From Spaghetti and Meat Balls, to their favorite veal stew, Pinot, Pasta, and Parties is a great primer on authentic Italian cuisine. Written by Dee Dee and Paul Sorvino, this is one Italian cookbook that belongs on anyone’s shelves, who love Italian foods. It’s filled with special dishes that we all know and love as traditional fare… Now, we can learn how to prepare them all, if we haven’t already done so. Filled with old-time recipes that everyone’s Italian grandmother used to cook on Sundays, for lunches after church, which slid into an afternoon of hanging out with la famiglia.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who’s wanting to have an authentic Italian food and wine experience, including an entire menu per chapter… It will help you to know regional wine varieties, and what Dee Dee and Paul pair with those foods. For someone just starting out (we all did at one time, right?), this book should be on that person’s cookbook shelf.

Subtitle: An AUTHENTIC ITALIAN COOKBOOK, from the great Italian American actor Paul Sorvino and Emmy Award winner Dee Dee Sorvino. Dee Dee’s background is as a TV and radio personality on Fox News, Fox Business, CBS, among other appearances. Paul has been in more than 200 films and many television shows. I remember him as Paul Cisero in Goodfellas. I didn’t know that he’s an operatic tenor and has performed at Lincoln Center. And, he’s a sculptor… Talent and now a cookbook.

Dee Dee and Paul begin the book by talking about meeting, falling in love, and marrying within months of their first date. The book is a tale written in two voices. They each share how quickly their love affair moved into full-on commitment, beginning with one look and Paul was hooked. While it was love at first sight, for Paul, Dee Dee made him get down on his knee and make it a proper engagement request.

Each chapter begins with Dee Dee’s Special Cocktail, and has a sample menu that follows and includes alternatives. I didn’t know that there’s a traditional Italian meal protocol… Now I do, in this order:

  • Aperitivo – small bites served with a drink
  • Antipasto – appetizers
  • Primi – Pasta course
  • Secondi – main course
  • Contorni – side dishes
  • Insalata – Salad
  • Dolce – dessert

The appendix is where you’ll find their section on Italian Wines, from major red wine grape varieties grown in Italy, to the major white wine grapes. It’s a good primer for which wines to taste first, if you’re building your basic wine knowledge of familiar, Italian wine grape varieties.

So, we can now talk about the Pasta and the Parties. Chapters are the following:

  1. Italian through and through: from meatballs to Marinara
  2. Made in America
  3. We NY
  4. La-La Land
  5. Sing for our Supper
  6. A Goodfellas Feast
  7. Nice Guy Meets Pundit
  8. Art: A Lifelong Love Affair
  9. Patriotism at Play
  10. Shine on the Runway of Life

The images will make you drool, the recipes are quite simple, and also very inviting. I just opened the book to page 64: Stars and Stripes FRUIT PIZZA. As authentic as it is to being very traditional Italian foods, there’s a bit of USA nationalism thrown in for good measure.

Great book… Going from here right into my cook book collection.