by David Downie, Alison Harris (Photographer)
David Downie’s delectable Cooking the Roman Way begins with an irresistible invitation: “Close your eyes and imagine you’re in Rome, seated al fresco in the sun on a rooftop terrace….” This is a must-have cookbook for anyone who loves Italy and its food, serious cooks and armchair cooks alike. The recipes are simple, well-researched, and perfectly authentic. Downie delivers history and tradition so vividly you feel as though you went to Rome and learned these facts for yourself, and Alison Harris’s photos help make that impression all the more real. The more than 100 recipes are divided by course. Antipasti include the venerable Sweet-And-Sour Baby Pearl Onions, even more addictive than, Downie warns, Farro Risotto Balls with Basil and Parmigiano-Reggiano, little deep-fried nuggets of comfort food. Primi piatti include the aromatic Fennel and Bean Soup with Cherry Tomatoes, Mint, Basil, and Sage, and plenty of pasta recipes, any of which would make a great meal. Secondi cover meat, poultry, fish, and eggs, and include the marvelously rich Roman Oxtail Stew, and Spicy Boned Lamb Leg Sautéed with Rosemary, Wine, and Vinegar. Contorni are vegetables and side dishes, such as Sweet Pepper Rolls Stuffed with Cheese and Anchovy, and dolci include desserts such as Ricotta Lemon Fritters with Sambuca and Fresh Strawberry Tiramisu. Beautiful enough to give as a gift, easy enough to use every day, Downie will definitely have you Cooking the Roman Way.