COOKING WITH MY SISTERS by Adriana Trigiani

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Co-author Mary Yolanda Trigiani, with Lucia Anna, Antonia, Francesca, and Ida Trigiani

One Hundred Years of Family Recipes, from Italy to Big Stone Gap

I adore Adri, and loved the first version (2004) of this cookbook. This is an update and is filled with fabulous recipes – real Italian family recipes, and the hallmark Trigiani charm. Stories abound, making this part cookbook, part memoir, and a total joy to read.

I love that they include some of the basics of Italian cookery; pizza dough, basic tomato sauce, homemade pasta, meatballs, and Zabaglione. But there is so much more – Potato Pizza, Trigiani Lasagne with Vegetables and Cheese, Grandmom Trigiani’s Green Beans in Tomato Sauce, and a really delicious Crostini Yolanda – a bruschetta topped with peppers and anchovy.

The table of contents:

Forward: Welcome to Our Table
Introduction: How We Found the Recipes

The Big Life

The Pasta, or as We Called It, Maccheroni
The Sauce

The Big Dish

Family Dinners
Light Suppers
On the Side

The Big Finish

Dessert, or Dessertina

The Big Wow

Snacks and Treats
Things We Hated as Kids but Love to Serve Now

Afterword: What I Learned on the Journey Through Our Kitchen
Epilogue: Make Your Meal Time Magical

I included the forward, introduction, afterword and epilogue because these chapters sing and bring the family to life. There are tons of pictures of the family and the food, and I especially loved the old pictures. Try and find little Adri in the midst of all her sisters!

If you are somehow immune to charm, then go straight to the recipes and you won’t be disappointed. My husband’s family is from Sicily, so these recipes are often different than what I’m used to. The Trigiani clan is from “the Lombardy region in the Alps of northern Italy, the Veneto region, and to the south, Puglia on the cusp of Bari.”

There are tips sprinkled throughout, given by different sisters and always worth reading. If you are new to real Italian cooking or want something out of the ordinary, you will find it here. Mangia!

Antipasto:

Serves 6 for dinner, 10 for appetizer

Romaine lettuce (usually only 1 head, have another just in case)
Two 16-ounce cans white albacore tuna in water
9 hardboiled eggs sliced in half
One 15-ounce jar red roasted peppers
Two 4-ounce cans anchovies rolled with capers
8-ounces pitted black olives
8-ounces pitted green olives
½ pound Genoa salami, sliced thin and rolled *
½ pound prosciutto, sliced very thin and rolled
One 12-ounce can artichoke hearts
One 7-ounce can mushrooms packed in olive oil
½ pound cheddar cheese sliced in strips – ½ x 2 inches**
½ pound Monterey jack cheese sliced in strips – ½ x 2 inches**
12-ounces pepperoncini peppers
Fresh Italian parsley for garnishing
Olive oil to drizzle

* Other meats we’ve used: cotto salami, capicola, soprassata

** You can go for more authentic Italian – we use the “American” varieties for color

The key to this recipe is to make the platter attractive and artistic. Line a 12-inch platter (we like a round shape) with the larger lettuce leaves, which will serve as the base of the antipasto as well as a way to measure a portion. (Ideally a person should be able to pull a whole lettuce leaf off the finished antipasto with a little of everything on top.) In the center of the platter place the tuna; it’s best to use a canned variety so that you can turn the can upside down and remove the tuna intact, retaining the shape of the can. Add the roasted red peppers and place them around the platter in a symmetrical pattern, like the rays of the sun. Continue in the same pattern with the remaining ingredients until the tray is covered and all the ingredients have been used. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

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12/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

COOKING WITH MY SISTERS by Adriana Trigiani. Harper Paperbacks; Reprint edition (November 7, 2017). ISBN 978-0062469915. 224p.

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