This book opens with an evocative introduction to the history, geography and traditions that have shaped the culinary culture of these regions, as well as an intriguing commentary on the local festivals and their accompanying foods. This is followed by an essential guide to the classic ingredients. There follows a collection of 65 regional recipes, with chapters covering all the traditional courses including Antipasti, Soups and Breads; Pasta, Gnocchi and Rice; Fish and Shellfish; Poultry, Meat and Game; Vegetables, Eggs and Cheese; and Desserts and Baking. Authentic dishes are included from each region, such as Sicilian Rice Fritters, Pasta with Potenza Ragu, Trapani Fish Couscous, Lucanian Chicken Pie, Pugliese Beef Rolls, Calabrian Sweetmeats and Sicilian Cassata.
Martin Brigdale has specialized in food photography for more than 20 years. He has photographed more than 50 cookbooks, including Korean Cooking (Aquamarine), which won Best Asian Cuisine Cookbook at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2006. He has also won numerous photography prizes, including The Glenfiddich Visual Award. As well as taking pictures for a living, he is a keen amateur cook and has a passion for great food. Valentina Harris is a noted authority on Italian food and food culture. Descended from the Renaissance family Sforza, she is the youngest of a large Anglo-Italian family. She attained two diplomas for teaching and cooking at the Scuola di Alta Cucina Cordon Bleu School in Rome in 1976. From there, Valentina moved to London and established herself as an authentic Italian chef. In 1984 she published her first cookbook, Perfect Pasta (Shuckburgh Reynolds), which won an award for literature and gastronomy in Germany. Many other books followed, as well as a six-part BBC television series, Italian Regional Cookery, in 1990. The book of the series, Italian Regional Cookery, became a top-ten bestseller. Since then, Valentina has written many books, including The Cooking of Tuscany (Sainsburys); Southern Italian Cooking (Pavilion); and Italia! Italia! (Cassell). She has also contributed to many other books, regularly features on radio and television, writes for national newspapers and magazines, and acts as a consultant to supermarkets, food manufacturers, restaurants and hotels. She holds residential cooking courses in Sardinia, Sicily and Tuscany under the name 'Villa Valentina'. For more information, visit Valentina's website at www.cucinavalentina.co.uk.