A16 Food + Wine Cookbook Giveaway
September 21, 2008
[Elaine] in A16 Food +Wine

Post a comment to win a chance for this beautiful book!

I've been waiting for this book to come out and it's finally here! And it was well worth the wait. A16 is an Italian restaurant in San Francisco which prides itself on cooking authentic food from the Campania region of Italy. It is named after the highway that connects Naples to Puglia, the "A-16". This is the highway from which the owners of the restaurant explored this region of Italy - tasting wines and eating food all along the way.

The book begins with one of the largest and most comprehensive discussions on southern Italian wines, written by wine director Shelley Lindgren. Covering wine from Campania to Sardinia, it's a full 58 pages! Anyone interested in Italian wines should pick the book up for this section alone. One of the white wines she writes about, Falanghina, intrigued me so much I ran right out and bought a bottle. It was such a nice surprise, a really delicious wine and such a change from the mediocre Chardonnays we have too much of around here.

One of the things I loved about this book is the attention to ingredients - it is not just a book of recipes. Chef Nate Appleman devotes a dozen pages  to explaining key ingredients and their uses such as San Marzano tomatoes, salt, bottarga, anchovies, capers, herbs, olive oil, cheeses and vinegars. Remember my pizza post, explaining the difference between flours and the 00 flour imported from Italy? There is also an interesting section explaining the differences in these flours and the difference it can make in your pizza dough. There is a whole section devoted to pizza making which I found helpful. Chef Appleman talks about visiting the famous pizzeria in Naples, "Da Michele" and discovering the secret to its outstanding pizza dough - addding older, fermented dough to fresh dough to build a more complex flavor. A16 uses a method which replicates this taste - letting the dough proof for 2-3 days (which I'm going to try for our weekly pizza nights at home!)

The recipes in this book range from Antipasti to Desserts, with dishes such as Bruschetta Four Ways, Ricotta Gnocchi, Bucatini with Fava Beans and Pancetta, Chicken Meatballs with Peperonata, Short Ribs alla Genovese, Chard Gratinata with Bread Crumbs and Pistachio and Almond Cake. Each recipe is thoughtfully paired with a wine selection. Nice touch.  There are also thoughtful discussions on the techniques of making soffritto, meatballs and fresh pasta.

There is also a comprehensive "Resources" list at the back of the book for hard to find ingredients.

I love this beautiful book so much, I'm going to share it! I have a copy to give away to a lucky reader. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and I will randomly select someone to receive this book. Just be sure to leave a link somehow so I can find your e-mail to contact you. Please leave your comment by midnight September 30th to be considered. Good luck! You'll be making chocolate gelato in no time!

A16 Food + Wine by Nate Appleman and Shelley Lindgren with Kate Leahy
Published by Ten Speed Press

Article originally appeared on The Italian Dish (http://theitaliandishblog.com/).
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