There is nothing better at this time of the year, whether you are planning a holiday at home or away, than flicking through cookery books dreaming of past getaways, trying to recreate scenes from an especially wonderful break.
This particular recipe book is a classic example, filled with some of the best recipes La Costiera Amalfitana has to offer from that gorgeous region that stretches along the coastline of the Sorrentine Peninsula in southern Italy’s province of Salerno. Written by the owners of London’s Caffé Caldesi and Marleborne’s La Cucina Caldesi cookery school, who regularly appear on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen and MasterChef, it opens with a small piece mentioning the cuisine, the local olive oil producers and, of course, the region’s lemons that often make up the raw material for limoncello - the Italian lemon liqueur produced all along this coastline.
The recipes are divided into antipasti, soups, bread and pizza, risottos and stocks, pasta, fish, poultry and meat, vegetables, desserts, cocktails and drinks, and cheese, and include interesting snippets such as what yeasts and flours to buy when making pizza; how to cook great pasta; tips on making risotto; what’s tricky about making cannelloni; and the difference between fennels. Towards the end there is also a piece on the region’s best cheeses from caciocavallo to ricotta.
The best of the recipes are those for stuffed anchovies; hot potato croquettes filled with smoked cheese; deep-fried mozzarella sandwiches; mini pizza; lemon and prawn risotto; rabbit from Ischia; cannelloni; baked wild sea bass; hunter’s chicken; lamb on the grill with anchovy dressing; lemon domes filled with lemon cream; rum baba; pear and ricotta tart; mimosa; Limoncello sorbet; sunset in Amalfi; and rosemary and lime gin fizz. Overall, a beautifully produced book with lots of pictures of the recipes and of the region with wonderful blueprints for great food written by lovers of the Amalfi coast who hope you’ll love it too.
The Amalfi Coast: A Collection of Italian Recipes by Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi was published by Hardie Grant and is available in shops or online at the affordable price of €25.