Rustic Italian (Williams-Sonoma): Simple, Authentic Recipes for Everyday Cooking

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9781616281656: Rustic Italian (Williams-Sonoma): Simple, Authentic Recipes for Everyday Cooking
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This book offers over 100 recipes that are inspired by classic Italian favorites, but are lighter, fresher, simpler, and perfect for today’s busy home cook.

This engaging, accessible everyday Italian cookbook features 100 simple recipes highlighting fresh, seasonal ingredients. The recipes are divided into six chapters, which are organized by course. Author Domenica Marchetti’s lively voice shines through in the evocative text, which grounds us in place and season. The food is rustic—loose and not perfectly composed—and the recipes use familiar ingredients but are also modern, offering a subtle element of surprise through interesting flavor pairings and the use of a wide range of produce and Italian pantry stapes. There is a festive vibe to the recipes and text—this is food to share in a casual setting with family and friends. Wine pairings are offered for every recipe, adding to the convivial feeling of the book.

Bring the bold and beloved flavors of Italy into your kitchen with this enticing collection of authentic dishes made modern. In these pages, author Domenica Marchetti shares her rich Italian heritage with an abundant array of simply prepared foods that embrace the seasons and celebrate traditional ingredients and techniques.

The more than 100 recipes are organized by course, from antipasti such as crostini with tasty toppings and saffron-infused rice croquettes to dolci like pistachio gelato and plum-almond cake. In zuppe e insalate, discover soups and salads to match every occasion, such as hearty wild rice soup with porcini and escarole, a tomato-based Livorno-style fish stew, a simple salad of beets with blood oranges and fennel, and green beans tossed with ricotta salata and lemon. You’ll also find dishes like spaghetti with summer squash and crispy speck, risotto with Prosecco and radicchio, and Roman-style pizza with spinach and olives. In pesce e carne, look for such favorites as Tuscan-style steak with crispy potatoes and roasted branzino with herbed farro. And, as in Italy, the vegetables here shine with little adornment in contorni like wine-braised broccoli rabe, spicy sautéed kale and chickpeas, and oven-roasted endive.

Wine-pairing suggestions and guides to Italian cheeses, salumi, and pantry staples round out this fresh take on home-cooked Italian fare.

"This collection reflects how I cook at home. My favorite dishes to make for family and friends are uncomplicated ones—recipes that honor ingredients and the seasons, with a nod to my Italian heritage.”

Sample recipes:


Pickled Cauliflower with Chile Bread Crumbs

Burrata with Roasted Peppers and Coppa

Crostini with Spicy Broccoli Rabe and Pecorino

Meatballs In Swiss Chard–Tomato Sauce

Cambozola-Stuffed Dates Wrapped In Prosciutto

Zuppe e Insalate

Carrot and Winter Squash Soup with Pancetta

Wild Rice Soup with Porcini and Escarole

Tuscan Bread Salad with Caper Dressing

Citrusy Shrimp and Calamari Salad

Arugula with Figs, Honey, and Sovrano Cheese

Pasta, Risotto, e Pizza

Bucatini with Caramelized Onions

Cavatelli with Zucchini Blossoms

Fettuccine with Pistachio Pesto

Baked Penne with Eggplant and Smoked Scamorza

Prosecco Risotto with Radicchio

Roman-Style Pizza with Spinach and Olives

Individual Grilled Pizzas

Pesce e Carne

Clams with White Wine, Tomatoes, and Sausage

Roasted Branzino with Herbed Farro

Tuna-Stuffed Grilled Sardines

Butterflied Chicken Roasted with Lemons

Pork Rib Ragu with Polenta

Tuscan-Style Steak with Crispy Potatoes


Roasted Delicata Squash with Sage

Asparagus and Asiago Gratin

Balsamic-Braised Cippolini Onions

Spicy Sautéed Chickpeas with Kale

Roasted Potato and Mushroom Strata


Melon Granita with Basil

Pistachio Gelato with Shaved Chocolate

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Roasted Rhubarb

Shortbread Wedges with Rosemary

Plum-Almond Cake

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About the Author:

Domenica Marchetti is the author of six books on Italian cooking. Her recipes and articles on Italian home cooking have been widely published in national publications including Cooking Light, Fine Cooking, Food and Wine, Health, the Chicago Tribune and The Washington Post; and online at Leite’s Culinaria, NPR Kitchen Window, and Apartment Therapy’s The Kitchen. She is also the co-founder of American Food Roots, an online publication that tells America’s food stories and explores why we eat what we eat. Read more about her at

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Bucatini with Caramelized Onions & Pancetta
1⁄2 lb (250 g) pancetta, cut into 1⁄4-inch (6-mm) dice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
21⁄2 lb (1.25 kg) red or yellow onions, or a mix of both, halved and very thinly sliced lengthwise
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb (500 g) dried bucatini or perciatelli
1⁄2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) dry white wine
1⁄2 cup (2 oz/60 g) freshly grated pecorino romano cheese, plus more for serving
*Serves 4.

In a large frying pan over medium-low heat, sauté the pancetta until lightly crisped and a little of the fat is rendered, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Set aside.

Add the olive oil to the pan and pile in the onions. Using tongs or a wooden spoon, gently toss the onions to coat them as much as you can with the fat. Cover the pan and cook, still over medium-low heat, until the onions are well wilted, 15–20 minutes. Add the oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, and a generous grinding of pepper and cook, uncovered, until golden brown, creamy, and greatly reduced in volume, about 30 minutes. Stir from time to time to prevent scorching.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the bucatini, stir, and cook until al dente, about 11 minutes or according to the package directions. Drain, reserving about 1⁄2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) of the cooking water.

Raise the heat under the onions to medium-high, pour in the wine, and stir to scrape up any browned bits from the pan bottom. Let it bubble for a minute, then add the reserved pancetta. Transfer the pasta to the pan and toss gently to combine. Add a splash or two of the pasta-cooking water to loosen the sauce, if needed. Sprinkle in the cheese and toss again. Divide among 4 shallow bowls and serve, passing additional cheese at the table.


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