The Art of Traditional Italian
Rich with culinary wisdom
Packed with perfect recipes
WHAT: In The Art of Traditional Italian, Lucio Galletto celebrates La Cucina Italiana: the flavours, history and techniques of Italian cuisine, perfected over centuries. I like deconstructed updated cuisines as much as anybody, but when tradition is already perfect, why mess with it? The Art of Traditional Italian is newly published by Lantern, an imprint of Penguin Books, rrp $59.99.
Taste for Travel
has one copy of
The Art of Eating
to give away.
WHO IS LUCIO GALLETTO? Lucio Galletto grew up in a village on the Ligurian coast of Italy, where his parents had a restaurant. He came to Australia from Liguria in 1977 from a family of restaurateurs, and has been continuing the family tradition of great hospitality ever since. Restaurateur Lucio has been serving sophisticated Italian food to media and political luminaries and artists (whose work lines the walls of his restaurant, Lucio’s) for well over 25 years in the Sydney inner suburb of Paddington. In 2008 Lucio was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the community through his contributions as a restaurateur and author, and his support of arts organisations. His books include The Art of Pasta, Soffritto and Lucio’s Ligurian Kitchen (all written with David Dale) and The Art of Food at Lucio’s (with Timothy Fisher).
WHY: All your Italian favourites are in these pages – eggplant parmigiana, vitello tonnato, spring minestrone, risotto alla milanese, baked quail, berry and mascarpone tart, green gnocchi and veal saltimbocca – along with more dishes you’ll wish you’d tried sooner.
“It is this respect for the freshness of ingredients, regionality and tradition – and, of course, my passion for food and love of people – that inspired me to write this book,” Lucio writes in the introduction.
“Not to mention the fact that I feel as if the more we experiment to find something new, the more we discover that what we actually yearn for are those old traditional flavours of our grandmothers’ cooking. As we become increasingly preoccupied with the provenance and freshness of our ingredients, we get closer and closer to the real peasant way of looking at food, where hardly anything is bought, because everything comes from just outside the front or back door.
“And so it was with my family. I remember watching my father come back from our vegetable garden on a hot summer’s day, carrying some wonderful tomatoes, cucumber, basil and red onions. He never cooked, but with these simple, incredibly fresh ingredients he made a stunning salad. Of course, as a kid I refused to eat it, only appreciating it many years later, when I put it on the menu at Lucio’s asinsalata di papà.
“The classic Cucina Italiana, which is essentially a regional cuisine, developed through centuries of political change, poverty and domination by other cultures. But probably the most significant impact came with the discovery of the New World, and the subsequent introduction of potatoes, tomatoes, chillies, capsicums, corn and a variety of beans to the markets. All ingredients that go very well with Italian cooking, to the extent that now, two centuries later, it feels as if they belong more to Italy than the Americas!”
WHERE: Lucio’s, at 47 Windsor Street, Paddington, is open five days a week, Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner, with the spotlight on Northern Italian cuisine, fresh pasta and contemporary accents to classic dishes.
HOW: I’m most reluctant to part with this cook book. It’s so dense with history and rich with recipes to treasure. But here we go: To win The Art of Traditional Italian simply leave a comment on this post, or on Taste for Travel’s Facebook page, or send me a tweet @TravelTaster
Entries close on December 15, so I can post it off in time for Christmas.
* Images courtesy of Lantern
Update: Congratulations to Rosalie Sevell who has won a copy of this beautiful book!