November 20, 2015
Puglia by Tara Russell
My rating: 5 of 5 spoons
Phaidon has one again shown it's commitment to high quality in this gorgeous cookbook. Good quality paper, sewn binding, double ribbon bookmarks and the lovely cover and dustjacket come together for a heirloom quality book. This is a book I would be happy to pass down to my children and grandchildren. As they share my love for Italy and its cuisine, I know they would delight in it.
Puglia and it's sister region Basilicata (which is also covered in the book) is a lovely section of Italy--tucked into the heel and instep of the book--whose land and cuisine is somewhat overlooked. That is a pity as you will see soon after opening this book. History and food go hand in hand in this gorgeous book. I love Sicily (and Phaidon's book on it!), but this book makes me want to visit Puglia as well. Between the beauty shown in the photos and the delectable recipes, this is not a region that should be overlooked!
Most if not all of the recipes include a gorgeous color photo of the dish. While there are always at least a few recipes that don't interest me (I'm not much on octopus or squid. I have tried it, but just don't care for it), most of these had me drooling over them. Agnello con Finocchietti (Lamb with Wild Fennel) looks amazing. The fennel is just starting to show up in the grocery store here, so I'll have to try it soon. Polo Ripieno (Stuffed Chicken) is absolutely delicious. Try a different version of gnocchi with Gnocchi di Ricotta con Pesto di Zucchini e Tartufo (Ricotta gnocchi with courgette pesto and truffle) which makes the gnocchi with ricotta cheese. In the mood for fresh pasta? Try the Strascinati con Pomodoro e Basilico, a simple Puglian pasta with tomatoes and basil or mix it up with Lagana Chiapputa, a pasta and almond dessert! Fusilli con la Mollica (Fusilli with Bread) may have become my new favorite quick pasta dish.
There is so much to love about this cookbook. It has definitely earned it's way on to my favorites shelf. Give it a try, I think you'll love it!
I received a copy of this book from Phaidon for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.