Part cookbook, part memoir, THE LOFRISCO FAMILY COOKBOOK is as much about food as it is about family. Author Anthony LoFrisco takes readers back to a time when recipes included instructions like “a handful of this,” and magnificent meals could be thrown together with whatever ingredients were in the fridge. He intersperses recipes for such Italian classics as lasagna and chicken cacciatore, with reminiscences of his childhood days in Brooklyn, where food was always the center of attention and mama ruled the kitchen. His mother Josie, who emigrated from Sicily and raised her family in the Dyker Heights section of Brooklyn, made sure her husband, a NYC policeman, and three sons, were well fed by using the simplest ingredients and infusing them with love.
First-time cookbook author LoFrisco’s love letter to Italian cuisine is equal parts memoir and cookbook, a welcome trip through time. LoFrisco’s nostalgic stories from his youth in 1950s Brooklyn, such as his brief foray into a life of crime—lifting fistfuls of candy bars to share with his friends, only to have his father, a police officer, answer the call from the shop owner—are charming and delightful, and give the book a generous helping of personality and place. His recipes are perfectly fine, but also perfectly ordinary; most of them are for Italian standards (panzanella Sunday sauce, veal parmigiana, lasagne) with some culinary outliers (a Niçoise salad, potato pancakes, beef stew, coffee cake). Readers of a certain age and those with an affinity for family cookbooks are sure to find a lot to like here. LoFrisco’s a warm storyteller. His deep affection for his family and the foods of his childhood is truly a delight to behold, and it shines through in what is clearly a labor of love. (BookLife)