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The Tucci Table by Stanley Tucci and Felicity Blunt
Published by Simon & Schuster ISBN 978146738567
Hardcover, $30, 256 pages
Stanley Tucci is an actor, known for his roles in The Devil Wears Prada and Julie & Julia. In 1996, Tucci co-wrote and starred in a movie called Big Night, about two brothers who have one night to save their Italian restaurant. The movie has achieved cult status, earning many fans for Tucci and his costar Anthony Shaloub.
Tucci has always loved to cook, and follows his successful 2012 The Tucci Cookbook with a new cookbook, The Tucci Table, filled with recipes from himself, his family and even some famous friends, written with his wife Felicity Blunt, sister of actress Emily Blunt.
From his late friend actress Natasha Richardson, whom he said was "an extraordinary cook who threw some of the best dinner parties I have ever attended', he shares her Pissaladiere, topped with anchovies, onions and olives.
His son Nico's Pasta with Proscuitto, Onions, Peas and Pancetta looks like a winning dish to me, and I appreciated the detailed instructions on the carbonara finish to the dish.
He also tells some funny stories, like the time he asked Felicity what she wanted to cook for a dinner party the following weekend. She decided on a suckling pig, which was problematic since neither had ever cooked one before. They got a whole pig from the butcher, but it was too long to fit on their barbeque spit. So they got out the hacksaw and tried to cut off the pig's head, when their children came home from school to see the carnage.
The book is heavy on Italian food, naturally, and I am tempted to try his Polenta Fries, which Tucci calls a great alternative to French fries. They look delicious.
The first dish I want to try is a light and simple one:
Cannellini Bean and Tuna Salad With Red Onion
5 oz. can good tuna, packed in olive oil, drained
15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 red onion, finely sliced into half-moons
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
chopped fresh parsley
Gently mix the tuna, beans, and onions together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, then toss with a glug of olive oil, followed by a good pinch of fresh parsley.
Tucci formatted the book so that the directions come first, then the ingredients, which may confuse some people. This is a book for confident cooks, more casual cooks who like to go more by instinct than exact measurements. (See glug of olive oil, above)
Reading The Tucci Table is like sitting in Tucci's kitchen, and you can hear his voice as you read his stories about how his mother-in-law makes it this way, and he got this recipe on location in Atlanta for The Hunger Games.
Here is a video from The Tucci Table :