Cover image for 99% fat-free Italian cooking : all your favorite dishes with less than 1 gram of fat
99% fat-free Italian cooking : all your favorite dishes with less than 1 gram of fat
Bluestein, Barry.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Doubleday, 1999.
Physical Description:
275 pages : color illustrations ; 25 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Added Author:
Format :


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RM237.7 .B583 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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With this newest addition to their 99% fat-free cookbook series, bestselling authors Barry Bluestein and Kevin Morrissey present their version of America's favorite cuisine. They broke new ground withThe 99% Fat-Free Cookbookby proving that tasty, sophisticated, and virtually fat-free meals could be made without resorting to artificial ingredients. With99% Fat-Free Appetizers and Desserts, they applied those same principles to two of the most popular and potentially fat-laden courses of any meal. In99% Fat-Free Meals in 30 Minutes, they conquered the time factor. Now, with99% Fat-Free Italian Cooking, they bring their expertise to bear on one of America's favorite cuisines. While Italian food may, for some, be synonymous with olive oil and cheese, it is also famous for its use of healthy grains, pasta, and rice. Bluestein and Morrissey have conquered polenta, tamed risotto, and made peace with pasta, but they also include a full range of 99% fat-free meats, poultry, and fish, with dishes ranging from Seafood Salad to Sausage Calzones to Veal and Couscous-Stuffed Red Peppers to Chicken Piccata to Tuscan Stew. Nor do they forget those delicious Italian desserts, such as Chocolate Tiramisù. As in all their books, the authors include a listing of essential 99% fat-free pantry items, a section explaining special techniques and equipment, and a selection of suggested menus. In short,99% Fat-Free Italian Cookingis a must-have book for all Italian food-lovers concerned with limiting their dietary fat.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Much of Italian cooking is naturally low fat, but it takes Herculean effort to produce nonfat cooking and to devise substitutes for the meats, cheeses, and olive oil that give the cuisine its character. Bluestein and Morrissey's goal of concocting dishes with less than one gram of fat per serving presents them with a real challenge. How can they replicate Italian cuisine's intense flavors with a limited range of ingredients? They present simple soups and vegetable-sauced pastas. Then they go on to re-create even the popular Roman dish of pasta, eggs, bacon, and cheese, bucatini alla carbonara, through the use of egg substitute, turkey bacon, and a single tablespoon of Parmesan cheese. By skipping the sauteeing of the rice grains in oil to seal their starches, they give their risotto a different texture, but it still has full flavor. Polenta made with buttermilk adds a refreshing tartness without additional fat. (Reviewed March 15, 1999)038548545XMark Knoblauch

Publisher's Weekly Review

Bluestein and Morrissey (The Bountiful Kitchen) return with their fourth 99% fat-free regimen, this time using standard ploys‘sautéing ingredients in broth or water or simply in a dry nonstick pan; spraying food lightly with olive oil instead of cooking in it; using meat as accents rather than mainstays‘to create flavorsome, low-fat alternatives to traditional Italian fare. Many recipes (the Broiled Scallops appetizer or Eggplant Crostini in which vegetable slices replace bread) are the essence of simplicity. For Butternut Squash Soup, ingredients are oven baked in stock before pureeing. Almond-Glazed Panettone is coated not with nuts but ground Grape-Nuts flakes flavored with almond extract. Bucatini alla Carbonara acquires richness with nonfat liquid-egg substitute and achieves lower fat with turkey bacon replacing pancetta, while seafood comes to the rescue in Monkfish Osso Buco. Salad dressings are creative blends of balsamic vinegar and maple syrup or honey and orange juice. Even Sausage Calzone has a low-fat filling of turkey breast tenderloin, fennel seeds and other herbs and spices. One of the most audacious offerings is Chocolate Tiramisu made with a fat-free "mascarpone" of drained nonfat yogurt flavored with buttermilk. Those needing to cut fat intake will find much to applaud here. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Even the most rigid of the food police acknowledge that some dietary fat is necessary, and most experts agree that an overall 30 percent of calories from fat is acceptable. Nevertheless, Bluestein and Morrissey's almost fat-free formula has served them well (The 99% Fat-Free Cookbook, LJ 4/15/94; 99% Fat-Free Meals in 30 Minutes, LJ 2/15/98), and they are back with elegant and sophisticated Italian fare containing barely a trace of fat. They use fat-free dairy products, egg substitutes, and very little meat or poultry (six ounces of quail in a ragu to serve six). But what is Italian food without olive oil? For collections where the earlier titles have been popular. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Introduction A creamy risotto brimming with mussels . . . a bowl of silky fresh spinach pasta dotted with salt cod and tomatoes . . . a skewer of veal threaded around baby spring vegetables . . . an ethereal roasted red pepper flan--such are the rewards of the 99% fat-free Italian kitchen. Contrary to the misconceptions of Americans reeling from too many overdone pizzas, too many meatballs and sausages, and far, far too much sauce on dishes that would be unfamiliar in Italian homes, Italian cooking and healthful eating are a natural match. Fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, seafood, and minimal saucing are the hallmarks of the real Italian kitchen. Much like health-conscious diners everywhere, Italians have always used meat as an accent rather than as the main component of the meal, have eaten a variety of small courses rather than a huge portion of any single item, and have viewed rich, sugar-laden desserts as special-occasion treats rather than part of the everyday diet. With the exceptions of tempering the Italian devotion to olive oil and substituting fat-free for full-fat dairy products--but allowing a finishing flourish of heavenly Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino cheese, which is well worth the fat grams--little sacrifice is necessary to adapt classic Italian cuisine to a fat-free regimen. And little is more rewarding. Americans no longer need to be educated about the perils of our traditionally high-fat diet and now understand the role that lowering fat can play in controlling numerous preventable, diet-related health problems. But we nevertheless want real food, thoughtfully conceived and lovingly prepared. We addressed the issue of paring fat in The 99% Fat-Free Cookbook and The 99% Fat-Free Book of Appetizers and Desserts. In 99% Fat-Free Meals in 30 Minutes we demonstrated how to make low-fat cooking quick and easy enough to fit into even the busiest schedule. The 99% fat-free method is a comprehensive approach to low-fat cooking distinguished by its diner-friendly perspective. By breaking down traditional recipes and rebuilding them in ways that pare significant amounts of fat at the source, in the kitchen, we provide healthful eating without deprivation. Our simple techniques enable cooks to select ingredients judiciously, to prepare them innovatively, and to dispense with ingrained habits that add superfluous fat. We now bring this approach to the bountiful Italian table, reducing the fat and indulging guiltlessly in what remains. Although we do need to eschew oil to cook fat-free, we have otherwise tried to be true to Italian flavor combinations, cooking techniques, and dining traditions. We hope you appreciate the Italian way as much as we do. Buon appetito! Parmesan Risotto This is one of the simplest and most basic risottos. The quality of the cheese is critical; this is not the time to substitute a lesser alternative for Parmigiano-Reggiano. We like the dish with Veal Spiedini (page 154), but it really complements a wide range of main courses, as long as they don't contain any Parmesan themselves. For the ultimate luxury, top Parmesan Risotto with shaved or sliced truffles. 6 cups Beef Stock (see page 21), or 4 cups commercial beef broth plus 2 cups water 4 ounces leek (about 1 thin leek), trimmed, cleaned, quartered lengthwise, and thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup) 2 tablespoons water 2 cups Vialone Nano, Carnaroli, or Arborio rice Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a boil. Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer. Meanwhile, preheat a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add the leek and water. Sauté for about 3 minutes, until the leek is soft and most of the water has evaporated. Add the rice and continue to cook and stir for about 3 minutes more, until the rice is very lightly toasted. Vigorously stir in 1 cup of the hot stock. Once the liquid has been absorbed and small craters dot the creamy surface, add 1 cup more. Stir and bring back to a simmer. When this addition has been absorbed, add the rest of the stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition. Continue to stir until the risotto is creamy and tender. This should take 25 to 30 minutes from the first addition of stock. Stir in the salt, black pepper, and Parmesan and serve 1 cup to each person. Yield = 6 servings Fat per serving = 0.73 g. Calories per serving = 261.2 Veal Spiedini Spiedini, the Italian version of brochettes, make a light yet filling meal. For a heartier meal, serve them with your favorite risotto. We particularly like to make spiedini in the summer, when the cooking can easily shift from the broiler to the outdoor grill. In this recipe, the veal first marinates in a flavorful Marsala wine mixture. You will need eight 8-inch skewers. If you use bamboo rather than metal skewers, be sure to soak them as directed to prevent charring. The addition of such baby vegetables as pattypan squash and teardrop or small cherry tomatoes in assorted colors lends a festive air. Two 4-ounce veal scaloppine cutlets, each trimmed and cut into 4 long, thin strips 16 medium white button mushrooms (about 8 ounces), cleaned and halved 1/2 cup Marsala wine 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup bread crumbs (see Pantry) 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 1 teaspoon freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese If using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for at least 1 hour. Put the strips of veal and the mushrooms into a shallow bowl. Add the wine and pepper and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Preheat the broiler. Mix together the bread crumbs, parsley, and Parmesan. Thread a strip of veal onto each skewer in a serpentine fashion, interspersing 4 mushroom chunks between the folds of veal, ending with a mushroom on top. Roll in the bread crumb mixture to coat. Position 4 inches from the heat source and broil for 3 minutes, until well browned. Turn and broil until well browned on the other side, about 4 minutes more. Yield = 8 skewers Fat per skewer = 0.68 g. Calories per skewer = 53.4 Spaghetti and Meatballs We just couldn't resist the temptation to include a version of the first "Italian" dish to which most Americans of a certain age were exposed. We don't know if anyone is certain of the derivation of this combination, although Michele Scicolone reports one theory in A Fresh Taste of Italy --that it was invented early in the century by American dietitians who were trying to introduce more protein into the typical pasta diet of Italian immigrants. By starting with turkey breast tenderloin rather than preground turkey, which may contain hidden fat, you keep fat content to a minimum. We chop it along with the seasonings in the food processor. The meatballs are then baked, not pan-fried in oil. Peppery arugula is a major flavor component in both the meatballs and the versatile sauce, which would work nicely in almost any recipe that calls for a tomato-based sauce. 4 sun-dried tomatoes 1/4 cup hot water Olive oil cooking spray 6 ounces turkey breast tenderloin slices, cut into chunks 1/2 cup bread crumbs (see Pantry) 1/4 cup nonfat liquid egg substitute, or 2 large egg whites 1/4 cup chopped white onion 1 clove garlic, minced 1/4 cup chopped arugula Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 2 tablespoons skim milk Sauce: 1/4 cup diced white onion 2 tablespoons reserved sun-dried tomato soaking liquid 3 large cloves garlic, minced 1/4 cup chopped arugula 1 1/2 cups cut-up boxed or canned tomatoes with their juice, or 1 pound tomatoes (about 2 tomatoes), peeled, seeded, and chopped (about 1 1/2 cups) 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 6 ounces dried spaghetti For the meatballs, combine the sun-dried tomatoes and water in a small bowl and set aside for 30 minutes for the tomatoes to reconstitute. Drain the tomatoes, reserving the soaking liquid, and chop (about 2 tablespoons). Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with the olive oil. Combine the reconstituted tomatoes with the turkey, bread crumbs, egg substitute or egg whites, onion, garlic, arugula, salt, black pepper, red pepper, skim milk, and 2 tablespoons of the tomato soaking liquid in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture is finely ground and has formed a large ball. Using about 11/2 tablespoons for each, form 12 meatballs. Place them on the prepared sheet and bake for about 9 minutes, until crisp and brown, shaking the pan every 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. For the sauce, preheat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and the remaining 2 tablespoons of the tomato soaking liquid and cook for about 2 minutes, until the onion is translucent and the mixture is almost dry. Stir in the garlic and arugula. Add the tomatoes and red pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes. Add the meatballs and cook for about 5 minutes more, until the sauce is thick and dry. Remove the meatballs with a slotted spoon. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water, add the spaghetti, and cook until the pasta is al dente. Drain and toss with the sauce. For each portion, serve 1 cup pasta and 3 meatballs. Yield = 4 servings Fat per serving = 1.00 g. Calories per serving = 270.8 Italian Potatoes with Onion and Rosemary Slice the potatoes for this crisp pancake as thin as possible, and don't worry if they break up as you slice. Be sure to cook them until both sides are browned and as crusty as they can be without getting burned. If the notion of flipping the whole pancake at once seems a bit daunting, quarter it in the skillet and turn each quarter individually with a spatula. 2 1/4 pounds baking potatoes (about 4 potatoes), scrubbed, peeled, and thinly sliced (about 4 cups) 10 ounces yellow onion (about 1 large onion), peeled and thinly sliced (about 13/4 cups) 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1/3 cup dry white wine 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Cook the potatoes in a microwave oven at full power for 7 to 8 minutes, until fork-tender. (You can also boil the potatoes for 30 to 35 minutes in 4 cups of water to which 2 teaspoons of salt have been added.) Set the potatoes aside until cool enough to handle. Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. In the hot skillet, combine the onion, garlic, and wine. Stir to combine thoroughly and cook for about 15 minutes, until the onion is very soft. Add the potatoes, parsley, and rosemary. Mix well and mash with the back of a wooden spoon to form a large pancake. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Raise the heat to medium and cook for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are browned and somewhat crusty underneath. Position a plate upside down over the pan, flip the pancake out onto the plate so that the cooked side is up, and then slide it back into the pan. Cook for about 15 minutes more, until the second side is crusty. Yield = 4 servings Fat per serving = 0.44 g. Calories per serving = 327.5 Chocolate Tiramisù Tiramisù is italian for "pick me up," as well as the name for the now world-famous dessert from Veneto. Our fat-free version starts with savoiardi, Italian ladyfingers that are crisp, not spongy like those used in charlottes. We've also concocted a fat-free version of mascarpone cheese and added a couple of taste twists in the form of Marsala and Grand Marnier. Use Dutch processed cocoa powder, which American manufacturers sometimes call "European style." 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder 1 teaspoon light corn syrup 2 teaspoons hot water 1 teaspoon Marsala wine 4 teaspoons Grand Marnier liqueur 6 crisp Italian ladyfingers 1/4 cup strong brewed coffee 1/4 cup nonfat liquid egg substitute 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar 2/3 cup Mascarpone (recipe follows) In a small bowl, whisk the cocoa powder, corn syrup, and hot water together until smooth. Mix in the Marsala and 2 teaspoons of the Grand Marnier. Set aside. Break the ladyfingers in half and place them on a plate. Drizzle them with the coffee and the remaining 2 teaspoons Grand Marnier. In a mixing bowl, combine the egg substitute and confectioners' sugar. Whisk until light and foamy. Whisk in the cocoa powder mixture, then fold in the Mascarpone. (You should have about 1 cup of the filling.) Place half a ladyfinger on the bottom of each of four wide-mouthed champagne glasses. Layer about 8 teaspoons of the filling over the ladyfinger in each glass, then 2 more ladyfinger halves, and finally about 8 more teaspoons of filling. Cover the boats with plastic wrap and chill for 2 to 3 hours before serving. Yield = 4 servings Fat per serving = 0.62 g. Calories per serving = 113.8 Mascarpone Our fat-free rendition has none of the fat but much of the rich flavor of mascarpone cheese. In addition to using it in Chocolate Tiramisù (above), you could dollop some on our Apple Cake (following) or on fresh fruit. 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt 2 tablespoons buttermilk Line a strainer with a coffee filter and suspend it over a glass or ceramic bowl. Empty the yogurt into the strainer and place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill and drain for 3 to 4 hours. Remove the yogurt cheese that remains in the strainer to a mixing bowl and stir in the buttermilk. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 6 hours. Mascarpone will keep for several days in the refrigerator. Yield = About 2/3 cup Apple Cake This cake is in many ways a quintessentially Italian dessert--simple, filled with fruit, and not too sweet or rich. It reminded an Italian-American houseguest of ours so much of the cakes his mother used to bake that he ate several slices. The Fuji apples break up as the cake bakes, lending a natural sweetness and moisture that might otherwise be provided by butter, while the firmer Granny Smiths provide a contrasting tartness. McIntosh apples could easily replace the Fujis. Vegetable oil cooking spray 1 pound Fuji apples (about 2 apples) 8 ounces Granny Smith apples (about 1 apple) 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 cup nonfat liquid egg substitute 1 1/3 cups sugar 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest 1/8 teaspoon salt 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9-inch springform pan lightly with the vegetable oil cooking spray and spread the oil evenly over the surface of the pan. Peel, core, and cut the apples into 1/4-inch cubes. Put the apple cubes in a glass bowl and toss them with the lemon juice. Set aside. Combine the egg substitute and sugar in a large bowl and whisk until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is pale. Mix in the lemon zest and salt. Add the flour and baking powder and mix with a wooden spoon to form a very thick batter. Fold in the apples thoroughly with the wooden spoon. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 50 minutes, until the cake is golden and beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove the sides. Serve warm. Yield = 12 servings Fat per serving = 0.46 g. Calories per serving = 216.8 Excerpted from 99% Fat-Free Italian Cooking: All Your Favorite Dishes with Less Than 1 Gram of Fat by Barry Bluestein, Kevin Morrissey All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
Suggested Menusp. 3
1. The 99% Fat-Free Italian Pantryp. 7
2. Appetizers (Antipasti)p. 25
3. Soups (Zuppe e Minestre)p. 45
4. Bread (Pane)p. 59
5. Risotto (Risotto)p. 75
6. Dried Pasta (Pasta Secca)p. 89
7. Fresh Pasta (Pasta Fresca)p. 107
8. Sauces (Salse)p. 121
9. Fish and Shellfish (Pesce e Frutti di Mare)p. 135
10. Meat and Poultry (Carne e Pollame)p. 151
11. Polenta (Polenta)p. 167
12. Vegetables (Contorni)p. 181
13. Salads (Insalate)p. 195
14. Pizza, Focaccia, and Calzones (Pizze, Focacce, e Calzoni)p. 211
15. Desserts (Dolci)p. 227
16. Liqueurs (Spiriti)p. 247
Source Guidep. 259
Indexp. 265