This cookbook has a copyright of 1996. I do not know where I got this cookbook. I have never cooked from this before.
What ever happened to Nick Stellino? I know that he's put out many more cookbooks (I own this one and his Family Kitchen cookbook) and the internets show him showing up at one or two food festivals over the years, but other than that, I haven't really heard about him for awhile. Until now. A check online shows that there is a new PBS show starting this month titled “Nick Stellino Cooking with Friends II”. I used to love to listen to his voice as he talked and seduced you into cooking italian food. There will be an accompanying cookbook to the new show too. To find out more check out Nick's website here.
As for this cookbook, it's a companion to the Cucina Amore PBS series though I don't think it has any of the recipes cooked for that TV show. When you bought the book originally, you could send away for a CD of music which I don't have.
This is one of those cookbooks that you end up reading along with the recipes. Each recipe has a story in the margin be it information on where the recipe originated, Nick's family experience making or serving the dish or ruminations on the ingredients. I actually do remember when I first got this cookbook (I bought it when it first came out back in 1996) reading the side notes imagining the words being spoken in that wonderful accent that Stellino has. It made a lot of the recipes seem approachable and brought them to life on the page. He also gives a menu selection for most of the recipes (listing other dishes from the book) along with a wine suggestion. which definitely spurred my thoughts of making decadent Italian meals for friends (all in my mind of course).
Standard chapters. There is a chapter on basics which include recipes for variations of stuffings, pizza dough, tomato sauces and stocks. There are no photos in this cookbook. Each recipe is listed by it's Italian name, with it's English name underneath. You can look for dishes in the index under both thier English and Italian names which I think is pretty cool. There are cooks tips in some of the recipes (like how to make the sauce thicker if you want in the Apricot Chicken recipe). Recipes seem pretty easy to read and understand. Not too many out there ingredients though lots of the pasta is made from scratch. Some dishes look like than can get a bit labor intensive (parboiling celery, cleaning and cutting up your own artichoke hearts).
The dessert section of this book intrigues me because they mostly contain fruit, as opposed to a ton of chocolate recipes in most cookbooks. Tons of great sounding recipes to try: Stuffed Mushroom Caps, Pasta Soup Topped with Puff Pastry, Mixed Salad with Italian Cheese Dressing, Pasta with Eggs, Pancetta and Cheese, Pasta with Rosemary Chicken, Risotto with Four Cheeses, Chicken with Orange Cream Sauce, Apricot Chicken, Hunters Chicken, Braised Sausages with Polenta, Tuna Cakes with Spicy Mayonnaise, Onion Pizza, Cornmeal Pudding, Orange Zucchini, Polenta Spinach Pie, Country-Style Roasted Potatoes, Poached Apples, Bakes Pears with Sweetened Ricotta, Little Purses with Pear and Ricotta, Apple Custard Tart, Upside-Down Apple Pie, Three Nut Tart, Raspberry Tiramisu, Coffee Ice, Strawbery Sauce.
I'm going to have to check out Nick Stellinos new television show and find out if it's worth getting his new cookbook. One of the "chef friends" happens to be local here...Lawrence Chu from Chef Chu's in Los Altos.