Cicciotti’s Kitchen cookbook unfolds easy Italian family recipes in your cucina

Chef Gaetano Cicciotti grew up in Naples, Italy. As a child, he spent hours in the kitchen watching his mother and grandmother cook with simple, fresh local ingredients. Their knowledge and love of food sparked Chef Gaetano’s career as a chef. In 2002, he opened Cicciotti’s Trattoria in Cardiff by the Sea, CA. Cicciotti’s Kitchen cookbook includes recipes served in the restaurant as well as family recipes. Ranging from very easy to somewhat advanced cooking techniques, the recipes take you on a journey of Italian cuisine. The cookbook is broken up into sections: Salse (Sauces), Antipasti (Appetizers), Zuppe (Soup), Paste (Pasta), and Specialità (Specialties).

In the Antipasti section, we tried the Gamberi Margherita con Polenta (Shrimp in Cream Sauce with Polenta). The one thing I would change in this recipe is to prepare the polenta first. It took longer to cook based on the package directions. To mold the polenta, it needs to cool a bit to set. We didn’t have time to let it cool so it came out more like cheese grits versus polenta. I also found the polenta a bit bland so I doctored it up with double the gorgonzola and added granulated garlic. The cream sauce and shrimp turned out perfectly and we loved the flame of brandy as a show effect.


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