Arthur Schwartz, popular radio host, cookbook author, and veteran restaurant critic, invites you to join him as he celebrates the food and people of Naples and Campania. Encompassing the provinces of Avellino, Benevento, Caserta, and Salerno, the internationally famous resorts of the Amalfi Coast, Capri, and Ischia—and, of course, Naples itself, Italy's third largest and most exuberant city—Campania is the cradle of Italian-American cuisine.
In Naples at Table, Arthur Schwartz takes a fresh look at the region's major culinary contributions to the world—its pizza, dried pasta, seafood, and vegetable dishes, its sustaining soups and voluptuous desserts—and offers the recipes for some of Campania's lesser-known specialties as well. Always, he provides all the techniques and details you need to make them with authenticity and ease.
Naples at Table is the first cookbook in English to survey and document the cooking of this culturally important and gastronomically rich area. Schwartz spent years traveling to Naples and throughout the region, making friends, eating at their tables, working with home cooks and restaurant chefs, researching the origins of each recipe. Here, then, are recipes that reveal the truly subtle, elegant Neapolitan hand with such familiar dishes as baked ziti, eggplant parmigiana, linguine with clam sauce, and tomato sauces of all kinds.
This is the Italian food the world knows best, at its best—bold and vibrant flavors made from few ingredients, using the simplest techniques. Think Sophia Loren—and check out her recipe for Chicken Caccistora! Discover the joys of preparing a timballo like the pasta-filled pastry in the popular film Big Night. Or simply rediscover how truly delicious, satisfying, and healthful Campanian favorites can be—from vegetable dished such as stuffed peppers and garlicky greens to pasta sauces you can make while the spaghetti boils or the Neapolitans' famous long-simmered ragu, redolent with the flavors of meat and red wine. Then there's the succulent baked lamb Neapolitans love to serve to company, the lentils and pasta they make for family meals, baked pastas that go well beyond the red-sauce stereotype, their repertoire of deep-fried morsels, the pan of pork and pickled peppers so dear to Italian-American hearts, and the most delicate meatballs on earth. All are wonderfully old-fashioned and familiar, yet in hands of a Neapolitan, strikingly contemporary and ideal for today's busy cooks and nutrition-minded sybarites.
Finally, what better way to feed a sweet tooth than with a Neapolitan dessert? Ice cream and other frozen fantasies were brought to their height in Baroque Naples. Baba, the rum-soaked cake, still reigns in every pastry shop. Campamnians invented ricotta cheesecake, and Arthur Schwartz predicts that the region's easily assembled refrigerator cakes—delizie or delights—are soon going to replace tiramisu on America's tables. In any case, one bite of zuppa inglese, a Neapolitan take on English trifle, and you'll be singing "That's Amore."
A trip with Arthur Schwartz to Naples and its surrounding regions is the next best thing to being there. Join him as he presents the finest traditional and contemporary foods of the region, and shares myth, legend, history, recipes, and reminiscences with American fans, followers, and fellow lovers of all things Italian.
Radio personality Schwartz (Soup Suppers) brings to the kitchen the food and culture of Campania in yet another close look at the food of an Italian region. Campania--and in particular its capital, Naples--is known for an earthy cooking style. It is also the birthplace of both spaghetti and pizza, which are amply represented here in Spaghetti with Cabbage, Spaghetti in a Hurry (Spaghetti Sciu Sciu alla Caprese), Pizza di Scarola (made with escarole, olives, pine nuts and raisins) and the traditional Pizza Margherita (tomatoes, mozzarella and basil). Dishes like Rosa Mazzella's Fritters with Salt Cod, Olives, and Capers, and Battered and Fried Cheese evidence a local love of frying. Stretching meat appears to be a specialty of the area, where dishes such as Veal Meatballs in Eggplant Scarves and Neapolitan Meatloaf (made with prosciutto, soppressata, provolone and pecorino cheese) take precedence over whole pieces of beef. Anecdotes and bits of history like the segment on buffalo mozzarella are entertaining, and the enjoyment continues with a chapter on desserts and extras, which includes the unusual Eggplant with Chocolate and Limoncello, the lemon liqueur made famous on the island of Capri.