Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Cookbook Review: Cicchetti: and other small Italian dishes to share

When I was offered a review copy of a new forthcoming cookbook, Cicchetti, I couldn't resist,. Seeing as Italy is on my summer schedule this year it was perfect timing for me to be whetting my appetite. If like me, you don't know what Cicchetti means, then let me tell you that Cicchetti is the Venetian version of tapas - irresistible little bites of finger food eaten with sticks - and it has been made into a veritable art form.

The book, which has some gorgeous photography in it, is divided into two sections. The first section is the authentic Venetian Cicchetti and the second half of the book covers the other areas of Italy and their own versions of these tasty snacks, often called by different names.

I thought the recipes are original and inventive and really quite unlike anything I've seen in the other numerous Italian cookbooks in my possession. They are full of lots of interesting and authentic Italian ingredients. Perhaps a little too authentic as I'm pretty sure I've never seen Scamorza or Stracchino in Waitrose and I'm not sure where I'd find such a cheese around these parts so it does mean that unless I substitute I wouldn't be able to try out certain recipes.

Nevertheless, the list of recipes that caught my eye is pretty long and includes:
  • Polpettine di tonno fresco con acciughe e limone (Fresh tuna balls with anchovy and lemon)
  • Gratinata di peoci (Gratin of mussels)
  • Cicchetti con la ricotta e lardo (Ricotta and pancetta crostini)
  • Polenta fritta con lo stracchino (Deep-fried polenta sticks filled with stracchino cheese)
  • Polpettine di melanzane (Aubergine patties)
  • Cruschi fritti (Fried sundried peppers)
  • Pizzette al salame piccante (Mini pizzas with spicy salami)
  • Spiedini di scarmorza (Scamorza skewers)
  • Impanadas di pesce (Fish empanadas)
  • Ficattole con aglio e acciughe (Mini bread rolls with garlic and anchovies)
  • Biscotti al parmigiano (Parmesan biscuits)
  • Bocconcini con menta e peperoncino (Mini mozzarella balls with mint and chilli)

Of course, being a cocktail lover, the recipes for Aperitivi also caught my eye. Who can resist a Bellini? Not me but I'd also like to try the Negroni and the Sgroppino con prosecco (lemon sorbet with prosecco and vodka), 

All-in-all I thought Cicchetti was a really interesting book and would make a great gift for an Italian food-lover. The recipes would be perfect for entertaining and I think you could have a lot of fun making these small dishes!

Cicchetti: and Other Small Italian Dishes to Share is published on August 15th 2013 and is available to purchase from Amazon.

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of the above book in return for this review. All words and opinions are my own.  

1 comment:

  1. Aimee \ August 2013 15:57

    *adds to wishlist* I love finger food and this book looks gorgeous!


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