THE LOFRISCO FAMILY COOKBOOK, HOW JOSIE BROUGHT SICILY TO BROOKLYN by Anthony LoFrisco, is part cookbook, part memoir. The author, son of Sicilian immigrants in the early 1900s, shares not only his mother’s time-tested simple and delicious recipes, but he brings them to life by embracing them with endearing family stories of growing up in an Italian-American neighborhood in Brooklyn. More than just ingredients and instructions, THE LOFRISCO FAMILY COOKBOOK is, as Ron Straci, co-owner of New York’s iconic Italian restaurant, Rao’s, explains: “A superb collection of family lore. Fun, food and family, what a wonderful combination. You’ll enjoy joining the experience with these authentic recipes.” The recipes are not about “fancy,” rather they are a selection of what Josie LoFrisco started cooking at a time when an ice box, not a refrigerator kept ingredients fresh. With a limited budget, leftovers were rarely discarded and to this day, fried leftover spaghetti remains a family favorite. In selecting the best-of-the-best of Josie’s (and other family members) recipes, Anthony includes only those he rates 9+ on a scale of 1 to 10, and you can be sure his bias weighs heavily in the selection process. Happy memories associated with certain dishes play the role of a thumb on the scale. Even annual family squabbles, like how large to chop dried figs for Cuchidada, traditional Christmas cookies, are brought to life. But there will be no squabbles about the family-friendly, easy-to-follow, mouth-watering recipes you’ll find in THE LOFRISCO FAMILY COOKBOOK. At a time when a single dish of linguine al pesto ordered in an upscale NYC restaurant today costs the equivalent of her weekly food budget back in the ’40s LoFrisco jokes that his mother would turn over in her grave.
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