THE BEST OF BUGIALLI by Giuliano Bugialli

THE BEST OF BUGIALLI

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Bugialli (Giuliano Bugialli's Foods of Italy, not reviewed) provides some unusual, challenging recipes -- not an easy feat in the crowded field of Italian cookbooks. However, what is just a good cookbook could have been a great one with the inclusion of more information. A brief introduction explains the provenance of his recipes (many researched as far back as the 14th century) and declares that they derive from various regions, but the recipes themselves are free-floating, without subheads (i.e., it would be nice to know which region each comes from) and with few hints to facilitate preparation. The photographs, while luscious, are no help either since they often do not coincide with Bugialli's instructions. For example, in the recipe for Spaghetti with Air-Dried Cherry Tomatoes, Bugialli instructs the cook to toss pasta, tomatoes, and parsley in the casserole used to cook the tomatoes, then serve, but the photograph shows a serving bowl of pasta with tomatoes and parsley on top still waiting to be combined. Even more vexing was Schiacciata (a flat bread similar to focaccia) with Fresh Grapes. While the result was delicious, it looked nothing like the example, which was rectangular in shape even though the recipe calls for rolling the dough out into a circle. Nor is it clear why one should fit a 16-inch circle of dough into a 14-inch pan. Could the disparity have been due to the tough dough? No clues are forthcoming. A treat for those who enjoy leaping in with little guidance, but not for the novice.

Pub Date: Oct. 27th, 1994
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: "Stewart, Tabori & Chang"