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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cookbook Review: The Frankies Spuntino

The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual
First of all, let me tell you, I have never seen a cookbook that looked like a limited edition of a Charles Dickens novel.  This book had gilt edges, a beautiful hard cover with gold lettering and it was the size, not of a coffee table book, but of an oak paneled library tome.  However, it was not the intention of the authors to create a book that would be shelved.  The contents of this Kitchen Companion are worthy of food spatters and  folded corners.  It is a book meant to be used.

I was completely charmed by The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion and Cooking Manual by Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo.  With a down to earth writing style, both Franks' stories of growing up in Italian-American families are woven through their recipes.  The book is filled with recipes calling for easy to find ingredients made in a simple family style; just like Italian Grandmas used to make for Sunday dinner.

The recipes included in this cookbook include a wonderful basic tomato sauce which we tried out.  With simple ingredients like tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, salt and red pepper flakes, it became amazing after using it to cook meatballs.  I didn't grow up with any Italian friends, so I had no idea how great a sauce could be when it became the means of cooking all sorts of meat.  The sauce only got better with time, too.  The next day's leftovers were supreme.

Other recipes include Gnocchi, Braciole, Meatballs, Homemade Pastas, soups like Fagiola, Roasted Butternut, and Lentil with Bacon and desserts such as Olive Oil Cake, Hazelnut Panna Cotta and Chocolate Tart.  I had such a wonderful time drooling over all of them.  I think eventually, I will have to add this book to my collection.




16 comments:

~ Lyndsay The Kitchen Witch said...

I have a simple tomato sauce recipe that I stew my meatballs in and I agree, the combination of meat with the sauce is amazing. This book sounds like it's right up my alley.

katerina said...

Very impressive cover. It sure intrigues the reader to open it.

Joanne said...

I love cookbooks that have stories and not just recipes. This sounds like a keeper!

Tammy said...

Wow - what a cookbook! I think I might be a little cautious to actually use it in my kitchen though lol. It sounds like a lovely book and my cookbooks usually end up with lots of stains on them. I will have to keep an eye out for this one ;)

lisa is cooking said...

I keep hearing good things about this book, but I don't have it yet. The sauce sounds delicious!

Emily Malloy said...

I couldn't agree more with you, I have never seen a more lovely book :o)

Debra "Deb" Dresden Disney-Dior said...

Kristen, I read your review, followed the link to Amazon.com and flipped through a few pages of this incredible book and promptly fell in love. Gosh, the recipes sound like the foods I grew up with -- dishes my Italian grandmother made. Every Sunday she served pasta, meatballs and "gravy." Her gravy was prepared on Saturday and it simmered on the stove ALL day. She cooked her tomato base with fatty pork and beef which added a depth of flavor that can't be found in "today's quick cook sauces." Rich with robust flavors -- I'm absolutely drooling. I adore the simplicity of this book because the contents scream complex flavors with effortless results. The cooking methods do the work. Did that make sense? I'm excited and can't WAIT to have this book delivered. I would've ordered this book on Kindle, because I want it NOW, but it's currently unavailable -- the publisher wants feedback before they decide to release it on Kindle. Maybe that's a GOOD thing because I want to "feel" this book as well. I LOVE the video -- the "Frankies' are adorable. I can't wait to "start cooking!"

tryanythingonce said...

That book is beautiful! And it sounds like the content is good, so it's not *just* decorative! I'll have to check that out. Thank you for sharing!

Dionne

tryanythingonce said...

That book is beautiful! And it sounds like the content is good, so it's not *just* decorative! I'll have to check that out. Thank you for sharing!

Dionne

Elsa said...

Beautiful book! I am obsessed with buying cookbooks! :)

A SPICY PERSPECTIVE said...

I didn't get a single cookbook for Christmas this year! Sniff, sniff!

Monet said...

This cookbook sounds beautiful. The way you described the book and the recipes inside made me want to check this out! Thank you so much for sharing with me. I hope you and your family have a happy New Year!

Amy said...

I'm a cookbook addict, this one sounds like a keeper!

boulderlocavore said...

This sounds great and I love your description of the recipes with basic, whole ingredients. Will definitely check it out; thanks!

Dishesdone said...

Great cookbook! My favorite so far is the Caesar Salad. Very easy and just fantastic! We loved it! Had it again last night as a matter of fact!

Kita said...

Love your cookbook reviews! Please keep them coming!

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