978-0-688-14269-8 / 9780688142698

Angeli Caffe Pizza Pasta Panini


Publisher:William Morrow Cookbooks



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About the book:

"Earthly simplicity," Evan Kleiman calls the certain essential extra that makes the foods of Angeli Caffé in Los Angeles so special. "Angeli food," she writes, "is 'roots food' served in a city where roots are hard to see or find.... It is a cucina reduced to the most basic elements.... Food reduced to basic taste components where nothing is covered up; complexity simply for its own sake is banished."

Chef, restaurant owner, and food writer Evan Kleiman starts Pizza Pasta Panini with a pizza dough recipe that will make enough dough for four eight-inch pizzas. This is intentional. The biggest secret to "successful" pizza, Kleiman reveals, is making the dough frequently (learning through repetition) and always having some on hand, either in the freezer or in the refrigerator. "The more you do it," she writes, "the easier and more natural it becomes--like most things in life."

And what a life. For it includes recipes for pizza, calzone, sfincione (the double-decker pizza of Sicily), panzerotti (which are little calzone fried in oil), focacce, and savory tarts, delectable treats one and all. You'll also find recipes for pastas to match the seasons and their ingredients. There are recipes as well for panini, cicchetti (Venetian antipasti), bruschetta, and tramezzini (an Italian translation of English tea sandwiches). All of it is straightforward and easy to accomplish, particularly the more you do it.

While all these recipes (some 200) are deeply rooted in the Italian rustic tradition, Kleiman doesn't for a moment overlook her immediate whereabouts. This is a Los Angeles cookbook, but one based on truth, not artifice. And that's why Faith Willinger describes the food of Angeli Caffé as "cucina rustica from the provincia California." Pull up a chair, assemble some basic ingredients, then tuck in to deceptively simple food that will reshape your palate, if not your state of mind. --Schuyler Ingle

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