In La Bella Cucina
, Viana La Place instructs us to look to Italy to discover how to live the good life--la bella vita
. She paints a picture of generations gathered together around a table abundant with bowls of pasta, bright platters of vegetables, glistening olives, ripe fruit, and crusty peasant bread. The image poses a sharp contrast to American society, where most of us rush along spending many hours at work and the rest isolated in suburban homes or city apartments. La Bella Cucina
is not just a cookbook, but a guide on how to live la bella vita
no matter where you call home. La Place--celebrated author of several Italian cookbooks, including Cucina Rustica
--details not only the essence of true Italian cooking but also the way of life so profoundly connected to it. She even includes a blueprint for eating like an Italian--from a breakfast of espresso and biscotti to pranzo
, the hearty Italian lunch, to cena
, the late, light dinner typical in Italian households. In keeping with the traditions of true Italian cooking, La Place relies on simple, earthy ingredients to create evocative recipes that are at once rich in flavor and simple to prepare. Her soulful recipes like Summer Barley, Tomato, and Basil Soup; Dried Fava Bean Purée with Leeks and Bitter Greens; Sunday Meat Sauce; Spaghetti with a Mountain of Tiny Clams; and Roast Pork with Wild Fennel are more than sufficient for feeding the good life. --Robin Donovan
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
La Place (Pasta Fresca, Cucina Fresca and Cucina Rustica) brings the simplicity of the life and food of the Salento (the southernmost part of Apulia in Italy) to the table. The prose paints a vivid picture of rural and small-town life that envelops the reader in its relaxed atmosphere. From capturing in loving detail her neighbor, Signora Pantella, to reminiscences of the big Sunday lunch, La Place takes readers into her stress-free world. The recipes echo this mood. They have the unfussy style that characterizes the region's cuisine, whether it's the robust yet subtle Poaching Halibut Al Modo Mio or the tender, succulent Signora Pantella's Red Peppers al Forno. Vegetables
appear both as a section, or a component of pasta sauces, spuntini (morning and afternoon snacks) and meat dishes. Several can be produced in advance to serve at room temperature, such as the delicate Verdura all'Insalata or the Fried Yellow Peppers with Wild Mint and Red Wine Vinegar. In addition, she dispels many myths about starting a meal with antipasto and ending with dessert, explaining that this is the province of restaurants. At the end of the book, she sets out menus that typify her way of life, starting the meal with a small serving of pasta and ending with fruit. Everything is done with a delightful simplicity, which will be attractive to the beginner as well as the experienced cook. (Oct.)Forecast: This will attract cooks who like to read. Unfortunately, the subtle and simple cover, which echoes the book's style, may not help it stand out from others on the shelf.Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.