Rosetta Costantino demonstrates recipes from her new book, Southern Italian Desserts, this coming Saturday, November 2, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at The Pasta Shop on College Avenue in Oakland. Additional recipes from the book, prepared on site in the Pasta Shop kitchens, will also be available to sample.
Southern Italian Desserts - Rediscovering the Sweet Traditions of Calabria, Campania, Basilicata, Puglia, and Sicily, is a treasury of recipes particular to southern Italy, and all the more engaging because they are less familiar and rooted in the holidays, traditions, and foodways of the region.
Remembered and re-created from her childhood, from friends and family, or unique to a particular village or bakery, each recipe comes with a story – the family member who shared it, the saint’s day it celebrates, the history and tradition that surround it – or the story of how a it was reverse–engineered when the recipe was not forthcoming from a secretive baker. It’s part travelogue, part memoir, part history and part a spy novel, all in one beautifully organized and photographed book.
These desserts don’t look like anything you’ve seen anywhere else, which makes for a flashy presentation. But don’t worry about getting in over your head – Costantino provides detailed instructions and photographs for the more involved recipes, as well as equipment and ingredient lists so that you’ll have what you need on hand.
And it’s worth noting that many of these are recipes that people make in their homes – Costantino describes her mother making the Pan di Spanga, a sponge cake, using two forks to whip the eggs and baking it in the family’s outdoor, wood-burning oven. Which is to say: you can do this.
Southern Italian Desserts - Rediscovering the Sweet Traditions of Calabria, Campania, Basilicata, Puglia, and Sicily is available online and will be on hand for sale, and inscription by the author (think ahead, this would be a wonderful holiday gift for a baking friend, or a heartsick Italian traveler) at the Pasta Shop, 5655 College Avenue in Oakland, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. this Saturday, November 2. The event is free, except for purchases.
Can’t make the Pasta Shop event? Meet Rosetta Costantino the following Bay Area book signing events:
- November 3, 4:00 p.m. - Museo Italo Americano - Fort Mason Center, Building C, San Francisco, CA
- November 14, 6:30 p.m. - Draeger's Cooking School - 4100 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Danville, CA
- November 17, 4:00 p.m. - Museo Italo Americano - Fort Mason Center, Building C, San Francisco, CA
- November 20, 6:00 p.m. - Book Passage - San Francisco, CA - 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA
- November 24, 3:00 p.m. - Diesel, A Bookstore in Larkspur - 2419 Larkspur Landing Circle, Larkspur, CA
- February 2, 3:00 p.m. - 18 Reasons - 3674 18th Street, San Francisco, CA