The Southern Italian Farmer’s Table is a sumptuously illustrated cookbook featuring authentic recipes from over thirty agriturismi (working family farms that provide room & board to travelers) in central and southern Italy, where the cuisine served epitomizes the farm-fresh movement underway in the United States, the UK, and beyond. Visitors to agriturismi, who come from all over Europe and North America, indulge in such delights as vibrant green olive oil fresh from the press, a myriad of hand shaped pastas cooked to perfection, and wedges of aged pecorino redolent of verdant green pastures.
Professional chefs who are fluent in Italian, Matthew and Melissa have transcribed more than 150 authentic Italian recipes from these family farms—few of which are found in cookbooks available outside of Italy. Full-color photographs and anecdotes about the farms and their residents bring Italy’s glorious countryside to life and complement such recipes as fried spaghetti nests, crepe lasagna with pork ragu, spicy Calabrian chicken, and sweet cakes filled with ricotta and chocolate. All recipe ingredients are given in both U.S. and metric measurements.
MATTHEW and MELISSA SCIALABBA are a husband and wife cooking and writing team from Connecticut. They graduated from The Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan together, and worked for a time in Italy. Fluent in Italian, Melissa graduated from a professional culinary school (Lorenzo di Medici) in Florence, Italy, and apprenticed in a small three-person kitchen of a well known restaurant popular with the locals, while Matt studied winemaking in Liguria in the Cinque Terre. Together, they worked at several Italian agriturismi, where the idea for this cookbook was born. It accompanies their first cookbook, THE ITALIAN FARMER'S TABLE: AUTHENTIC RECIPES AND LOCAL LORE FROM NORTHERN ITALY, which is also from Three Forks.
Melissa is a recipe tester at FINE COOKING magazine, while Matt works for a boutique Italian wine company.
In this sequel to The Italian Farmer's Table (2009), Scialabba and Pellegrino chronicle their travels to more than 30 farms and share the best recipes from each, using only what that farm produces. “We were deeply moved by the simplicity of cooking with ingredients grown and raised out the kitchen door," they write. “There was something that we connected with, that just seemed real and felt right about washing dirt off freshly picked vegetables, or noting the vibrant orange color of the free-range egg yolks we were using to make fresh pasta." At the beginning the authors provide basic recipes for pasta and crepes, and they include a charming history of the farm, how the family came to agritourism and, of course, the specialties of each house—usually at least one appetizer, entree and dessert. Home chefs can start with a beet carpaccio with pickled onions from Tuscany, move on to polenta with pork and sausage sauce from Umbria and finish with a poached pear and ricotta mousse tart from Basilicata. Some of the mouthwatering recipes are fairly simple, such as the farfalle with zucchini and mussels from Apulia, but others will take time, such as the chicken lasagna from the Michetti Convent in Abruzzo. Scialabba and Pellegrino also make adaptations for home chefs—e.g., replacing quail for Sardinia's indigenous partridges—and they include instructions on where to find wild boar in American and the contact information for all of the farms, among other points of reference.
A perfect guide to bringing home the traditional and unique flavors of Italy.
From the Oregonian:
Italians live to eat great food, and this husband-and-wife cooking and writing team spent five months traveling to small farms from Tuscany to Sicily, seeking out authentic recipes and the stories behind unique dishes. The result is part travelogue, as they tell stories about being put to work picking olives and enjoying evening-length dinners washed down with jugs of local wine. The 150 recipes are mostly rustic fare -- the sort of humble food you might have after a long afternoon working in an Umbrian vineyard -- with homemade pasta prominent in many of them.
A culinary tour of authentic Italian cuisine from farm to table
Central and southern Italy