Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner?

Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner? by Lisa Caponigri

Cookbook of the Week: Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner by Lisa Caponigri

Are Sunday dinners still possible with everyone having different schedules? They are with Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner? (Lisa Caponigri, 2012, ISBN 9781402784828). The cookbook contains 52 different and complete dinner menus to select from, and includes Italian family favorite recipes such as Pollo Cacciatore (Chicken Cacciatore) and Linguine con Vongole alla Nonna (Nana's Linguine with Clam Sauce).

52 Weeks of Full Menus in Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner?

The table of contents will be used frequently as the book is divided by weeks of the year. Each meal consists of an appetizer or snack to pass at the table, a first course (like pasta, risotto, or polenta), a main course with a side dish, and a dessert. The menus can be prepared as laid out, or mixed and matched for new dinner combinations. The photographs by Guy Abrosino and food styling by former Gourmet magazine editor Kate Winslow bring the recipes to life, and give the book a home-spun appeal.

And since all the recipes serve between 8 and 10 people, it encourages an open invitation for friends and relatives to come over for Sunday dinner or makes leftovers for another night easy for busy schedules. Recipes are simple, and with Caponigri making good use of fresh herbs, garlic, and vegetables, the recipes are colorful and full flavored as well. Side dishes, like the one below, stand well on their own, and would go with any main course in the family recipe box.

Pomodori Arrostiti con Aglio - Roasted Plum Tomatoes with Garlic

This dish is all about fresh flavors: ripe tomatoes, garlic, oregano, bay, and olive oil. Roasting accentuates the sweetness of the tomatoes and transforms the garlic cloves into savory softness—diners squeeze the cloves out onto slices of bread to spread.

  • 8 plum tomatoes, cut in half
  • 12 cloves of garlic, left unpeeled
  • 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
  • Italian bread for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 450F.
  2. Select a baking dish that will hold all the tomatoes snugly in a single layer. Place the tomatoes, cut side up, in the dish and push the garlic cloves between them.
  3. Brush the tomatoes with the olive oil, add the bay leaves, and sprinkle pepper over the top.
  4. Bake until the tomatoes have softened and are sizzling in the pan; they should be charred around the edges.
  5. Season the tomatoes with sea salt and a little more pepper, if you like. Sprinkle with the oregano and serve with bread (your guests and family squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their wrappers onto the bread for spreading).
Book Information:
  • Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner? A Year of Italian Menus, with 250 recipes that Celebrate Family; by Lisa Caponigri
  • Sterling Epicure; 2012
  • ISBN13: 9781402784828
  • Hardcover with dust jacket, 336 pages

Recipe reprinted with permission from Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner? © 2012 by Lisa Caponigri, Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co. Photographs by Guy Ambrosino.

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher. Any opinions are my own.

Renee Shelton
The Cookbook Papers


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