By Nick Stellino
"When Italians talk about food, we are talking about our souls."—Nick Stellino
It was his passion to become a cook that led Nick Stellino to leave his career as a stockbroker and start at the bottom of the restaurant chain as a dishwasher. This same passion has taken Stellino from that $5.00 an hour job (which he paid to the owner!) to being one of America's most popular television chefs and celebrated cookbook authors. In his newest cookbook, Nick Stellino's Passione: Pasta, Pizza, and Panini, his love for all things Italian has the personable Stellino revisiting some of Italy's best loved foods—and the results are simply irresistible.
Advising the reader to "cook with a smile in your heart," Stellino approaches cooking with a sense of adventure, love, and, of course, fun. Every recipe in Passione resounds with the sheer enjoyment of preparing a delicious meal for loved ones and friends. From lasagne and tortellini to paparadelle and ravioli, Stellino's offers enticing pasta dishes that hail from the shores of the Mediterranean to the homes of the United States. Whether thin or thick crust, baked, fried or stuffed, pizza by its very nature, is a food to be shared. Stellino shares regional Italian renditions—as well as his own delectable variations—while proving that a quick snack or an elegant meal can be as easy as pie. Finally, panini (from the Italian panino for "little bread") are sandwiches that can be enjoyed for picnics, lunches, and casual get-togethers.
But whatever the occasion, the dishes in Passione will tantalize, inspire, and satisfy. From dry pastas to fresh pastas, the traditional and innovative are side by side. Simple and comforting, or sumptuous and sophisticated, Baked Pasta with Sausage and Zucchini, Meat Tonellini with Garlic and Cream Sauce, and Pasta Medallions with Wild Mushrooms and Truffle are all easy to prepare and a joy to eat. Then there are gnocchi—one of Stellino's favorite dishes. In fact, it is a special goal of his book to bring the special appeal of gnocchi to the reader. One taste of the feather-light Ricotta and Spinach Gnocchi or the hearty Gnocchi with Arriminata Sauce is bound to garner disciples.
One of America's favorite foods, pizza hardly needs any disciples. Still, Braised Pepper Pizza and Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Roasted Garlic, Prosciutto, and Gorgonzola will keep the legions of pizza lovers satisfied. Enthusiasts will also welcome the not-so-familiar: Fried Pizza Dumplings Stuffed with Meat Sauce and Stuffed Pizza Rounds with Salami and Mushrooms. Meanwhile, sandwiches become an art form in the hands of Stellino. If Lamb Meatball Sandwiches with Minted Tomato Sauce and Portobello Mushroom and Cheese Sandwiches are a far cry from standard deli fare, Stellino deftly turns an American classic into a culinary triumph with his own Hamburgers Italiano.
As always, Stellino offers sage advice and practical cooking techniques. A gifted storyteller, he also shares his personal anecdotes about his family and his love for good times and good food. In a word, Nick Stellino indulges the reader in his passione!
Nick Stellino is the author of Cucina Amore, Nick Stellino's Glorious Italian Cooking, Nick Stellino's Mediterranean Flavors, and Nick Stellino's Family Kitchen. He has appeared on many local and national television and radio shows including The Oprah Winfrey Show, Today and CBS Saturday Morning. The host of more than 150 shows on public television's Cucina Amore, his Nick Stellino's Family Kitchen was launched on PBS in September. Stellino will be available for print and radio interviews nationwide, and he will be touring nationally in the spring of 2001.
Nick Stellino's Passione
Pasta, Pizza, and Panini
By Nick Stellino
Black and white photographs by Nanci Stellino
G.P. Putnam's Sons, November 2000
368 pages, color, black & white illustrations
Information provided by the publisher.
This page created February 2001
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