I've said on a couple of occasions, both here on TVFF and in personal conversations about food and cooking, that the one cookbook in my home that I use more than any other is Lidia Bastianich's Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen. The ingredients are available at any decent grocery store (at least here in the more heavily Italian Mid-Atlantic area) and the recipes really do an excellent job of capturing the whole ethos of the Italian-American cuisine. Couple this with her television series, which effectively teaches techniques and the kind of "touch" you can never quite get from a book, and there might not be a chef on television who does a better job of educating an audience.
Lidia's cookbooks are also companions to her thoroughly enjoyable PBS television series, and her new cookbook is no different. Lidia's Italy, which will be available in the spring, will include all of the recipes from the series of the same name. According to Lidia's website:
Lidia Bastianich, the beloved doyenne of Italian cooking in America, gives us her most practical cookbook yet. In Lidia's Italy, the incomparable Lidia takes us on a gastronomic journey through her native land. She explores the regions that have informed her cooking over the years - from Sicily to Friuli, Tuscany to Treviso, and Trieste to Istria, where Lidia spent her childhood. In addition, her daughter, Tanya Bastianich Manuali, an art historian, shows us some of the nearby cultural treasures of Italy that she and her mother have come to love. There is something for everyone in Lidia's Italy, the companion cookbook to her new public television series of the same name.
Whereas her previous cookbooks focused on Italian-American cuisine and family cooking, the regional cooking in the new cookbook will prove to be a departure for Bastianich. Little known fact...Lidia's home region of Istria is actually now in Croatia. So, I guess that makes her hands-down the top Croatian chef on television! (Ed. Note: Please see comments)
You can pre-order Lidia's Italy from the TV Food Fan Store by clicking on the image at the top of the post. Amazon.com reports an April 10 shipping date.
Labels: Lidia Bastianich