A native of Lucca and the chef–owner of Beppe, Cesare Casella is the real thing when it comes to Tuscan food. In True Tuscan, Casella offers authentic recipes and Beppe favorites, as well as history and legends, culinary and otherwise, of Italy's most adored region.
Tuscany has one of the richest cultural and culinary histories of all of Europe. From Catherine di Medici, who introduced the French to the fork and high heels, to Italian cowboys, this region boasts an intriguing and exciting heritage, and an equally thrilling cuisine. In True Tuscan, Casella presents the Tuscany he knows––the time–honored recipes of his ancestors spiced with historical facts and gossip. Casella is not afraid to update and improve, as his Beppe dishes make clear, but he is devoted to the Tuscan spirit, which he is uniquely qualified to celebrate and explore. These 125 tempting and satisfying recipes cover every course, from antipasti to dolci, and feature authentic flavors that promise to surprise and delight you and your guests.
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Cesare Casella is the chef and owner of Beppe and Maremma, celebrated Manhattan restaurants that specialize in Tuscan cuisine. The author of Diary of a Tuscan Chef and Italian Cooking for Dummies, he has been featured in print in Gourmet, Food and Wine, and the New York Times. He has appeared on Tyler's Ultimate on the Food Network and Martha Stewart Living.From Publishers Weekly:
Casella, chef and owner of the Manhattan restaurant Beppe, admits up front that he has included dishes from other regions of Italy besides Tuscany in his cookbook, such as Sicily. His logic? "[P]utting my spin on it makes it Tuscan for me, because I'm Tuscan." That faulty reasoning is made even more glaring by Casella's complaint that the adjective Tuscan has been bastardized by its application to "kitchen design, olive oil, even classical music." That said, Casella's food—wherever it comes from—is quite delicious, and consists mainly of terrific rustic choices, like Potato and Egg Frittata, with its chunks of pancetta; and Tuscan Fried Chicken served with fried herbs. Casella writes like a restaurant chef, for better and for worse. On one hand, he generously shares recipes for some of the highlights on Beppe's menu, such as homemade pinci pasta in walnut and anchovy sauce, and Tuscan spareribs. On the other hand, he blithely calls for hard-to-find ingredients like pork liver, and while his Basic Pasta Dough recipe yields 1 3/4 pounds of dough, the three ravioli recipes that follow each call for 1 1/2 pounds of dough, with no suggestions as to what to do with the extra.
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