Italian Cookbooks

The Mafia Cookbook: Revised and Expanded

by Joseph Iannuzzi (Author)

In The Mafia Cookbook, Joe Dogs took the quintessential Mob formula — murder, betrayal, food — and turned it into a bestseller, not surprisingly, since Joe Dogs’s mixture of authentic Italian recipes and colorful Mafia anecdotes is as much fun to read as it is to cook from. Now The Mafia Cookbook is reprinted with Cooking on the Lam — adding 37 original new recipes and a thrilling account of Dogs’s recent years since he testified against the Mob in five major trials, all told in his authentic, inimitable tough-guy style.

The new recipes are simple, quick, and completely foolproof, including such classic dishes as Shrimp Scampi, Tomato Sauce (the Mob mainstay), Chicken Cordon Bleu, Veal Piccata, Marinated Asparagus Wrapped with Prosciutto, Baked Stuffed Clams, Veal Chops Milanese, Sicilian (what else?) Caponata, Gambino-style Fried Chicken, Lobster Thermidor (for when you want to celebrate that big score), and desserts rich enough to melt a loan shark’s heart. Readers can follow these recipes and learn to cook Italian anytime, anywhere, even on the lam, even in places where Italian groceries may be hard or impossible to find. Tested by Mob heavy hitters as well as FBI agents and U.S. marshals, these recipes are simple to follow, full of time saving shortcuts, and liberally seasoned with Joe Dogs’s stories of life inside — and outside — the Mob. This is the perfect cookbook for anyone who wants to make the kind of food that Tony Soprano only dreams about.

Savoring Tuscany: Recipes and Reflections on Tuscan Cooking

by Lori De Mori, Noel Barnhurst (Photographer)

For centuries, Tuscany has lured travelers drawn to its artistic richness, its romantic hill towns reached by cypress-lined roads, its stunning coastline, and its unforgettable cuisine. Savoring Tuscany takes readers on a journey in search of the authentic Tuscan table. Along the way, you’ll experience Tuscan culture and history, and learn about some of the people, dishes, and ingredients that have made it one of the world’s culinary capitals.

Simply Tuscan: Recipes for a Well-Lived Life

by Pino Luongo

Will America’s appetite for all things under the Tuscan sun ever be satisfied? Not likely with Pino Luongo’s Simply Tuscan. Luongo, owner of 10 restaurants and Manhattan’s market Tuscan Square, may have spent the past 20 years in the Big Apple, but he is still synchronized to life in the Tuscan countryside. Simply Tuscan honors those rhythms with its seasonal organization and easy mix of food lore, travelogue, and personal reminiscences. Luongo opens with spring (though fall is his favorite season for cooking); in this section, the Italian passion for simplicity–which Luongo constantly endorses–achieves quintessential form in a mache salad topped with quail eggs. The fall section is studded with such treasures as a trio of recipes showcasing the revered tartufo bianco, or white truffle. All the reader really need remember, though, is Luongo’s offhand remark on his favorite way of enjoying this delicacy: shaved over fried eggs. Simply Tuscan speaks to cooks of all abilities. The pared-down arrangements of summer and spring will yield memorable results for less-confident cooks who take care to use only the most immaculate and best ingredients. More familiar hands will welcome the savory complexities of the fall and winter menus. Professional cooks will want the book for its bomboloni recipe alone. A favorite from Luongo’s childhood, this sweet fritter is used to evaluate potential pastry chefs for his restaurants. If you can’t make bomboloni, you’ll never cook for Pino.

Chianti Family Cooking: Classic Recipes from the Heart of Tuscany

by Giovanna Folonari Ruffino

In Chianti Family Cooking, cooking instructor and member of the famous Ruffino Chianti family Giovanna Folonari Ruffino offers 100 lusty, simple, and intensely flavored dishes for the lover of Italian foods and Italian wines. Almost devoid of commentary, nearly every recipe is, instead, accompanied by a photograph. (Those dishes lacking pictures, such as Spaghetti with Onion Sauce, tend to be remarkably plain and presumably not all that photogenic.) Ruffino’s first courses range from the familiar (Penne with Spinach and Gorgonzola, Orecchiette with Broccoli) to the extraordinary (Pennette with Arugula and Sausage, Crepes with Spinach and Ricotta served with Red Sweet Pepper Fondue). Her meat dishes shine: Veal Rolls stuffed with Radicchio, Prosciutto, and Fontina is yummy beyond compare. Each section is accompanied by a recommended wine list. Surprisingly, Ruffino shows little bias toward Tuscan wines–the wines of Northern Italy, from Collio to Barolo, are represented here, as well those of the Ruffino estate. Despite (or possibly because of) its inconsistencies and surprises, Chianti Family Cooking offers the kind of direct and forceful food that will delight even the most jaded of palates.

Alvaro’s Mamma Toscana

by Alvaro Maccioni, James Murphy (Photographer)

Amazon Reader’s Review: “As a customer from US, I often think of London and the wonderful food we always get at La Famiglia, I was delighted when I was there last week and found Alvaro had written a book containing many of our favorite recipes. can’t wait to start trying them at home.. The book is as delightful as Alvaro himself, no wonder he has been so sucessful for the last 30 years.”

Ismail Merchant’s Florence: Filming and Feasting in Tuscany/70 Recipes

by Ismail Merchant, Derrick Santini (Photographer)

A talented film producer adds to his growing culinary work by launching the first of many cook-alogues about cities where he has filmed and feasted. The site this first time is Florence and environs, where he filmed his beloved A Room with a View. In fact, the 70 recipes are almost incidental to Merchant’s gastronomic tour of the area, the accompanying photography, and tales of the film’s near disasters and final successes. Scouting for locations starts, of course, with a meal; the actual shoot is enhanced by, yes, yet more feasts and Merchant’s impromptu dinners. The dishes reflect very simple Tuscan fare with more than a few of the author’s improvisations. A passionate and personal reflection on movies and meals.

Soffritto: Tradition and Innovation in Tuscan Cooking

by Benedetta Vitali, Cary Wolinsky (Photographer)

Soffritto is a homey, meandering cookbook that makes you feel as if you’re standing at author Benedetta Vitali’s side as she sautés the minced red onion, celery, and carrot mixture for which the book is named. “Good cooking is an act of creativity,” she says. “Use the recipes as indications, and trust your instincts to fill in the blanks.” A simple Pomarola (Tomato Sauce with Garlic and Basil) can be prepared in just 10 minutes — the variations are as endless as your imagination. Try Fagioli (White Beans with Prosciutto, Tomato, and Sage) as a main dish or pair it with Poached Sea Bass. Finish your meal with Bonnet (Amaretto Custard). Each recipe is a story and therefore is as enjoyable to read as it is to follow. Depending on your palate, some recipes may be better off as stories than as dinners, as evidenced by Ragu con Colli Repieni (Meat Sauce with Stuffed Chicken Necks).

Flavors of Tuscany: Traditional Recipes from the Tuscan Countryside

by Nancy Harmon Jenkins

From the first page, Nancy Harmon Jenkins draws you deep into the soul of Tuscany, where she lives part of the year and where tradition heavily shades daily life. Jenkins calls Tuscans “the Yankees of Italy” because they are as frugal and plainspoken as the New Englanders with whom she grew up. Their food is elementally simple, relying heavily on the region’s unique, salt-free bread, pane sciocco, the intense olive oil that has become famous around the world, and beans slowly cooked in a tall clay pot, or fiasco. Jenkins enthralls the reader as she discusses Tuscan food and how her friends and neighbors gather, raise, and prepare it. Flavors of Tuscany is dense with good food. There are roasts, the bread-based soup ribollita, crostini, and less-known pleasures such as tomato-studded High Summer Risotto and Braised Sweet Pepper Stew. Jenkins’s observations about a fast-changing way of living resonate with anyone who cares about quality of life. Her culinary descriptions may inspire you to build an outdoor brick oven or plan a trip to taste the wines, olive oil, and other special flavors of Tuscany.

Tastes from a Tuscan Kitchen

by Diane Nocentini and Madeline Armilotta

Tuscany evokes visions of sunflower fields, clear blue skies, and delicious aromas floating through the warm breeze—central Italy at its most beautiful. The Tuscan cuisine is filled with nature’s treasures. Fragrant olive oil, fresh herbs, fresh fish and vegetables, and warm creamy cheeses abound. Over the years, the authors have collected many recipes from friends and relatives living in the Tuscan region and throughout Italy; here, they present over 150 of the best.

In Tastes from a Tuscan Kitchen, you will find a wide variety of recipes, ranging from such staples as Pasta e Lenticchie (Pasta and Lentils), Cacciucco (Fish Soup), L’Impasto (two perfect pizza doughs), to Costoletti di Maiale con Salvia e Chianti (Pork Chops with Sage and Chianti), Scaloppine al Limone (Veal Scallops with Lemon Sauce) and Polpette di Macinato (Tuscan Meatballs). Delicate crêpes are stuffed with a variety of savory fillings and covered with the perfect topping—a creamy, rich Béchamel Sauce. Then there are the sweet crêpes and charmingly named Bongo (Chocolate Profiteroles) that easily melt in your mouth. Tuscan sauces, crostini toppings fragrant with herbs, creamy risottos, even delightful ways to use leftovers—try Polpette di Patate (Italian Potato Cakes)—will have you turning again and again to this charming compilation of recipes. And the suggestions for Tuscan wines will keep your mouth watering for more.