Cook the Book: Lidia's Italy

cover-lidiasitaly.jpgThis week's Cook the Book feature is Lidia's Italy by Lidia Bastianich, famed restaurateur, Public Television personality and—as of last week—Papal chef. In her latest culinary compendium, Lidia takes home cooks on a whirlwind gastronomic tour of ten different places in Italy, from northern Piemont and central Rome, to southern Puglia and the island of Sicily.

These are the regions that Lidia loves best, and the ones that have most informed her own cooking. As she writes in her introduction: "Now I ask you to come with me to some of my favorite places in Italy. I want to introduce you to my friends and to some of the very fine food artisans who are keeping the Italian culinary tradition alive. I want you to meet some of the special people who make up the heartbeat of the cities in Italy, to experience the way they enjoy life, to see how they shop, and how the cook with these traditional products."

Win 'Lidia's Italy' The 140 recipes are homey and diverse, from traditional pasta and fish dishes (think tomato ragu and brodetto), to innovative antipastos and desserts (roast peppers stuffed with tuna and anchovy, babàs with limoncello). We'll be excerpting one every day this week as part of our ongoing Cook the Book feature. In addition, we're giving away copies to five lucky readers. To enter for a chance to win, simply tell us in the comments section below: when you're cooking to impress, what dish do you prepare?