This last Sunday, April 30, a book launch party was held for Paul and Dee Dee Sorvino’s cookbook Pinot, Pasta, and Parties.  Held at the home of Dr. Eric and Mrs. Lily Fugier in the Hollywood Hills; it was a classy affair, and the view from the balcony of their home was spectacular.

 

 

 

Paul and Dee Dee Sorvino greeted guests and autographed their cookbook Pinot, Pasta and Parties

 

The book is a collection of recipes given in the general format of a traditional Italian dinner, that is, with

 

 

 

   Aperitivo – small bites

   Antipasto – appetizer

   Primi – first course usually pasta

   Secondi – main course

   Contorni – side dishes

   Insalata – salad (served after the main course)

   Dolce – dessert

 

Additionally, Dee Dee Sorvino gives the recipe for special cocktails formulated to complement the festivities.

 

 

 

Pinot, Pasta, and Parties features ten party menus.  A sample menu begins each chapter.

 

 

 

 

    1. DEE DEE’S SPECIAL COCKTAIL:

 

      1. THE ROMAN

 

      1. BITE-SIZE ANTIPASTO

 

      1. MARINARA SAUCE

 

      1. SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS

 

      1. CAPRESE SALAD

 

      1. ITALIAN CHEESECAKE WITH LEMON CURD TOPPING

 

    1. ALTERNATIVE:

 

      1. BRACIOLE

 

    1. CLASSIC SAUCES:

 

      1. FILETTO DI POMODORO

 

      1. RAGU

 

      1. PESTO

 

      1. AMATRICIANA

 

      1. ARRABBIATA

 

      1. PUTTANESCA

 

      1. CREAMY VODKA

 

    1. OTHER BASICS:

 

      1. PAUL’S PIZZA DOUGH

 

      1. HOMEMADE BREAD CRUMBS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Pinot, Pasta, and Parties, their favorite recipes are collected so that (as they say) “you can effortlessly prepare special food for your family and friends — from an intimate dinner to a Goodfellas feast, from an abundant buffet to a picnic with an Italian accent.”  

 Included in the 10 menus are more than eighty simple recipes.

 

“If you don’t want to prepare an all-out feast, you can pick and choose from the menus rather than serve every course listed. And though some menus, namely Made in America and Nice Guy Meets Pundit, are designed to be buffets, you can select one or more dishes from those menus for a simple meal for two.”

 

 

I myself come from an Italian family the same way Paul Sorvino does.  Every Sunday the whole family gathered at my Grandparent’s home for dinner.  We listened to Caruso and Puccini. 

While my grandmother made sausage, meatballs, lasagna, ravioli, and more, the family talked about the old country. In our case, the family came from Agnone (about 60 miles due East of Rome).  It was more than just dinner; it was the passing on of tradition.  The enjoyment of the traditional meal is culture.  As it is for Italians, it is for Jews, Thais, Chinese...  culture is passed on with the cuisine.

I remember my aunt trying to write down my grandmother’s recipes.  “Ma,” my aunt would say, reviewing what she had written.  “Isn’t there garlic in the sauce?”

“Oh, yes.” My grandmother replied.  She took a garlic clove and smashed it with the flat of the blade of her knife, picked out the skin with the tip of the knife, and then finely diced the garlic.  “One clove garlic.”

My mother told my aunt, “We’ll never get it right. She always leaves out an ingredient.”

When my grandmother passed away, so did the recipes with her.

 

Paul Sorvino is not allowing this to happen with his recipes.  Whether he knows it or not, Paul Sorvino not just passing on recipes to us, he is passing on culture.  And, as one reviewer noted (Dave the wine merchant)

 

“you’ll get hungry as you read it.  The recipes, and the Sorvino’s commentary that accompanies each one, celebrate Italy’s love of fresh ingredients, simple procedures and meals shared with friends and family around a table full of conversation and devoid of electronic devices!”

 

And thus is the culture of Italy passed on.

 

BUON APPETITO!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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