- Print Length: 240 Pages
- Publisher: Ten Speed Press
- Publication Date: September 21, 2010
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00436EO90
- ISBN-10: 158008818X
- ISBN-13: 978-1580088183
- File Format: MOBI
Welcome to Ethan Stowell’s New Italian Kitchen–not so much a place as a philosophy. Here food isn’t formal or fussy, just focused, with recipes that honor Italian tradition while celebrating the best ingredients the Pacific Northwest has to offer. We’re talking about a generous bowl of steaming handmade pasta–served with two forks for you and a friend. Or perhaps an impeccably fresh crudo, crunchy cucumber and tangy radish accenting impossibly sweet spot prawns. Next up are the jewel tones of a beet salad with lush, homemade ricotta, or maybe a tangle of white beans and clams spiked with Goat Horn pepper–finished off with a whole roasted fish that begs to be sucked off the bones. Oh, some cheese, a gooseberry compote complementing your Robiola, or the bittersweet surprise of Campari sorbet.
This layered approach is a hallmark of Ethan’s restaurants, and in his New Italian Kitchen, he offers home cooks a tantalizing roadmap for re-creating this style of eating. Prepare a feast simply by combining the lighter dishes found in “Nibbles and Bits”—from Sardine Crudo with Celery Hearts, Pine Nuts, and Lemon to Crispy Young Favas with Green Garlic Mayonnaise—or adding recipes with complex flavors for a more sophisticated meal. Try the luscious Corn and Chanterelle Soup from “The Measure of a Cook;” or the Cavatelli with Cuttlefish, Spring Onion, and Lemon from “Wheat’s Highest Calling.” Up the ante with a stunning Duck Leg Farrotto with Pearl Onions and Bloomsdale Spinach from “Starches to Grow On,” or choose one of the “Beasties of the Land,” like Skillet-Roasted Rabbit with Pancetta-Basted Fingerlings. Each combination will nudge you and your guests in new, unexpected, and unforgettable directions.
Every page of Ethan Stowell’s New Italian Kitchen captures the enthusiasm, humor, and imagination that make cooking one of life’s best and most satisfying adventures. It’s got to be good–but it’s also got to be fun.
The recipes in this cookbook are scrumptious looking and fantasy inspiring. They range from risottos to sweetbreads, with just about everything in between. There’s a nice section on small plates.
I don’t do much cooking out of cookbooks, but enjoy them for inspiration. This is good for inspiration, but so many of the recipes use obscure or hard to find ingredients — and very specific ingredients — that there are probably only a handful of recipes I’d actually ever really want to tackle. But even the ones I’d never make are fun to look at. There are also a fair number of simpler recipes, but some of them are so simple that I’d think anyone with the skill to make the not-so-simple recipes would already know that you can put onions and tomato in a pot to make tomato sauce.
I did make Stowell’s Butternut Squash Risotto, and it was mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. It was also a little too rich, thanks to the addition of a cup of parmesan at the end — a step I wouldn’t repeat, since risotto is already so “cheesy” even without the addition of cheese. I think, though, that I could have just as easily used the Joy of Cooking risotto recipe and just added squash, and it would have turned out just as well. But! I did get the idea from Stowell, even though I already had the squash on hand (or ground, since it came from my garden).
All in all, if you’re a cookbook collector and love cookbooks for the ideas, more than for the recipes, I think this is a good buy. It would also probably be a good bet for anyone who loves Italian cooking but wants to get a little more adventurous. I certainly wouldn’t recommend it to a beginning cook, or anyone with an aversion to seeking out very specific ingredients.