When two great chefs—buddies and business partners for twenty-odd years—decide to write a cookbook about the simple Italian food they love, you get decades of experience, sage advice, and wonderful recipes. And you also get a few great arguments thrown in along the way, as Pino and Mark debate the right way to make everything from meatballs to pot roast to eggplant parmigiana.
Of course, the issue is not whose recipes are better—Pino and Mark would be first to praise each other's food. And it's not about a right or wrong way. It's about preferences in ingredients, technique, and approach.
Pino, a native of Tuscany cooking in America, is a purist. His food is grounded in tradition. Mark, a New Yorker, loves the Italian-American cooking he grew up with. Each has his favorite recipes (see back cover) and his own way, but they're bonded by a shared philosophy that the simplest food is the best, and a shared desire to please families, friends, and loyal customers with food that makes them happy.
So here are nearly 150 delicious recipes representing the best of Italian and Italian-American cooking from not one master but two, with text that teaches, dialogue that's lively, and photography that's gorgeous. There's no question about who reaps the rewards of their friendly competition—it's the reader, hands down. Whether you make...
- Pino's Oven-Braised Lamb and Artichokes with Oven-Roasted New Potatoes and Spring Onions or Mark's Braised Holiday Capon with Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Mark's Chopped Roman Salad or Pino's classic Caesar Salad
- Pino's Mushroom Risotto or Mark's Farro with Button Mushrooms, Cherry Tomatoes, and Goat Cheese
- Mark's Pears in Vin Santo with sweet Polenta or Pino's Neapolitan Cheesecake
...the end result is the same—unpretentious food that is timelessly pleasing. This is home cooking at its very best.