Italian American: Red Sauce Classics and New Essentials

Clarkson Potter. Oct. 2021. 320p. ISBN 9780593138007. $35. COOKING
The chefs behind New York’s acclaimed Don Angie restaurant have risen to success by blending time-tested Italian “red sauce” recipes with flavors from global cuisines. Rito and Tacinelli together with food writer Feldmar have created a cookbook with recipes for hot and cold antipasti, lasagnas, pastas from scratch, mains, desserts, and drinks, all with the customary Don Angie inventiveness. Typical recipes include Spicy Giardiniera alla Kimchi, Grandma Rito’s Marinated Roasted Red Peppers, and Pickled Eggplant a Scapece with Sumac and Mint. Bright photographs of the dishes, paired with old family photos and clippings lend to the charm of the cookbook, which feels like browsing a scrapbook in a cozy Little Italy eatery. Many recipes are big projects with lots of ingredients and steps, so this book is best for intermediate and advanced home cooks. A particular highlight are Grandpa Rito’s Cannoli (a favorite at the Rito family bakery in Cleveland for over 50 years).
VERDICT The red sauce approach sets this cookbook apart and will spark the interest of home cooks ready to ditch the jar and tackle from-scratch Italian cooking.
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