Cover image for The Italian-American cookbook : a feast of food from a great American cooking tradition
The Italian-American cookbook : a feast of food from a great American cooking tradition
Mariani, John F.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Harvard Common Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xii, 451 pages : illustrations ; c 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TX723 .M3282 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



At last, here is the place to look for the tastiest and most definitive renderings of Shrimp Fra Diavolo, Steak Florentine, Pasta al Primavera, Linguine with Clam Sauce, Spinach with Pignolis, Tiramisu, and all the other treasures of the Italian-American table. In these pages, America's premier restaurant critic, John Mariani, and his wizard-in-the-kitchen wife, Galina, update and perfect all the classics in lighter, less creamy-and-cheesy versions made with the freshest of ingredients.

The Marianis make a convincing case that Italian-American cooking, far from being a watered-down version of Italian cookery, is a full-fledged cuisine in its own right. In fact, as they show in a fascinating introduction, many elements of Italian cuisine in Italy today are actually imports from the Italian-American repertoire. In 250 recipes, they reveal not only how glorious their repertoire is but also how its basic elements may be used in innovative new ways -- in a Risotto with Apples and Saffron, for example, or a Pork Roast with Fennel. This is a feast of food, from antipasta and soups through pastas and pizzas all the way to dessert, and also of history and folklore, in the dozens of sidebars and archival photographs that bring to life the family restaurants and home kitchens where these magnificent ethnic dishes are prepared and enjoyed.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Respected food critic John Mariani cuts directly to the essence of these fused cuisines with The Italian-American Cookbook, surrendering to the fact that America's take on Italian cooking doesn't always replicate the pure product of the motherland. Partnering with his wife, Galina, Mariani offers antipasti and pasta dishes sure to please with the sort of robust flavors found in their Farfalle with sausage, tomato, and porcini sauce. They do not hesitate to include recipes for such items popular with Americans as manicotti and St. Louis' "toasted ravioli," which are unrecognizable in Italy. Acknowledging the American penchant for combining as many ethnic traditions as possible, the Marianis include an oxtail stew fragranced with indisputably Asian lemongrass.

Publisher's Weekly Review

If, as the authors emphasize, one uses only the freshest ingredients (they include a guide to the best sources for Italian foods by state), the resultÄwhether a simple salad or an adventurous dessertÄwill be a culinary triumph to enjoy. In their overstuffed tribute to one of our country's favorite cuisines, the Marianis (Galina is a food columnist, John is the author of The Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink) tackle both the familiar and the rare. Many of their spaghetti dishes are paired with vegetables, such as a Spaghetti with Cauliflower recipe, which also calls for currants, saffron and anchovies. Conversely, fruit is often used to brighten their meat dishes. Roasted Sausages and Grapes are hot and sweet at once, and there's an irresistible Mountain Lamb Scallopine with Figs and Honey made with ginger, fennel and orange juice. Additionally, the authors include a small collection of comforting, childhood favorites, like Johnny Marzetti, an Italian-style Sloppy Joe; Chicken Tetrazzini, with Parmigiano-Reggiano, heavy cream and butter; and even Baked Macaroni and Cheese, perked up with a touch of cayenne. Quite addictive and good for the soul, if not always for the waistline, these 250 recipes will prove handy on nights when there are no reservations to be found at the local ristorante. Agent, Heide Lange. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Now that such essential ingredients as good olive oil and real Parmesan cheese have become readily available here, and Italian restaurants in this country are far more sophisticated than those old-fashioned neighborhood places that offered little more than spaghetti and meatballs, restaurant critic Mariani (The Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink) and his wife decided to explore "the new Italian-American cuisine." They include more than 250 recipes for both well-prepared versions of familiar dishes that all too often had become little more than clichs, such as Clams Casino, as well as more contemporary dishes using Italian ingredients and cooking techniques, such as Tuna Carpaccio with Chives. Wine suggestions are included throughout, and headnotes and sidebars provide culinary history and lore, along with family anecdotes and reminiscences. For most collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.