02 December 2017

Weekend Cooking: Veneto by Valeria Necchio

Review: Veneto: Recipes from an Italian Kitchen by Valeria NecchioOne of my favorite cookbooks being released this season is Veneto: Recipes from an Italian Kitchen (Faber & Faber, Nov. 28). Not only am I attracted to Valeria Necchio’s enticing recipes but her photographs are simply gorgeous.

Necchio grew up in the Venetian countryside with an abundance of seasonal and local foods, cooked in traditional ways by the women of her family. After years of travel and sometimes living far from home, Necchio built on her childhood culinary foundations to give familiar dishes “a more modern twist.”

She is now both a well-known food blogger at Life Love Food and a skilled food photographer.

Veneto is divided into three parts, which reflect Valeria Necchio’s foodie history. Part One is all about family recipes that can “take you through a classic five-course Italian meal.” Part Two contains recipes Necchio collected during her travels and developed into her own. Both parts are filled with stories of family and Italian culture—and, of course, those beautiful photographs of Italy and the finished dishes.

Review: Veneto: Recipes from an Italian Kitchen by Valeria NecchioThe recipes include polenta and pasta dishes, risottos, ragus, braised vegetables, and fruit-based desserts. Here are some that I have marked:

  • Rice and pumpkin soup
  • Pumpkin gnocchi (served with a sage butter sauce)
  • Chicken in red sauce (kind of a braise)
  • Marinated zucchini (then pan-fried until golden)
  • Sweet and sour braised baby onions (I’m thinking holiday side dish)
  • Almond polenta shortbread tart
Each recipe is introduced with a story, in which Necchio tells us the origin of the recipe and often what it means to her or how she came to create it. The ingredients are listed in both weights and measures and shouldn’t be too difficult to find (except fish in landlocked areas). The directions are clear and easy to follow yet have a casual feel to them—for example, in a rice salad recipe, she says, “Leave in the colander to drain properly while you take care of the rest.”

Review: Veneto: Recipes from an Italian Kitchen by Valeria NecchioI’ve made her meatballs twice already; they were that good. The only change I made to her recipe was to bake the meatballs instead of frying them on the stovetop. Necchio has several red sauce recipes in Veneto; I tried the one in the pantry section (simple basil and garlic) and the one with the meatball recipe (onion and olive oil). Both were delicious. I also loved her Polenta Olive Oil Cake with Rosemary and Lemon. OMG, as Necchio says in the recipe introduction
It’s the sort of cake you never get tired of, no matter how much you eat. You’ve been warned.
So who would love Veneto? Cooks interested in learning about foods from northern Italy, foodies who like their cookbooks mixed with a good bit of memoir, and anyone looking for easy recipes that span the bridge between time-honored and modern. If you’re hesitant to buy another cookbook, check it out from the library, you’ll enjoy reading about Valeria Necchio’s culinary world, you’ll love the photographs, and I bet you get inspired to cook.

The recipe I scanned from Veneto is one that I’m dying to try. It looks easy to make and is just a little different. Plus, I love the color. Click to enlarge the image so you can read the recipe.

Review: Veneto: Recipes from an Italian Kitchen by Valeria Necchio

(Note: all images in this this post are from Veneto and are used in the context of this review. All rights remain with the original copyright holder: Valeria Nicchio. Thanks to the publicist for a review copy; all thoughts are my honest opinion.)
Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

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gluten Free A_Z Blog 12/2/17, 6:43 AM  

Beth- this does sound like a wonderful cookbook. I love it when an author has great recipes and is a great photographer- that's a special gift.. The olive oil and rosemary cake sounds amazing.

rhapsodyinbooks 12/2/17, 7:16 AM  

I love Northern Italian food; sounds great! (of course, it would sound better to be eating it in a bistro in Italy...)

jama 12/2/17, 8:18 AM  

This cookbook sounds so good! Love the mix of recipes + memoir. Will look for it at the library. Thanks!

bermudaonion 12/2/17, 8:25 AM  

That looks wonderful! I'm adding it to my Christmas wish list.

Claudia 12/2/17, 10:15 AM  

That sounds like a really lovely cookbook and I'll like to visit her blog as well. I know Olive oil Rosemary cake is good, at least Mario Batali's version.

Deb in Hawaii 12/2/17, 10:19 AM  

It looks like a gorgeous cookbook and I always enjoy cookbooks with great recipes that are combined with beautiful pictures and stories about the food. The color on that pudding is amazing--will definitely be checking this one out. Thanks for sharing. ;-)

Jackie McGuinness 12/2/17, 10:19 AM  

I am curious about the meatball recipe!

Les in Oregon 12/2/17, 11:18 AM  

I've not heard of Necchio prior to reading your post, but I've now perused her blog which is gorgeous! I love the simplicity of her photographs. If I only buy one cookbook this year, this looks the one. The meatballs, sauce and cake all sound fabulous. Thanks for the lovely review!

Vicki 12/2/17, 2:55 PM  

Necchio is new to me. The recipes sounds good.

Molly 12/2/17, 4:13 PM  

This cookbook is right up my alley :) And I will definitely check out her blog as well. 2018 is the year I hope to develop my food photography skills to (hopefully) enhance my Weekend Cooking posts.

Mae Travels 12/3/17, 8:55 PM  

Cornmeal, lemon, rosemary, and olive oil must make a very delicious cake!

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Katherine P 12/4/17, 6:12 PM  

I got stuck at pumpkin gnocchi. That sounds amazing! Though I must admit the cake sounds fabulous though a bit dangerous to have around! I need this cookbook and I definitely need to go check out her blog! Thanks for sharing!

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