From the Introduction: "Years ago, at the beginning of my culinary career, I wanted to write a cookbook on Abruzzo, my native region of Italy, a land of colorful festivals, brooding traditions, gargantuan banquets, and ancient superstitions, where the accidental spilling of oil is a sure sign of tragedy. I also wanted to share the experience of growing up in a family of good cooks where food was an expression of love and caring.... Many dishes from Abruzzo, such as maccheroni alla chitarra ("guitar" macaroni), brodetto di pesce (fish stew), and porchetta (roast pig), have, of course, traveled. But most of them are still the treasured secrets of families. They travel no further than the next generation.... My family gave me a passion for food. The rituals that were practiced in my grandmother's kitchen are still with me. All this has remained part of my life, and cooking for family and friends is a constant joy for me. To celebrate and make people happy are the reasons why I wrote this book."
Praise for Anna Teresa Callen's Menus for Pasta:
"A culinary gem for everyone who wants to bring the true flavor of Italy into their home." ?Paula Wolfert, author of Mediterranean Grains and Greens
"Of course one can eat pasta as a main course. It is how my mother would serve us pasta every Wednesday and Sunday when I was a boy. And this wonderful evocative book richly demonstrates that pasta can indeed be the centerpiece of an elegant meal. Bravo pasta, brava Anna Teresa!" ?Fred Feretti, columnist for Gourmet magazine
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Forte e Gentile, strong and gentle, is the motto of Abruzzo, the Italian province east of Rome that stretches from the towering Apennine Mountains to the Adriatic Sea. Anna Teresa Callen, in Food and Memories of Abruzzo, is most engaging as she shares stories of her life and presents the varied food of this little-known part of Italy where she grew up and still spends much of her time. Callen composes a symphony of sounds and aromas to surround the recipes in this memoir-cum-cookbook, describing how her grandmother, cutting pasta for pastina "into tiny dots, made a tic-tac sound with her knife," and recounting how the "pungent smell of coffee wafting from the kitchen" woke her from her daily summer siesta. Old photos from family albums add to Callen's vivid memories.
Using Callen's recipes, you can recreate Maccheroni alla Chitarra, the Abruzzese "square spaghetti" some Italian restaurants in the U.S. and elsewhere now serve, and robust Porchetta, sublimely succulent spit-roasted pork served with its crackling, mahogany skin, as well as the colorful fish stew Brodetto di Pesce, which her father used to make, and L'sagne, a flour-and-water pasta unique to Abruzzo. In a balancing act, Callen gives recipes for simple dishes perfect for today's cooks along with more complicated regional specialties and spectacular holiday dishes. Her guidance for making La Cicerchiata, an ancient dessert made for Mardi Gras by assembling honey-soaked "chick peas" of fried dough, whole almonds, and candied fruit into a colorful ring, is as clear as her directions for Mozzarella all'Erbette, a combination of sliced cheese dressed with a puree of fresh herbs and capers that can be put together in minutes.
Callen crams this book with basic culinary advice and a wealth of information about the Italian kitchen, demystifying the differences between salsa, sugo, and ragu, for example, and advising how to make smooth polenta using cold liquid. In all, this is an exceptional volume for cooks, Italophiles, and anyone who likes a good story. --Dana JacobiFrom the Inside Flap:
Nestled between the Adriatic Sea and the majestic Apennine Mountains, Abruzzo is one of Italy's most striking regions. A land of colorful festivals, brooding traditions, gargantuan banquets, and ancient superstitions, Abruzzo's cultural riches are rivaled only by its culinary ones. This is Italy's "pastoral land," where the simple flavors of the earth and sea create a food of abundant ingredients and vibrant flavors. Esteemed author and cooking teacher Anna Teresa Callen grew up in Abruzzo and still cooks its regional specialties—the honest food that reflects Abruzzo's rustic environment. From the heartland comes the food of the farmers: wholesome and flavorful poultry dishes, succulent roasts, and robust vegetable preparations. From the mountains come the lamb dishes that are the toast of Italy, and from the sea comes the food of the fishermen: zesty brodetti (fish stews) and grigliate (grilled fish). This is simple cooking at its best, with flavors kept fresh and clean. Yet the Abruzzesi are famous for their elaborate festival dishes as much as for their rustic fare. Celebration food is eagerly awaited on special occasions to welcome guests and delight family and friends. Good examples are the stunning timballi, served at birthdays, and Maccheroni alla Chitarra—an unusual pasta made on a stringed instrument resembling a guitar—the signature dish of the region, the one that traditionally greets travelers with its distinctive presentation and tempting flavor. There is good reason that the people of rugged Abruzzo are renowned for their hospitality. Their motto is "Abruzzo, forte e gentile"—"Abruzzo, strong and kind." For many years Abruzzo's mountain curtain separated the region from mainstream Italy, creating a unique cuisine. Most dishes have remained the treasured secrets of the families who have passed them down through the generations. This robust home cooking is unveiled for the first time in Food and Memories of Abruzzo. Here is the Cardoon Soup that Anna Teresa's grandmother cooked at Christmas as tradition commands; Fiadone Villese, a savory pie that is an Easter tradition; and La Cicerchiata, an ancient dessert descended from Jews living in Italy. The author's experience as a cooking teacher, which she expertly communicates to her readers, is evident in these recipes. She offers more than readers need to know to ensure that her dishes will be perfectly executed and that home cooks will be delighted by the results of everything they cook. The best example of this is her chapter on fresh pasta making, whose intricacies are illuminated by Callen's precise text. Her understanding of modern health concerns is evident as well. These recipes contain a minimum of fat and salt, and emphasize fresh ingredients for flavor, as the vegetable and salads chapters in particular attest. Amid the tempting recipes are the author's recollections of her bucolic girlhood in the town of Guardiagrele. Callen's vivid memories of fishing with her father in the Adriatic, hunting for mushrooms in the forests, and rolling out pasta by hand with her mother—as well as a sampling of her family photos—immerse her readers in the patterns of daily life in Abruzzo. The power of Abruzzo's beauty and charm radiates from every page of this landmark cookbook. But as absorbing as the region's legends and the author's memories are, it is the recipes that offer true revelations. The recipes in this book are for the food and land Callen returns to again and again—both in her mind and in person. They are recipes whose robust tastes will linger, continuing to lure you into the kitchen to create the joy and abundance of Italy's pastoral land at home.
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Book Description Wiley. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0025209159 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.0004681
Book Description Wiley, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0025209159