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Rome, at Home: The Spirit of La Cucina Romana in Your Own Kitchen    by Suzanne Dunaway order for
Rome, at Home
by Suzanne Dunaway
Order:  USA  Can
Broadway, 2004 (2004)
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Suzanne Dunaway tells us that 'La cucina romano is based on one premise, simple is better. To master Roman cooking, buy the freshest, tastiest ingredients possible and then get out of the way.' She has been cooking Roman food for more than thirty years and still seems in love with the cuisine, saying that 'La cucina romano will brighten your kitchen and your spirits, and cooking will never be the same.' Sprinkled throughout Rome, at Home are delightful, whimsical drawings.

Dunaway traveled to Rome years ago with a friend and immediately began what became 'A Love Affair' with Rome. By natural extension, food became a part of that love affair, a very big part. Her cookbook made me want to book a trip to Rome, leaving tomorrow. 'The Roman Kitchen' leads the novice or accomplished cook into what to expect of a Roman kitchen along with tips, the most important being to buy the best and the freshest ingredients available. Antipasti starts off the section on recipes. Try the Cannellini al Olio, Aglio e Pezzemolo (Fresh White Beans with Olive Oil, Garlic and Parsley), though any of the choices would whet my appetite. Soups follow, including Minestrone, a favorite of mine and chock full of veggies. But so is Pappa al Pomodoro, Thick Tomato and Bread Soup.

The Pasta section brims with wonderful dishes, from just simple spaghetti to Penne alla Vodka! The tricks of the trade are presented to make the perfect Risotto. Both Fish and Chicken get their moment in the spotlight. As does Meat, from Roast Lamb with Potatoes to Grilled Calf's Liver to Roast Suckling Pig. Imagine your family's faces when you carry that last one to the table. Cacciagione (Wild Game) has a very important place in Roma cuisine - try Grilled quail or Wild Boar in the Hunter's Style. And Dunaway comments that 'vegetables play such an enormous role in the Italian menu that I can only encourage you to try as many as possible'. To me, bread must go with Italian food and recipes for breads, flatbreads and pizzas are offered. Then we come to the important stuff. Dolci! The sweet to end a perfect Italian meal, Chocolate Pudding. Or better yet, make your own Gelati. Heaven.

At the end of this marvelous cookbook are suggested restaurants to visit on your trip to Rome. You are going aren't you? See you there?

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