Staff Favorite-Lidia’s Italy

29 Jul

“Mary B. –My favorite cook book is Lidia’s Italy by Lidia Bastianich (641.594 B326Lid). She has great, easy and quick risotto recipes.”

This is a beautifully photographed culinary tour of Italy, based on the PBS TV series. It is divided into chapters by regions of Italy, showcasing specialties from the ten places Lidia loves most. A book for both cooks and the armchair tourist, there are 140 recipes,  even the simplest of which looks delicious.

Spaghetti with Crushed Black Pepper and Pecorino Cheese

Salt for pasta water

2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns, or more to taste

1 pound spaghetti

1 ½ cups freshly grated Pecorino Romano, or more to taste

Bring a big pot of salted water to boil. Grind the peppercorns very coarsely, preferably crushing them in a mortar with a pestle or in a spice grinder.   Warm up a big bowl for mixing and serving the pasta—use some of the pasta water to heat the bowl, if you like. Cook the spaghetti until al dente.  Quickly lift it from the pot with tongs, let it drain for an instant, then drop it into the warm bowl.  Immediately scatter a cup of the grated cheese and most of the ground pepper on the pasta, and toss in quickly.  As you mix, sprinkle over spoonfuls of hot water from the cooking pot to moisten and amalgamate the pasta and condiments—add more pepper or cheese to taste.  Serve right away, while the spaghetti is very hot.

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One Response to “Staff Favorite-Lidia’s Italy”

  1. Marilyn Halvorsen July 29, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    Thank you for all the great cookbook suggestions and staff recipes. I’ve looked forward to reading your daily blog postings and have enjoyed them all. Thank you to the EBR Library for all the Summer Reading Programs, especially the Adult program. I love my book bag!

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