Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Catherine’s Italian Kitchen – simple, but magical

Pin It
With my collection of recipes spanning seven centuries and five continents, I have finally run out of space for cookbooks. Any new cookbook entering the house means ruthlessly letting go of one that no longer earns its place: gone are Gary Rhodes, Michael Barry, Ken Hom and Nico Ladenis. Keith Floyd is teetering on the edge, poised to make room. A cookbook has to ‘bring to the table’ something that isn’t already on the shelf.

Reading the contents of Catherine Fulvio’s new book (sent to me by Gill & McMillan), Catherine’s Italian Kitchen, I am glad it is not a menu otherwise I would starve before I could narrow down the dishes to the bunch I would like to try first. This is my kind of food – all of it - simple, but magical.

If I were forced to choose, then I might start with the Marinated Aubergine with Goat’s Cheese and Herbs from the Antipasta, Starters and Salads section. This dish takes about 15 minutes to put together and would make a delicious starter or a light lunch. While that was cooking I would nibble on a variety of breadsticks – salt, cumin/poppy/sesame seed, or black pepper and rosemary.

I would have difficulty choosing the main, but would probably settle on a glorious fish dish – Sea Bass with Fennel and Garlic, or Seafood Skewers with Lemon, Almond and Rocket Couscous. There are plenty of robust flavours to choose from in a variety of sides.

Then, if I still had room, I’d plump for the Hazelnut and Orange Honey Tart or the Amaretto and Almond Truffle Torte or perhaps a homemade icecream.

The recipes use good, simple, easily obtained ingredients. The steps are short and clearly explained. The book is full of mouthwatering food photos by Hugh McElveen with a variety of ‘on location’ photos taken in Rome and Sicily by Rory McCabe adding local colour.

This cookbook will not be ousting one from the shelf for the simple reason that it will be joining Elizabeth, Julia, Delia and other selected favourites in my kitchen, and acquiring that unmistakable cook’s seal of approval – a patina of splatter and splashes from frequent use.

Catherine’s Italian Kitchen by Catherine Fulvio
Published by Gill & Macmillan
ISBN 978-0-7171-4806-6
List price €19.99
Paperback

Pin It

12 comments:

Manu said...

MMMM these dishes sound so yummy and "familiar" to my taste buds!!! ;-) The desserts that you mentioned really caught my attention... buoni! :-)

Jill@MadAboutMacarons said...

I totally understand your problem with the cookbook space. Lovely to read about the simple, tasty dishes that have the well-deserved splatters on them! Looking good.

Parsley Sage said...

oooh! I must investigate this book!

Chris's Gourmet Fashion said...

Lovely, this looks just like my type of cooking ... I'll check this out if I see it at my local Barnes and Nobles

Tiffany said...

Thanks for the review! And I have a confession ... do you know that I've NEVER bought a cookbook (although I do have a couple from friends as gifts)...

Molly said...

I'm also scrambling for room on my cookbook shelves but have refused to give up any of them yet. Kudos to you for being strong enough to take the plunge.

michelangelo in the kitchen said...

You have just convinced me to check this one out pronto! I love all the recipes you highlighted! This should be an interesting addition to my Italian cookbooks. Thanks Hester for sharing. Cheers!!!

SuzyEats said...

Sounds like this is a great cookbook. Thanks for your feedback.

Gourmantine said...

The book sounds really interesting, thanks for sharing!

I've made you're rhubarb cake last weekend and it was heavenly, made it on Saturday evening with plans to have it for Sunday breakfast, but it almost didn't survive! (just wanted to let you know)

I've also gave your lovely blog a couple of sweet awards: http://www.gourmantineblog.com/?p=1323

Beth said...

That cookbook looks wonderful! I've also told myself that every time I get a new cookbook, I have to get rid of an old one.

Simply Life said...

great to know about this book!

Lisa {Authentic Suburban Gourmet } said...

What a beautiful and wonderful book. I had not heard of it before and just might have to pick up a copy. Happy Sunday!