REVIEW: MADE IN ITALY BY SILVIA COLLOCA

Book Cover:  Made in ItalyMADE IN ITALY

Author: Silvia Colloca
Penguin Australia RRP $49.99
Review: Monique Mulligan

‘I was lucky enough to grow up in a family of foodies: my brother is a chef, my mum is a great cook, and my dad is a wonderful eater! No wonder I have such a passion for the food of my homeland.’

Silvia Colloca’s second cookbook is inspired the Italian villages where she spent her childhood and ties in with her debut television series Made in Italy with Silvia Colloca (it debuts on SBS One on November 27 at 8pm). She takes foodies through the regions of Abruzzo, Marche and Molise, highlighting the regional variations in cuisine.

As with her previous cookbook Silvia’s Cucina, this one is warm and inviting, filled with delicious recipes, stories and anecdotes about friends and family, and cooking tips. Her way of cooking matches mine, with fresh, seasonal produce transformed into tasty treats. Looking through it, I made my usual list of “things to make” and let myself drift away to regional Italy … one day I will get there for real. A mixture of arty, touristy and food-styled photography ties the recipes together to create a book that will be yet another keeper on my already bursting shelf.

I was inspired to make Primo Sale cheese, which was surprisingly easy. The end result tasted like a less salty and less squeaky haloumi. It lasts about a week in the fridge and I saved the whey to make ricotta (a recipe for this is also in the book). A note – when grilling on the chargrill (you can also BBQ), place it on a sheet of baking paper so it doesn’t stick.

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Separating the curds and whey. I have enough whey in the freezer to make two batches of ricotta.

 

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The finished Primo Sale cheese.
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I grilled up the primo sale with home-grown zucchini, sprinkled with herbs and lemon zest and drizzled some lemon-infused olive oil over the top. A sprinkling of sea salt flakes …. and a delicious meal was made.

 

I’ll be making ricotta next weekend as well as a Woodsman’s Chicken. Other recipes that caught my eye include Flourless Walnut Cake, Olive Oil Bread Crescents, Bocconotti (filled short pastries), Scrippelle ‘Mbusse (crepes in broth), Almond and Lemon Biscotti and many more. My family is in for even more treats.

Authentic and inspiring, Made in Italy is another drool-worthy cookbook that will no doubt be jumping off the shelves once the TV show airs. I have made a lot of recipes from Silvia’s first cookbook and I have not been disappointed yet, so I highly recommend both books.

Available from good bookstores and Penguin Australia. My copy was courtesy of Penguin Australia.