Soffritto: Tradition and Innovation in Tuscan Cooking

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Ten Speed Press, 2001 - Cooking - 240 pages
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For many years, Vitali was the pastry chef and co-owner, with her former husband, of Florence's internationally acclaimed Cibreo restaurant. A year or so ago, she opened her own, more casual restaurant, Zibibbo, in the hills above the city. In this cookbook (soffritto is the sauted onion, carrot, and celery mix that is the base for many Italian dishes), she shares her passion for food, for the best ingredients prepared without artifice. It is a very personal book, with recipes organized not by course, but by topics, such as "Aroma and Taste" and "Layering Flavors." "Memory and Innovation" provides a progression from traditional recipes to their newer interpretations, while "Bread, Oil, and Wine" focuses on classic Tuscan dishes. Vitali has a unique style, guiding her readers step by step through the recipes and offering up her philosophy on cooking and life with sensitivity and wit. Highly recommended. - Library Journal Soffritto is a homey, meandering cookbook that makes you feel as if you're standing at author Benedetta Vitali's side as she saut s the minced red onion, celery, and carrot mixture for which the book is named. "Good cooking is an act of creativity," she says. "Use the recipes as indications, and trust your instincts to fill in the blanks." A simple Pomarola (Tomato Sauce with Garlic and Basil) can be prepared in just 10 minutes--the variations are as endless as your imagination. Try Fagioli (White Beans with Prosciutto, Tomato, and Sage) as a main dish or pair it with Poached Sea Bass. Finish your meal with Bonnet (Amaretto Custard). Each recipe is a story and therefore is as enjoyable to read as it is to follow. Depending on your palate, some recipes may be better off as stories than as dinners, as evidenced by Ragu con Colli Repieni (Meat Sauce with Stuffed Chicken Necks). --Dana Van Nest

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Soffritto: tradition and innovation in Tuscan cooking

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For many years, Vitali was the pastry chef and co-owner, with her former husband, of Florence's internationally acclaimed Cibreo restaurant. A year or so ago, she opened her own, more casual ... Read full review

About the author (2001)

BENEDETTA VITALI co-founded Cibrčo restaurant in Florence, Italy, in 1979 with the purpose of reconnecting Florentines and visitors to traditional Tuscan cooking. Since then, Cibrčo has been listed among the ten best casual restaurants in the world, and Benedetta has gone on to open her second restaurant, Zibibbo. Benedetta lives in Florence, Italy.
CARY WOLINSKY has been a photographer forNational Geographicsince the mid-1980s, specializing in historical and cultural assignments. He and his wife, Barbara, live in Norwell, Massachusetts.

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