I grew up in Providence and went to URI. A number of years later when we went to live in Kansas, I came back (as I always do once or twice a year) to visit family and friends. One time we went to Al Forno (actually in its other part called Lucky's ?). It was nice and rustic place. I can't tell you what I had but it was not one of their wood fired pizzas for which they are known. All I remember is the fiery "harissa" orange sauce with a chicken dish I believe. It was amazing hot (even for me and I like hot foods). So while I hope to go back sometime soon, I wanted to bring some of the Al Forno dishes to Kansas without waiting.
I recently found out about the couples new book (their 2nd) while checking out a different food forum. It is named On Top of Spaghetti. The reviews were excellent and foodies in Providence said it was a must to have. So I thought I would take a chance and buy my first Italian cookbook (I have dozens of others), with many of their recipes, so I could try more. I sure am glad I did as it has literally changed the way I think about Italian cooking and making recipes.
This handsome book not only has recipes but has valuable insights into their cooking methods. I really enjoy reading recipes the introduction to each recipe and their thoughts, their travels throughout Italy man years ago that transformed their palates as this book is doing to mine. Their ideas transformed their eating habits, recipes, styles and their Italian cooking. The photos are nicely done but its what is inside that is the real deal.
Each recipe includes the background relating to when and how the couple came about obtaining each of the recipes. These are for the most part different from your "ordinary Italian fare". The recipes make even regular Italian fare a gastronomic delight. This is orchestrated through their methods, simple ingredients, different condiments that make an ordinary recipe exquisitely better and more.
The recipes themselves are not too time intensive and use for the most part, ingredients you can find in local groceries. There were so many I wanted to try. I chose the made from scratch roasted tomato sauce. It was truly amazing!! The roasting of the tomatoes makes every difference in the world and it was not that difficult to make. On to more difficult dishes.
I had very good Chicken Cacciatore while in Montreal. How would this recipe stack up? Wow even better.
Their recipe was so good, I gave it one of my highest rating ever, 9.9/10. And I tell everyone how good it is. There are so many more to try and I am slowly making my way through. So I have Al Forno type recipes now here in Kansas. Until I get back to Providence and Al Forno, I can subsist on their cooking by reading and using their superb recipes. Their recipes are "on top of Italian " in my book!