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Verdura
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About the Author

Viana La Place is specialist cookbook author.

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`` Verdura means vegetables,'' writes cooking teacher and food columnist La Place ( Cucina Fresca ). It ``represents a style of cooking directly related to nature.'' By scouring the homes and restaurants of Italy, here she proves her case with 250 recipes and 50 menus featuring ``vegetables in all their remarkable variety''--antipasti, salads, sandwiches, soups, pastas, risotti, tarts and stews. As in her previous books, ingredients fall into unexpected combinations--carrots with porcini mushrooms, fried yellow peppers with mint. Whimsy is also revealed in recipes for ``olive oil from hell'' and ``angry rice.'' Mainly, however, common sense and creativity combine forces. The roster of Italian vegetables is well represented, from olives to peppers to artichokes, and now-familiar foods like pasta are given new life (e.g., tubetti with diced tomato and avocado sauce). La Place tells us that ``it is through vegetables that I have found my greatest expression.'' Verdura is the proof. Illustrations not seen by PW. Author tour. (May)

Verdura is one of the cook books we refer to almost every day...a must-have book for all of us who love Italian food Rose Gray, The River Cafe ' - a wonderful cookbook with the very best authentic Italian recipes; just a flick through it and you can feel immediately transported to a table under an olive tree - ' Rachel Allen, The Sunday Tribune ' - a source of inspiration - ' Caterer & Hotelkeeper

La Place is the coauthor of Cucina Rustica ( LJ 3/15/90), Pasta Fresca ( LJ 11/15/88), and Cucina Fresca (Harper, 1985). Like her previous books, this offers a collection of bright, vibrant dishes, this time with the emphasis solely on vegetables--as antipasti, in salads and soups, as main dishes, with pasta, rice, or polenta. Mint Frittata with Tomato Garnish, Inflamed Green Olives, and Pasta with Fennel, Tomato, and Red Onion are just some of La Place's fresh, unpretentious, and unusual creations; an excellent ingredients guide and a sampling of fruit desserts round out the book. Highly recommended.

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