectator, and food columnist for Diversion. He is esteemed as an expert on Italian cuisine and foodways, and as a writer whose encyclopedic knowledge is equaled only by his culinary brilliance.
"The Marianis write knowledgeably, entertainingly, and creatively about our favorite subject!" - Robert Mondavi, chairman of Robert Mondavi Winery
"WOW! John and Galina Mariani have done it again! Full of history, great stories, and lots of delicious recipes." - Emeril Lagasse, TV host of Emeril Live and author of Every Day's a Party
"John and Galina Mariani leave no stone unturned in tracing the history of Italian-American cuisine and celebrating its distinctive role in American culture. The recipes are well balanced, delicious, and reminiscent of my own Italian-American upbringing." - Todd English, author of The Olives Table and The Figs Table