Caponigri shares her family’s tradition of Sunday dinners.
“Sunday was for gathering, preparing, cooking, eating, sharing, talking, laughing…a time to disconnect from the rest of the world and reconnect with family and friends,” writes the author. In that spirit, she organizes her debut cookbook into “52 Sunday dinner menus in the Italian tradition.” The thematic menus include: antipasto (usually a crostini to pass at the table), a primo (first course), a secondo (main course) served with a single contorno (side dish) and dessert. While some of the recipes are standard Italian fare (veal piccata, spinach lasagna, stuffed mushrooms), others are less common but intriguing (prosciutto soufflé, veal breast stuffed with raisins and pine nuts, hazelnut truffle pie). These are not last-minute items; Caponigri feels preparation should involve a noisy kitchen full of people. She also highlights recipes that are child-friendly to prepare and serve. Caponigri suggests five ways to incorporate Sunday dinners into your routine: Make them a priority, plan ahead, decide the menu and assign the chores together, keep the menu simple, let go and have fun. The book is flavored with Italian aphorisms, informative menu introductions and Caponigri’s family history. Guy Ambrosino provides the enticing photographs, with food styling by former Gourmet editor Kate Winslow.
A good cookbook to gather a hungry crowd and leave them happily satiated.