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September 2012 Cookbook of the Month: My Calabria

blue room Aug 31, 2012 11:49 PM

Hello all!

Along with scenes and stories, this is a book presenting Italian food from southern (“toe of the boot“) Italy. Please feel welcome to take part -- cook, post, read, comment -- we’ll all enjoy and benefit.

Past books and group basics are here:


More information and discussion can be found in these three links -- September nominations, voting, and winner announcement:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/862619 nominations

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/863519 voting

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/864379 winner announcement

I’ve divided the recipes into three parts, following the progression of a meal, as in the book.



Antipasti…..21 - 44

Pasta…..45 - 92

Soup, Rice, Polenta…..93 -112


Bread, Cheese, Eggs…..113 - 156

Seafood…..157 - 190

Meat…..191 - 232


Vegetables…..233 - 268

The Calabrian Pantry…..269 - 310

Desserts…..311 - 360

*** Happy Birthday COTM ………..6 years old!

Sept. 2006.………..Sept. 2012 -- http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8643...

Chowhound policy requires us to paraphrase recipes not your own. No verbatim copying of recipes, please -- it's a copyright violation, and the post will be removed.

Have some delicious fun this month, it's a beautiful month and a beautiful book.

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  1. Breadcrumbs RE: blue room Sep 1, 2012 08:37 AM

    Thanks very much blue room, I'm really looking forward to this month and have a number of recipes tabbed in the book. The vegetable recipes seem to make good use of the produce currently available in our markets so that's especially appealing.

    We actually kicked off the month last night and I made a Rigatoni dish that I'll report on asap. I've also posted reviews of a couple of dishes I made prior to this being a COTM.

    Happy cooking everyone and Happy Birthday COTM....with deepest gratitude to all the wonderful cooks that have made this such a remarkable community. Thanks for the inspiration...I am a better cook because of all of you. (and I have a few more books on my shelf because of you but we won't get into that!!!).

    9 Replies
    1. re: Breadcrumbs
      blue room RE: Breadcrumbs Sep 1, 2012 09:04 AM

      This book wasn't exactly a runaway vote-getter, so I'm not expecting a huge month. (Everyone's got their mind on meatballs, I'm afraid!)
      However, today I'm tackling the trompe-l'oeil peach cookies (p. 333). Prepare to be fooled haha.

      1. re: blue room
        Gio RE: blue room Sep 1, 2012 09:13 AM

        Well, BR, one cannot live on meatballs alone so I expect there will be meatballs, vegetables, salads, soups and everything else on the table this month.

        I like your division of the bounty. T'will make reporting easy to find. Well done !

        1. re: Gio
          BigSal RE: Gio Sep 1, 2012 10:48 AM

          I love the story behind the this book. As a busy professional, Rosetta Costantino shares that she mostly watched her mom cook, only helping on occasion, and as her parents aged, she realized what would be lost if she didn't master the techniques and recipes of Calabria. I've done the same in my life and started writing down my mom's (Japanese)recipes. The thought of them being lost forever makes me sad.


          The sugo di pomodoro (quick tomato sauce) reminded me of your marinara recipe. Curious to see what you think.

          FWIW- During Spanish month I made a number of sauces with canned tomatoes and discovered that my former everyday tomatoes (Muir Glen) tasted acidic compared to my other brand of canned San Marzanos (which only contain tomatoes). In My Calabria, Rosetta Costantino advises against canned tomatoes with citric acid and calcium chloride.

          1. re: BigSal
            Gio RE: BigSal Sep 2, 2012 04:50 AM

            Yes, Sal, Rossetta's Sugo di Pomodoro is almost exactly like the one I make. My mother was born in Andrea near Bari in Puglia then the family move to Trieste when she was a little girl, and my father's family was from Abruzzo in the mountains but his immediate family immigrated to the US long before he and his siblings were born. When my parents married they brought with them all the culinary memories they had but they both cooked virtually the same style. Curious. My style probably evolved from everything I was, and am still, exposed to...

            1. re: BigSal
              blue room RE: BigSal Sep 7, 2012 11:15 AM

              BigSal, you mention your "other brand of canned San Marzanos", could you post the brand name? It may be enough to just avoid the chemicals, no matter the name.

              1. re: blue room
                BigSal RE: blue room Sep 8, 2012 07:27 AM

                The canned San Marzanos that I used were a special treat from gustiamo.com. Because they are a splurge, I use them sparingly when the pure taste of the tomato is needed (mostly just tomato sauce). I don't use them for chili, soup or other dishes where tomato is not the dominate flavor.

                Although, I did not use these in my tomato taste test during Spanish month, I have had good results with Pomi (not San Marzanos) which are just tomatoes. I'd be interested in hearing what everyone else uses.

                1. re: BigSal
                  Gio RE: BigSal Sep 8, 2012 09:48 AM

                  I'm using Pomi. The only canned San Marzanos I've ever liked are produced by Muir Glen, which I use infrequently. Other brands just don't appeal to me.

          2. re: blue room
            qianning RE: blue room Sep 1, 2012 12:44 PM

            can't wait to hear about the peaches!

            1. re: blue room
              smtucker RE: blue room Sep 5, 2012 06:38 AM

              Still waiting for my inter-library loan book to arrive. Then I can hope to dive in.

          3. s
            smtucker RE: blue room Sep 9, 2012 02:06 PM

            My book has been in the house for about an hour, and I should just mark the recipes I don't want to make. All looks so very good, but all this pasta making might take some time!

            1 Reply
            1. re: smtucker
              Breadcrumbs RE: smtucker Sep 9, 2012 02:59 PM

              Time is the enemy isn't it smtucker? Like you, I found so many dishes in the book that we'd like to try. The Parmigigana di Zucchine is in the oven as I type. Happy reading & looking forward to having you cook along w your new book!!

            2. p
              painperdu RE: blue room Sep 16, 2012 11:38 AM

              I havent had much time with this book...it took some time to get it from the library, and now we are off to Italy tomorrow for three weeks (Piedmont and Alto Aldige, not Calabria, but still...). I know I will get no sympathy. We were able to do one fish recipe, which I will post in the appropriate spot. I did want to say that I regret not having been able to do more with this book, I really enjoyed browsing through it and I learned a few things. I am sure I will come back to it with the benefit of all your experiments and reports.

              1. s
                smtucker RE: blue room Sep 24, 2012 07:31 AM

                This COTM addiction can get just a bit expensive. I have borrowed My Calabria from the library and I am really hoping that no one notices that the book was splashed with water while making the tomato sauce. At that moment it became clear that I had to purchase this book. Once I get up to 5 recipes that I want to make again and again, it only seems fair.

                But now I am fixated on the cavatelli, which means I need a gnocchi board. So a google search found a family-run business that not only has a lovely board, but the kind of rolling pin I have wanted, and a ravioli stamp to make my favorite shape. I am such a sucker for kitchen tools!

                3 Replies
                1. re: smtucker
                  MelMM RE: smtucker Sep 24, 2012 04:56 PM

                  You might as well share the Web site with us, as we all want to support a family-run business and we all want more beautiful stuff in our kitchens. Bank account be damned!

                  1. re: MelMM
                    smtucker RE: MelMM Sep 24, 2012 05:33 PM

                    Since you asked:

                    1. re: smtucker
                      MelMM RE: smtucker Sep 24, 2012 05:41 PM

                      Neat site! Thanks

                2. q
                  Quintious RE: blue room Sep 27, 2012 10:47 AM

                  I'm kind of sad to admit, I've had this book for like....I dunno, a year now....and I've not opened it up one time. I think I might have to change that in the near future.

                  1. Novelli RE: blue room Sep 29, 2012 08:20 AM

                    I don't know how pertinent it is to these COTM threads, but Rosetta has a blog site:


                    On her site, she takes you on video tours of her garden, step by step instructions on certain recipes, and she even posts some stuff that didn't make it into her book. A cool site to help pick up some extra info.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Novelli
                      blue room RE: Novelli Sep 29, 2012 09:23 AM

                      It's very pertinent, Novelli! With resources like that, COTM enthusiasts can participate even if lacking the actual cookbook. A perfect situation for some months, when buying/borrowing the book isn't in your plan. ("Leite's Culinaria", a blog, not a book, was once a COTM.)

                    2. c
                      ChiliDude RE: blue room Sep 29, 2012 01:29 PM

                      The history of the region is almost as interesting as the recipes. My late mother-in-law's family came from that region, and I'm finding recipes in the book that my wife of 52+ years prepares on a regular basis.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ChiliDude
                        blue room RE: ChiliDude Sep 29, 2012 03:20 PM

                        Do you have any favorites?
                        The very simple tomato sauce in the book (page 53) got a lot of respect from several posters.

                      2. Breadcrumbs RE: blue room Sep 1, 2013 05:47 PM

                        I was quite taken by a photo of a Homemade Tomato Paste on Leite's Culinaria. It turns out, the recipe is from this book!

                        For anyone interested, or for anyone looking for something to do with 10 lbs of tomatoes:


                        1. q
                          qianning RE: blue room Apr 15, 2014 03:24 PM

                          I don't have the book...but I seem to remember a Sardinian grating cheese that was recommended as a good sub for Calabrese grating cheese...but I don't remember the name of the Sardian cheese. If anyone knows which cheese I'm referring to I'd love to know the name.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: qianning
                            BigSal RE: qianning Apr 15, 2014 05:08 PM

                            I just pulled the book out and in the ingredients section she mentions that "if you can't find Calabrian pecorino...look for the Locatelli brand (because) it is less salty than most and a good choice for Calabrian cooking." Hope this helps.

                            If there is a specific recipe to look up, I'd be glad to.

                            1. re: qianning
                              Novelli RE: qianning Apr 16, 2014 06:32 AM

                              I believe you are referring to Fiore Sardo. It's a 'semi-hard' sheep's milk cheese used for grating and snacking in Sardegna, and is used like other pecorino type cheeses, but is less salty. It has a more mild flavor.

                              Another option is Pecorino Crotonese which is also used in Sardegna and Lazio.

                              1. re: Novelli
                                qianning RE: Novelli Apr 16, 2014 07:24 AM

                                Thanks to both of you for the suggestions. For some reason "Fiore Sardo" is ringing a bell. Now to see if I can find it again!

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