Renowned Sicilian cooking school founder Anna Tasca Lanza shares her extraordinary knowledge of her native cuisine and boundless enthusiasm for the foods and traditions of her homeland in The Heart of Sicily, a Fall 2003 cookbook release from Ici La Press.
Stories of Sicily's rich traditions marking the passage of the seasons and of the bounteous produce, meats, and seafoods that define the island's cuisine weave seamlessly with more than 100 original recipes gathered by Tasca Lanza from the island's great chefs and family kitchens. The Heart of Sicily remains true to the creative philosophy at the heart of Sicilian cuisine-cooking with the fresh ingredients that each season's harvest provides-even as Tasca Lanza applies her rigorous research and testing to adapt every recipe to the American kitchen. The result is a true celebration of Sicilian cuisine, inspired on every page by the author's love of her family, her homeland, and its culinary heritage.
Classic Sicilian recipes are grouped by season, enriched by Tasca Lanza's lively narratives on the foods native to the island that form the foundations of Sicilian cooking and the popular culture that gives special meaning to many of the dishes. The author reveals some of the closely guarded secrets of her remarkable family chef, Mario Lo Menzo, schooled in the grand tradition of Sicilian "baronial cuisine." Such favorites from his repertoire as Cream-enriched fricassee of lamb and Duck in cognac sauce are served up alongside popular dishes such as Pasta with tuna, Chicken with tomatoes, and Eggplant caponata. Dessert creations range from traditional delights such as Biscotti and Cannoli to more elaborate preparations like Blancmange and Buccellato ("Christmas wreath").
Marchesa Anna Tasca Lanza di Mazzarino is the founder of The World of Regaleali cooking school located at the family's celebrated Sicilian wine estate, on rich agricultural lands that have been in her ancestral family for two centuries. The Regaleali school has been a magnet for leading chefs and Italian food aficionados from around the globe, establishing Tasca Lanza's well-earned international reputation as a pre-eminent authority on the cuisine and wines of Sicily.
One of the challenges that she faced in writing The Heart of Sicily, Tasca Lanza observes in the introduction to the book, is the close bond between cooking and the land. "We Sicilians share a certain philosophy of cooking," she writes. "We don't make a dish from a recipe; rather, we create it from what we have on hand, what is growing on the land at the moment. That way we never cook out of season."
Through her painstaking research of traditional Sicilian culinary practices and her determined persistence in transforming dishes passed down orally from generation to generation into precise recipe instructions, Tasca Lanza has produced a loving testament to her native land, its country life, and the foods that play such an important part in Sicily's past and present. In the end, she concludes, "I knew I had to do this book myself-for my family, my friends, the people who work at Regaleali and, above all, for my grandfather, who taught me to love the earth and the world of nature."
Anna Tasca Lanza provides further secrets and treasured recipes of Sicilian cuisine in her cookbook The Flavors of Sicily, also available from Ici La Press. The author will be visiting bookstores and culinary and cultural centers in New York, California and Oregon during February 2004: Please refer to Tasca Lanza's biographical notes in the "Authors" section of this website for more details.
table of contents|
Foreword by Mary Taylor Simeti (Read Foreword)
Introduction by Anna Tasca Lanza
In Our Pantry
Price: $Out of print
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