COOKING & FOOD

The Roads to Rome

Clarkson Potter: Crown. Nov. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9781984822321. $40. COOKING
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Combining travelog and cookbook, this work follows chefs and restaurateurs Wrisley and Vitaletti as they drive through the regions of Tuscany, Umbria, Abruzzo, Campania, and Puglia in search of iconic food. They meet farmers, chefs, tradespeople, and many nonnas, all working to keep traditional foodways thriving. Recipes are organized by locale; pastas and entrées predominate, accompanied by appetizers, antipasto, and desserts. Dishes such as beans cooked with ham skin and chicken smothered with peppers are simple and rustic but flavorful and filling. Other recipes, such as cavatelli with lamb ragu, are more time-consuming yet worth the effort. Featured are a combination of meat-based dishes as well as vegetarian options. Gorgeous color photographs of local scenery and townspeople sit alongside black-and-white maps placing each region in context. Stories of local chefs are a bonus.
VERDICT A beautiful and delicious journey through the Roman countryside. Recommended for those looking for true Italian country cooking.

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