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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Extra Virgin: A Tuscan Cookbook

Extra Virgin cookbook




White Bean and Pancetta Bruschetta, Tuscan Bread and Tomato Soup, Chestnut Flour Cake...my mouth is watering just thinking of them all!


Extra Virgin is a cookbook by Debi Mazar of Goodfellas fame and her Italian husband Gabriele Corcos.  The two are also hosts of the Cooking Channel's show Extra Virgin, a show that I confess I've never seen.  But my curiosity is definitely peaked after reading through this book and catching glimpses of this charismaticly quirky couple through their anecdotes and recipe introductions.  The title, an obvious play on words, is an insight into their playfulness and the book's flirtatious winks to the reader.

Disclosure:  Lavende and Lemonade was not compensated for this post.  I did however receive free product to review on this blog.  All opinions are 100% my own.

This book is a tour through traditional Tuscan cooking, with an American twist.  Italian classics like fresh pasta, rich red sauce, and hearty soups abound, and are intermingled with a Tuscan interpretation of American comfort foods like Guac & Tortilla Chips (reincarnated here as Olive Oil Guacamole with Beet Chips...mmmmm!)

I'm a sucker for cookbooks with drool-worthy photos, and this book delivers.  Nearly every recipe comes with a full-page photo that makes me want to jump into the kitchen and start cooking!  I also like the balance of recipes, from starters to vegetables to meat dishes - a great variety for all the seasons.

To see if the recipes in this book match the drool-worthiness of the photos, I made Fresh Cheese Curd Crostini.  Admittedly Cheese Curd sounded entirely unappealing until I figured out that this is actually a recipe for homemade Ricotta!  Fantastic.  The recipe and results are posted here...enjoy!



Disclaimer:  I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.  

16 comments:

  1. No way. I would use that cook book all the time. I need to get a copy!

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  2. I actually saw one episode of the show, Extra Virgin. I'd definitely be interested in getting this cookbook. I love cookbooks even though I mostly gaze over the mouth-watering food instead of following the recipes. :)

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    1. I'm the same way! It seems like the more I look at cookbooks the less I cook...just spend my time drooling :)

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  3. I love photo-heavy cookbooks like this! Putting it in my wish list!

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  4. Good pictures are my main gripe with cookbooks. Who wants to make something when the picture makes it look like 20 years ago:) But a good one will make your mouth water and your stomach growl. Sounds like this book is that way;)

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    1. Agreed! I love when there are lots of vibrant photos that make you wish it was in a plate right in front of you instead of on the page :)

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  5. Oh based on this alone, I'm totally interested. I want to look, drool and make these recipes myself!

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    1. Oh do! Come on over, we'll flip through together :)

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  6. I love Tuscan cooking! Perfect for this time of year!

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  7. The more pictures in a cookbook the better! Everything else you can DIY comes with photo tutorials usually, but I've always thought that cookbooks lack on the photos.

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  8. This looks like a beautiful book! I certainly use olive oil enough that I should probably buy a whole cookbook about it!

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  9. This cook book sounds amazing. We love Tuscan cooking in my house so I am sure that a book like would get a ton of use!

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  10. Great review, looks like a great one will definately have to check this one out, thanks for sharing!

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  11. Looks like a great book. We had friends over at the weekend and for starters I did a crostini station. Hope you cook more and share

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  12. I will have to check out this cookbook, love Italian recipes.

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