Italian Food

The Lost Art of Feeding Kids: What Italy Taught Me about Why Children Need Real Food

by Jeannie Marshall

In Italy, children traditionally sat at the table with the adults eating everything from anchovies to artichokes. Their appreciation of seasonal, regional foods influenced their food choices and this passing down of traditions turned Italy into a world culinary capital. But now, parents worldwide are facing the same problems as American families with the aggressive marketing of processed foods and the prevalence of junk food wherever children gather. While struggling to raise her child, Nico, on a natural, healthy, traditional Italian diet, Jeannie Marshall, a Canadian who lives in Rome, sets out to discover how such a time-tested food culture could change in such a short time. At once an exploration of the U.S. food industry’s global reach and a story of finding the best way to feed her child, The Lost Art of Feeding Kids will appeal to parents, food policy experts, and fans of great food writing alike.

Amaro: The Spirited World of Bittersweet, Herbal Liqueurs, with Cocktails, Recipes and Formulas

by Brad Thomas Parson

Featuring more than 100 recipes, Amaro is the first book to demystify the ever-expanding, bittersweet world, and is a must-have for any home cocktail enthusiast or industry professional. The European tradition of making bittersweet liqueurs–called amari in Italian–has been around for centuries. But it is only recently that these herbaceous digestifs have moved from the dusty back bar to center stage in the United States, and become a key ingredient on cocktail lists in the country’s best bars and restaurants. Lucky for us, today there is a dizzying range of amaro available—from familiar favorites like Averna and Fernet-Branca, to the growing category of regional, American-made amaro. Starting with a rip-roaring tour of bars, cafés, and distilleries in Italy, amaro’s spiritual home, Brad Thomas Parsons—author of the James Beard- and IACP Award-winning Bitters—will open your eyes to the rich history and vibrant culture of amaro today. With more than 100 recipes for amaro-centric cocktails, DIY amaro, and even amaro-spiked desserts, you’ll be living (and drinking) la dolce vita.

Coins in the Fountain: A Midlife Escape to Rome

by Judith Works

With middle age looming, Judith Works decided it was time for a change. But after graduating from law school at the age of 47, she still faced the question “What now?” Casual conversations about far-off travels with husband Glenn became a reality with the offer of a dream job at the United Nations in Rome, Italy. Coins in the Fountain brings to life the challenges of acclimating to the beautiful and chaotic ancient city of Rome. Works shares her struggles of learning the arcane rules and folkways of the UN while Glenn begins his valiant effort to cook Italian-style, as they both endeavor to embrace la dolce vita. With an extraordinary count and countess for friends, dogs in the doctor’s office, snakes and unexploded bombs on the golf course, along with a sinking sailboat, the unexpected was always just around the corner. Through wit, wry humor, and enticing descriptions of food and travel adventures, Works takes you on a journey into the heart of what it is truly like to live in the Eternal City. According to Roman lore, if you toss a coin over your shoulder into the famous Trevi Fountain, the gods will grant you a return trip. When it was time for them to leave, Works made that hopeful toss of a coin and her wish was granted.

The Harry’s Bar Cookbook: Recipes and Reminiscences from the World-Famous Venice Bar and Restaurant

by Harry Cipriani

There is only one Harry’s Bar. Located on Venice’s Calle Vallaresso, near the Piazza San Marco, this legendary restaurant has been, for five decades, the meeting place for artists, writers, royalty, maestros, divas, celebrities, the very rich, and lots of ordinary – but very wise – Americans and Europeans. Everyone from the Windsors and the Onassises and the Burtons to Cole Porter; Ernest Hemingway, and Joan Crawford has come here for great food, fine drinks, and the incomparable ambiance. Now, to the delight of his legions of customers, Arrigo Cipriani shares his favorite stories about Harry’s Bar and its secrets–and reveals for the first time his treasured recipes for the restaurant’s most popular dishes. Harry’s Bar above all, is a bar. Its distinctive mixed drinks were created by its founder, Arrigo’s father, Giuseppe Cipriani, and they remain the social center of the establishment. Therefore, you’ll find careful instructions for making the world-famous Bellini (the frosty, frothy combination of rose-colored peach elixir and Prosecco, the Italian champagne) and the secret of making the Montgomery, named by Hemingway himself, which is nothing less than the driest, most delicious martini in the world. Harry’s Bar is also famous for its sandwiches–mouth-watering, overstuffed, unique concoctions: pale yellow egg sandwiches spiked with anchovies; chunks of freshly poached chicken or shrimp bound with creamy, newly made mayonnaise. The Harry’s Bar club sandwich is a legend in itself, knife-and fork food that’s simply superb. But the bar’s famous risottos and the dozens of pasta dishes – including ravioli, cannelloni, and tagliolini –are the house specialties. Potato gnocchi and simple country food such as polenta, squid, baccalà, and beans are transformed into elegant dishes by skillful chefs. Cipriani also invented the sublime dish known as carpaccio and the glorious risotto alla primavera, brilliant ideas that have been imitated all over the world. The original recipes appear here for the first time. The secret of Harry’s Bar is not only its great drinks and magnificent food, but also its extraordinary atmosphere, in which high spirits pour forth happily. Arrigo Cipriani captures this spirit and tradition, and delivers it all in his own inimitable style. The Harry’s Bar Cookbook is much more than a cookbook: it’s an enduring experience to be savored and enjoyed.

My Italian Bulldozer: A Novel

by Alexander McCall Smith

From the best-selling author come a hilarious new stand-alone novel about one man’s misadventures in travel and romance in the Italian countryside. When writer Paul Stewart heads to the idyllic Italian town of Montalcino to finish his already overdue cookbook, he expects it to be the perfect escape from stressful city life. But when he arrives, things quickly take a turn for the worse. His hired car is nowhere to be found, and with no record of a reservation at the car-rental counter and no other cars available, it appears that Paul will be stuck at the airport—that is, until an enterprising stranger offers him an unexpected alternative: a bulldozer. With little choice in the matter, Paul accepts, and so begins a series of laugh-out-loud adventures as he trundles through the Tuscan countryside. A story of unexpected circumstances and making the best of what you have, My Italian Bulldozer is a warm and witty read guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Murder at the Cooking School (Book 7 of the Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery Series)

by Dianne Harman

Cooking is nourishing. Murder isn’t. Kelly and her husband, Sheriff Mike, take a belated honeymoon and travel to a cooking school at the Castello di Nardo in Tuscany. The day after they arrive, they learn that Signora Nardo, the owner of the cooking school, has been murdered. The Signora had her share of people who would like to see the first lady of the castle dead, including her brother, Salvadore, her lover, Giovanni, her lover’s wife, Angelica, the Signora’s husband, a rival cooking school owner, and her sister-in-law, who happens to be the resident chef at the cooking school. Identifying suspects isn’t the problem – finding out which of the suspects killed the Signora is. Follow Kelly, Mike, and her new four-legged furry friend, Caesar, while they help the local chief of police try to solve the murder. There’s plenty of mouth-watering food, recipes, and a very big guard dog.

A Pinch of Nutmeg

by Christine Ambrosius, D.W. Lovett (Translator)

Jakob’s grandmother, a cook in the service of a duke, filled his head with stories of distant lands that yield exotic, flavorful ingredients. But when she died in a terrible accident, Jakob’s hopes of becoming a chef were thwarted—until one day Master Christof gives Jakob the opportunity of his dreams: to travel the world in search of precious and tantalizing spices. From the kitchens of Italian merchants to the palace in Constantinople to the royal court of France, Jakob discovers fine tastes and textures gathered from every corner of the Old and New Worlds. On his journey he finds love with Bianca, the beautiful daughter of a merchant. When the two are separated by pride and misunderstanding, Jakob continues his quest alone. But as his mastery grows and his dreams are realized, will his lonely heart also be sated?

Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-maker and Apprentice to a Butcher in Tuscany

by Bill Buford

Bill Buford, an enthusiastic, if rather chaotic, home cook, was asked by The New Yorker to write a profile of Mario Batali, a Falstaffian figure of voracious appetites who runs one of New York’s most successful three-star restaurants. Buford accepted the commission, on the condition Batali allow him to work in his kitchen, as his slave. He worked his way up to ‘line cook’ and then left New York to learn from the very teachers who had taught his teacher: preparing game with Marco Pierre White, making pasta in a hillside trattoria, finally becoming apprentice to a Dante-spouting butcher in Chianti. Heat is a marvelous hybrid: a memoir of Buford’s kitchen adventures, the story of Batali’s amazing rise to culinary fame, a dazzling behind-the-scenes look at a famous restaurant, and an illuminating exploration of why food matters. It is a book to delight in, and to savor.

Tastes and Temptations: Food and Art in Renaissance Italy

by John Varriano

Fruits and vegetables as erotic metaphors in still life paintings, the Florentine Baptistry replicated in sausage and cheese by Andrea del Sarto, a recipe for fish molded in the shape of a goat, the discovery of an Ovidian scene at the bottom of a soup bowl. A feast for the mind and eye, this beautifully illustrated, compellingly readable book is a rich exploration of the little examined interplay between art and cuisine during the Italian Renaissance. Exploring a dazzling array of art works, and drawing from period recipes and menus, John Varriano considers the many, often surprising, ways that cooks and artists converged and drew from each other’s worlds. Among other topics, he considers the significance of culinary images in Renaissance art; traces parallels in the use of ingredients such as eggs and oil in kitchens and in studios; examines centerpieces by artists that were made of food; looks at the emergence of the celebrity cook and celebrity painter; and much more. Woven throughout with the flavors and colors of the era, this book of Renaissance temptations expands our understanding of the traditional boundaries of creative expression.

The Hills of Chianti: The Story of a Tuscan Winemaking Family, in Seven Bottles

by Piero Antinori

The head of Italy’s “first family” of winemaking reflects on the Antinoris’ 600-year legacy and a life of good food and drink in the hills of Tuscany. If you know wine, you know the name Antinori. Since 1385, this noble Florentine family has produced some of Italy’s finest wines. The Hills of Chianti tells the story of the Antinoris and the Tuscany they call home, through seven iconic bottles that define their legacy. From the Tignanello that ushered in the era of Super Tuscans to limited-edition vintages, these wines embody a way of life and will excite oenophile readers and lovers of Italy alike. In this family memoir Piero Antinori reveals the passion, tradition, and love of craft that have driven 27 generations of vintners: from the first ancestor who signed up to the winemakers guild in the 14th century to Antinori’s own three daughters, poised to carry this most celebrated family of artisans into the future. But The Hills of Chianti is about much more than wine. At its heart the Antinori story is about “Tuscan-ness”: a connection to the land, an appreciation for good food and drink, and the quintessentially Italian love of hospitality that make this one of the world’s most inspiring and memorable destinations.