by Frankie Avalon, Rick Rodgers
Entertainment legend Frankie Avalon has cooked his way from his mother’s kitchen in South Philadelphia to Hollywood and Las Vegas. Here in his first cookbook are pitch-perfect recipes for such Italian classics as Tomato-Ricotta Lasagna and Three-Meat Sunday Gravy with Pasta, as well as unexpected treasures like Roast Pork with Fig Sauce and Pork Milanese on Kale Salad.
Frankie Avalon’s Italian Family Cookbook is first and foremost a collection of over 80 of his favorite dishes, ones that Frankie and his wife Kay regularly serve to their eight children and ten grandchildren.
Weeknight meals, Sunday suppers, and holiday feasts are all covered with must-have recipes—each one taste-tested by Avalons of all ages. And Frankie is a great storyteller, so delicious tales of more than five
decades in show business pop up like meatballs in marinara sauce. Novice and experienced cooks will find a lot to love between these pages—dozens of heirloom recipes, mouthwatering food photographs, plus candid shots of Frankie at home in Southern California with his family and some of his favorite food places and pals in the old neighborhood in Philly, tips on Italian ingredients, advice on cooking for a crowd, and more.
Frankie’s latest ventures include his food company, which specializes in prepared Italian food products, like rice balls and sausages, based on his heritage (his father was a butcher).
Avalon, former teenage film and music heartthrob, now QVC food retailer, presents 85 family-favorite recipes in this homage to his parents’ Italian table. Steeped in his South Philadelphia roots, dishes
are inspired by his butcher father’s sausage and “those gravy splattered pages” of his mother’s time-honored recipe collection. There’s nothing surprising, but the recipes are simple and inviting. Antipasti feature bruschetta and stuffed mushrooms or artichokes. Soups and salads offer twists on pasta fagioli, and caprese with grilled tomatoes, pesto, and melting mozzarella. For seafood, there’s spaghetti with crab marinara, a branzino-fennel-pancetta dish, and creamy lemon-sauced fettucine with shrimp. A sparerib-based Sunday gravy with veal meatballs and sausage, or tender braised braciole are special occasion dishes. Desserts feature limoncello pound cake and ricotta fritters with berries. Photos of the Avalon table, Frankie’s extended showbiz family, and Philly neighborhood food haunts appear throughout. There’s also a list of essential kitchen staples for the Italian-American pantry. For Avalon, large family meals mean comfort and a way to preserve family memories. In this labor of love, future generations of Italian food fans will find something to sing about.
Agent: Alan Morell, Creative Management Agency. (Sept.)
Publisher:St. Martin’s Press
Product dimensions: 8.10(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.70(d)