From the Inside Flap
Frank Stitt’s Bottega restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama, "combines Southern cooking ideology and Italian tradition to craft a new style of eating," says Mario Batali, which is why "I think it is one of the best Italian restaurants outside of Italy." The dishes are "never precious, always inventive" (The New York Times): a lima bean and orzo soup with escarole, a pork scaloppini with greens and polenta, a capellini gratin.
Bottega was born from Stitt's lifelong passion for Italy's food and way of life. From his travels, the beloved Southern chef has brought home the rustic simplicity of Italian cuisine and added his own ingenious twists, like the Tabasco sauce he uses to spike a dish of Potato Ravioli with Crawfish and Candied Lemon or the tomato chutney in the Roasted Sweet Pepper Pizza. As one of the South’s earliest supporters of regional producers, Stitt makes ample use of local ingredients, inspiring the reader to do the same: "There’s no pompano in Venice, but ours, fresh from Apalachicola makes a great cartoccio [baked in a parchment bag]," Stitt writes. "Our Chilton County white peaches make a great bellini."
This deliciously appealing new cookbook—with more than 200 recipes—includes the best of the Southern-influenced Italian dishes Stitt has served at Bottega for the last two decades. It’s all here. From such signature appetizers as Charred Onion Dip, Parmesan Soufflés, and Crabmeat Bruschetta to delicious crisp-crusted pizzas that infuse Italian classics with American inventiveness.
Excerpted from Frank Stitt's Bottega Favorita, Copyright: Artisan, 2008.
Available at Highlands Bar and Grill, Bottega and Chez Fonfon as well as online at Amazon.