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The Tucci Cookbook

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Italian-American actor Stanley Tucci was born in New York in 1960 and has appeared in more than fifty films, including The Devil Wears Prada, The Terminal and Road to Perdition, as well as more than a dozen plays, on and off Broadway. He starred in Julie & Julia, opposite Meryl Streep, and The Lovely Bones, for which he earned his first Academy Award nomination, for Best Supporting Actor.


Stanley Tucci, before The Lovely Bones, The Devil Wears Prada, and Julie & Julia, first wrote, directed, and starred in a small but brilliant film called Big Night, about Italian brothers who open a restaurant along the 1950s Jersey shore. That film inspired the cookbook Cucina & Famiglia, written by Tucci's mother, Joan, and Gianni Scappin, then chef at New York City's Le Madri. Now Tucci has written his own cookbook, along with his parents and Scappin. There are few surprises, but no matter, as Tucci's recipes evoke the comforting, elegant simplicity of Italian home cooking. Writing about a "variation on the traditional prosciutto with melon," Tucci recalls his father's backyard fig trees and suggests draping a slice of prosciutto over a quartered fig. With each recipe, Tyler Coleman offers an accessible wine pairing ("bubbly and light white" for the fig recipe). There's a risotto with butternut squash, lobster, and sage that Tucci remembers Scappin preparing for him while researching Big Night. For meat dishes, Tucci presents pork tenderloin with fennel and rosemary, as well as seared tuna with tomato and bread salad. And for dessert, the northern Italian staple polenta is combined with plums (though, as in his appetizer, Tucci suggests substituting figs). Finally, in keeping with the theme of Big Night, Tucci offers in this truly delightful cookbook a recipe for the timpano-drum of pasta-as well as a vegetarian version. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Acclaimed actor Stanley Tucci, the grandson of Calabrian immigrants, is no stranger to food; while researching his 1996 film Big Night, he trained for a year and a half with chef Gianni Scappin. He also co-owned Finch Tavern in New York and currently hosts the public television series Vine Talk. Here, with Scappin, his parents Joan and Stan Tucci, and writer Mimi Taft (coauthor, The Tribeca Cookbook), Tucci shares family memories and recipes for appetizers (Potato Croquettes), pasta (Linguine with Clam Sauce), main dishes (Roast Duck with Fresh Figs), and other courses. Most recipes include variations and suggested wine pairings. VERDICT A celebrity cookbook of uncommon quality that balances rustic and sophisticated fare. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

"Chefs and actors share a wonderful bond, the warm friendship of their respective colleagues. Stanley has learned to straddle both professions and this terrific book is a testament. Stanley is totally passionate about his Italian culinary history, and he is extremely knowledgeable on the subject of how home cooks and professional chefs approach recipes. I adore his family anecdotes and recipes, especially when one region has a strong opinion how a tomato sauce is to be prepared. I am jealous, Stanley is the consummate actor/director, and now we can add chef/cookbook author. Well done!" --Jonathan Waxman, author of Italian, My Way "Stanley's masterful artistry and talent on screen is inevitable, and having cooked with Stanley in my own kitchen, I can say with confidence that Stanley has talent behind the stoves as well. He is at ease and most skilled while cooking, and delivers truly delicious recipes. This cookbook is an intimate glimpse into the Italian heritage that Stanley holds dear--sharing the memories and flavors of his family table. And, it is with much admiration that I recommend this delicious read." --Lidia Bastianich, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Lidia's Italy in America" "Stanley Tucci understands Italian food and Italian cooking. If that wasn't immediately apparent upon viewing his brilliant film Big Night, it will be when you read this book. . . . Stanley's co-author Gianni Scappin taught me everything important I needed to know about the food of Northern Italy. . . . His recipes and the techniques he taught me are fundamental to my life and have saved me from untold embarrassment every time I cook for my Italian in-laws." --Anthony Bourdain, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Kitchen Confidential"

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