Our Italian Legacy Of Love, Chiara Viljoen

Our Italian Legacy Of Love is a beautiful family story, and the authors have a restaurant I would love to visit. I love the saying “only ice cream belongs in the freezer”. This is so true for restaurants who should not be reheating meals that have been cooked in advance and frozen.

What do you get when you add a little Italian, a little South African and a whole lot of love?
A legacy of classic yet contemporary dishes from the Café del Sol family kitchen. Chiara and Ryan have transferred the treasured memories of both their nonnas, as well as their mama, Luciana, to the tables of Café del Sol, and now this cookbook.
Basking in a combined Italian and South African heritage, this family knows how to put their heart and soul into presenting the most scrumptious food to their guests, and now you, the reader. From colazione (breakfast) and antipasto (appetisers), through primo (pasta and risotto) and secondo (main courses), to desserts and cocktails… we challenge you to page through this book without your appetite roaring to life!
So step into the kitchen with the Café del Sol famiglia and delight your family and friends by making these dishes in the comfort of your home. Create your own legacy of love with these contemporary Italian recipes. Buon appetito!
Chapters are divided into:
  • Staples
  • Colazione (Breakfast)
  • Antipasto (Appetisers)
  • Primo (Pastas and Risottos)
  • Secondo (Main Course)
  • Dolce Vita (Desserts)
  • Cocktails

Recipes that caught my eye:
  • Chicken Broth (p21)
  • Fresh Mussel Pot (p42)
  • Minestrone (p53)
  • Nonna’s Secret Ragu (p67)
  • Creamy Chicken (p78)
  • Prawns with a creamy limoncello sauce (p81)
  • Flambéed Porcini with pappardelle (p89)
  • Porcini and Pea Risotto (p100)
  • Oxtail Risotto (p104)
  • Limoncello Risotto (p107)
  • Gnudi (p112)
  • Prawn and Ricotta Ravioli (p116)
  • Crespelle/Cannelloni with spinach and ricotta (p125)
  • Bistecca alla Fiorentina (p139)
  • Stuffed Calamari (p146)
  • Chiacchiere (p160)
  • Semifreddo (p167)
  • Negroni Classic (p176)
Minestrone
What I made:

I made Mamma’s Peperoni (p14) as Dave requested that I make the Chicken and Chorizo with red pepper purée (p82). Not wanting to peel the peppers before I started cooking, I adjusted what I did. The flavour of the resultant purée was amazing. I also adjusted the recipe for the chicken and chorizo dish as I could see no reason to add so much cream. It turned out perfectly in my opinion.  Dave also asked me to make the Chicken Livers in sage (p45) which had far too much cream (again) in my opinion. I used way less than suggested and the result was perfect. The Minestrone was perfect, and one of our favourite soups for winter. I will make this again and again for sure. The recipe for Semifreddo is simple, but needs to be halved. I will take that into consideration when I publish it.

My impressions:

Any recipe book that encourages people to cook fresh food resonates with me. I love the quotes used and there are really good tips amongst the recipes. The photographs are enticing but it is a pity there are none of the ravioli being made from start to finish.

Publishing information:
ISBN 9781485900771
Format Hardback
Published September 2021

Penguin Random House South Africa sent me this recipe book to review.

Take a look at what was previously posted on Lavender and Lime on June 22:

 


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6 thoughts on “Our Italian Legacy Of Love, Chiara Viljoen

  1. We are really great fans of Italian food (my husband’s Nona was from Livorno in Italy). I am not familiar with South African cuisine and am curious about the influences in this cookbook. Great review- thanks Tandy.

    1. Livorno is such a beautiful place! I hope I can introduce you to some South African food. We are a diverse culture with influence from Europe and India to name just a few.

  2. Italian cuisine seems adaptable wherever Italian people settle! 100 years ago it became fully part of the American restaurant scene. I wonder how long it’s been nativizing in SA.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    1. Italians have lived in South Africa since the 17th Century but the oldest restaurant in Cape Town seems to only be 65 years old. I grew up eating Sicilian food, made by my friends parents and grandparents.

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