Friday, May 12, 2017

Pinot, Pasta, and Parties by Dee Dee and Paul Sorvino, 2017

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Goodfellas star Paul Sorvino and Emmy-award winner Dee Dee Sorvino create delicious, authentic Italian recipes in this entertaining cookbook.

Dee Dee and Paul Sorvino do their best to make everyday a party. They celebrate life and being with each other in big and small ways as often as they can. They believe that the best way to celebrate or to solve the problems of the world is with a nice glass of wine and bountiful meal. No subject is taboo at their lively dinner table-especially when cocktails are served!

Providing a glimpse into their bi-coastal life and tales of Paul's acting career, this authentic Italian cookbook offers 80 recipes with menus for relaxed entertaining. From a Goodfellas' feast to a picnic with an Italian accent, from an abundant buffet to elevated Italian street fair food, the Sorvinos know how to turn out meals that are as delicious as they are fun. Their easy-to-prepare, mouthwatering recipes range from regional Italian classics to new takes on traditional food. Stuffed clams oreganata, unique bruschetta combinations, pasta e faigioli, pizza salumeria, farfalle with asparagus and pancetta, Pauls' famous meatballs and spaghetti sauce, chicken scarpiello, panzanella, grilled figs with honey and walnuts are just a few of the outstanding recipes found in Pinot, Pasta, and Parties. The food is so good at the Sorvinos' that theirs is the place of choice for casual get-togethers wherever they are.
(264 pages)

I basically only like to eat meat and carbs.

At least, that's what my parents say. Whether that's true or not may be up for debate, but it's a definite fact that all of my favorite foods consist of pastries, pastas, and meats. This means that Italian is favorite style of cooking (followed closely by mediterranean, of course!), and that Pinot, Pasta, and Parties is perfect for me.

I mean, come on. It's a cookbook full of recipes for foods like "Chicken Parmigiana Sticks with Marinara Sauce," "Calzones with Spinach-Ricotta filling," "Lentil Soup," and "Bruschetta with Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms, and Roasted Garlic." Just flipping through the cookbook's pages made me starving. I put scraps of paper between the pages to mark my favorite recipes, and wound up marking about twenty of them. Then I showed some of them to my mom and she thought they looked amazing too. She usually finds it slightly annoying when I get cookbooks for review, because she never uses them and they take up space in her kitchen, but not this one–her eyes lit up as soon as I said the words "Italian cookbook!"

There are full-color pictures of almost all the foods, though a few don't have pictures (or feature pictures of the authors instead of the food, which is a little odd). A handful of recipes, though, get two-page spreads to show how tasty they look. It seems a little random in which foods get no pictures and which ones get big spreads. The recipes are not sorted by type, but rather they're organized into ten multi-course meals (which are essentially chapters). Each meal is supposed to have some sort of theme, related to either a location or to patriotism, and some of the connections made sense. Others just seemed like they were filler to complete the full meal. But anyway, I thought it was an interesting way of organizing things. Each meal chapter starts with an intro from the authors, talking about their lives and inspiration for the food, and then more or less features foods for the following traditional Italian courses: Aperitivo (small bites served with drinks), Antipasto (appetizer), Primi (pasta course), Secondi (main course), Contorni (side dishes), Insalata (salad), and Dolce (dessert).

Whew, I'm stuffed just thinking about all that food! Anyway, mixed into each chapter are also tips about some of the techniques needed to make the recipes featured in them. It's a good thing everything's listed in the table of contents, because otherwise it would be basically impossible to ever find anything in the cookbook.

Anyway, the recipes are amazing. You can probably skip the intro texts for each chapter, in which the authors alternately talk about how much in love they are (he at 75, on his third wife, and she at 50 years old) and humble-brag about all of their accomplishments, but the recipes look so amazing. I can't wait to try them out!

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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