Home Life & CultureThe 2009 L'Aquila Earthquake Breaking Bread in L’Aquila – Abruzzo’s Zingy New Cookbook
Breaking Bread in L'Aquila

Breaking Bread in L’Aquila – Abruzzo’s Zingy New Cookbook

by Sam Dunham

 

Breaking in L’Aquila is the perfect Italian cookbook for those lacking a “” to pass down the fresh & zingy stalwart recipes of L’Aquila, Abruzzo, and Southern Italy.

This book’s author, and possibly your new best friend, the thoroughly modern NY-based signora Maria Filice, provides an effortlessly readable narrative. Superbly blending simple instruction with extensive background knowledge, the Italian-Canadian author stimulates curiosity and counters ignorance with each dish. The stunning photography entices you to keep turning the pages whilst sipping a glass of one of Abruzzo’s very drinkable wines and waiting for the water to boil so you can dunk your for your Primo Piatti.

My favourite thing that Abruzzo’s four provinces share in their cooking style is that every dish allows each of the ingredients centre stage, albeit briefly; fresh flavours get to shine rather than have their unique spirit subsumed in an overachieving & underwhelming hotchpotch of overworked elements.  Maria’s carefully selected 49 recipes for Breaking Bread in L’Aquila combine simplicity with a clever structure of flavours perfectly, and allow the flexibility to move & mix each day’s suggested menus according to the season, and of course your own personal favourite ingredients!

These are tried & tested basic recipes for those who want to impress with tasty & visually delightful dishes, but who don’t want to be tied to a stove and left feeling stretched & exhausted by the cooking process. Instead, you’ll be ready to share & enjoy each dish whilst catching up with friends & family like any good Abruzzesi; and if anyone wants to know the basics, you can direct them to the useful Abruzzo pantry page so that they too can stock up and get ready to cook.

Breaking Bread in L'Aquila - Le Lasagne di Paolo

I experimented with Maria’s for ‘Caramelised Fennel with Onions & Orange Zest’ and paired it with a simple smoked roasted gammon joint, sublime and the perfect early dish.   Although I am not the biggest maker or lover of fig jam, Maria’s easy ‘Apricot Tart’ with the suggestion of apricot being subsituted with fig jam has planted the idea what to do with my neighbour’s ‘figgie’ conserve, and will be the first that I’ll bake in 2010; it looks light & easy and perfect for elevenses with a macchiato!  My partner wants to try the lasagne that looks more like a scrumptious timbale than the heavy lasagnes that are served in London, where I am writing this from.

Personally I always enjoy cookbooks that have a bit more meat to them, so to speak, than just a series of recipes reiterated tome-form in unimaginative homage. In this case it is a love story woven around and the author’s late husband, L’Aquila-born Paul Piccone, founder of the Telos Press. Paul introduced Maria to L’Aquila and the region of Abruzzo, and fortunately its culinary delights.  There is a song called ‘When Love Comes to Town’ by a very famous Irish rock band; this is an Italian cookbook for which those words resonate, particularly in the love that grew in the author for L’Aquila and which continues to develop as a result; all net profits from the sale of this cookbook will be donated to help the people that brought these yummy recipes to life, and who suffered in last year’s tragic .  Do you need any more reasons to get online and buy!

Click here to buy Breaking Bread in L’Aquila

Read more about the Maria Filice  on her blog Food & Fate or from Russell Berman the Telos Editor

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[…] to victims of the L’Aquila earthquake in 2009. I first heard about the book from the blog Life in Abruzzo, a great resource for all things Abruzzi. I will have to do a full post about both of these to give […]

David Nudo
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David Nudo

Wonderful review of a beautiful booK, Sammy, and love your word ZINGY! I am looking forward to spending time in the picturesque hills "vicino L'Aqulia" soon, and let's "prendere un'cafe'" while there. Auguri!

Maria Filice
Guest

I appreciate everybody's love and support. The secret to perfect food is adding love and your twist of passion. I promise to make us Paul's lasagne with my garnishes of basil top hats!

warm wishes to all,

Maria Filice xo

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[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by italytutto, LifeinAbruzzo.com, LifeinAbruzzo.com, Susan Heslington, Farin Schlussel and others. Farin Schlussel said: RT @lifeinabruzzo: Breaking Bread in L'Aquila – Abruzzo's zingy new cookbook whose net profits will be donated to L'Aquila read our review http://bit.ly/dCJTy4 […]

Roddy Newlands
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Have just seen the book and it looks fantastic! I can't wait to try le Lasagne di Paolo…to quote Garfield, "when the lasagne content in my blood gets low, I get mean".
Excellent that the net profits go to help those affected by the earthquake.

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This post was mentioned on Twitter by lifeinabruzzo: Breaking Bread in L’Aquila – Abruzzo’s zingy new cookbook whose net profits will be donated to L’Aquila read our review http://bit.ly/dCJTy4

Eleonora
Guest

Sammy, thank you for introducing your readers to our new best friend Maria.

Her stupendous book "Breaking Bread in L'Aquila" and all that it stands for–from both culinary and humanitarian points of view–is an opulent celebration of life and love.

I am urging readers and friends to purchase this enlightened book and benefit from its double bonus: great authentic recipes and making a noble donation towards the people of L'Aquila. Bringing relief doesn't get any sweeter.

Brava Maria, you are a shining example of compassion and involvement.

Ciao
Eleonora
.-= Eleonora´s latest blog ..Fried Sage Leaves =-.