Lidia’s Favorite Recipes, by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich


If you love Italian cuisine, you are most likely familiar with Lidia Bastianich, a chef, restaurateur and cookbook author, as well as television star, thanks to PBS. Forget the boisterous, Crocs-wearing Mario Batali; I prefer Lidia, who is more like a beloved nonna.


I’ve read some of her other cookbooks, and, while I found them lovely, I never got much from them, as they were heavy on the meat and featured somewhat complex recipes and inaccessible ingredients.


But “Lidia’s Favorite Recipes” is a cookbook that everyone can enjoy. There are plenty of vegetarian options, recipes are fairly uncomplicated, and most ingredients are readily available. Pasta is featured prominently, but there is more than enough to satisfy fans of  seafood, meats, desserts, sauces, salads and soups.


It’s not fancy, frou-frou food; it’s family cooking. I’ve already made one dish — Ziti with Roasted Eggplant and Ricotta — twice. So good, plus it was easy and fast to prepare. This one will impress dinner guests without too much effort on your part, so my friends need to beware: It might make an appearance at my next dinner party!