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Antonio Carluccio began his culinary career over fifty years ago while a student in Vienna. When cooking for himself and his friends on a low budget, he learned the benefits of a basic larder – well stocked with the essentials needed for his favourite Italian dishes – and the importance of buying fresh foods wisely, cheaply and often. His skills were developed from a solid foundation: the years he had spent absorbing lessons from his mother while growing up in Italy.
Antonio Carluccio's Simple Cooking is a coming together of all the ‘secrets’ that Antonio has learned over those fifty years. He is on a mission to instil in his readers the simple pleasure of cooking good fresh food, and to inspire novice cooks with confidence and a repertoire of reliable dishes for all occasions. The recipes included in the book are all very easy to cook, perfect for those with little experience or who are short of time. Throughout, Antonio has also included clever suggestions for how to ‘upgrade’ a basic recipe and there are also ingenious ideas for using up leftovers.
These are Antonio's favourite recipes, illustrated with fabulous photography from Alistair Hendy, including several step-by-step sequences. Antonio Carluccio's Simple Cooking is a distillation of a lifetime of passion, full of Antonio's firm belief that cooking, whether for oneself or for family and friends, is one of the most loving of human skills.
SAMPLE RECIPE (pictured left)
8 tbsp olive oil for shallow frying
4 topside steaks, about 200g each
For the sauce
12 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp green peppercorns
4 sprigs of rosemary, divided into smaller sprigs
Pour enough oil into a frying-pan to cover the base generously and heat gently. Salt the steaks, add to the pan and fry for five minutes on each side, until browned but still rare. In a separate pan, warm up the extra-virgin olive oil, peppercorns and rosemary over a low heat. To serve cut the steaks into 2cm strips, arrange on four plates and drizzle over the peppery rosemary oil.
“Who can resist a cook who notes, half-way through his new book, that spaghetti with garlic oil and chilli makes an excellent midnight feast, not least because it takes only six minutes to produce and you don’t have to bother with grating Parmesan. Simple Cooking is just what a cookbook should be: nothing in it confounds or irritates, the photographs (courtesy of Alastair Hendy) look wonderful, and you want to cook and eat all the recipes immediately. And, owing to the clarity of Carluccio’s style, you probably can, from Umbrian lentil and sausage stew to broad bean purée with grilled radicchio and ricotta tart, and the sliced beef that reminds Carluccio – and anyone else who in this sad, stay-at home summer is feeling a yearning for sun and chianti – of Tuscany.” The Telegraph, UK
Antonio is one of Italy's great food ambassadors. He has written thirteen bestselling books, including Complete Italian Food, Complete Mushroom Book and Italia and has also made numerous television programmes – the latest being Carluccio and The Leopard. With Priscilla Carluccio he ran the Neal Street Restaurant in London's Covent Garden and spent 10 years developing the hugely successful Carluccio's Caffes. In 1998 Antonio was given the Commendatore award, the equivalent of a British knighthood, for his knowledge, enthusiasm and lifetime's service to the Italian food industry, and in 2007 he received the O.B.E. Author Location: London
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