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Cookbook Review of the Month - July 2008

This month's selection is Don't Fill Up On The Antipasto by Tony and Marc Danza.  I have been a long time fan of Tony Danza from his days on Taxi.  As I fellow Brooklynite, I can relate to his background which is so similar to my own.  In fact, his cookbook reminds me very much of my own in that it is a collection of Italian Family Favorites, and a memoir of his life.  This book has the recipes of noted TV personality Tony, his son Marc and his grandson Nicholas as well as other relatives too numerous to mention (and I you come from a big Italian family the way I do, you'll know exactly what I mean).  When you grow up in an Italian family, you don't have to go to culinary school, you live in a culinary school, there are no better teachers of Italian cuisine than our mothers, fathers, and grandparents...aunt, uncles and cousins, too!   As you read the book (which reads like a great autobiography as well as a cookbook), you will become a part of the Danza family, learn to appreciate great Italian food, and never want to eat out in an Italian restaurant because the food you make at home will always be better!!!!



  • Forward by Jackie Collins
  • In The Beginning
  • Gather Round the Table
  • Words from the Son
  • The Father Speaks
  • First Courses
  • Salads
  • Pizza
  • Pasta
  • Main Courses
  • Desserts
  • Acknowledgments and a Story
  • Index

There are so many wonderful family photos sprinkled like a great Parmiaggiano Reggiano throughout this book as well as several color plates of the actual recipes.  From the Holiday Antipasto (a traditiona in most Italian homes) to Marc's Super Bowl Guacamole, Cousin Patty's Italian Egg Drop Soup, Uncle John's Pasta with Proscuitto, the parmesan twins, chicken and eggplant, to tiramisu, this book has them all as well as a host of other delicious and tempting recipes.  It is as though I am looking through the pages of my mother's cookbook when I read through Tony's.  Run right out to Barnes and Noble, hook right up to Amazon, go where ever you have to, but buy this book immediately...Buon Appetito!!!!


Sample Recipe from the book: Sherman Oaks Pesto with Fusilli and Chicken

I choose this recipe although the pesto is Italian, Marc gives this recipe a nice twist with the addition of some jalapenos, showing that we Italians can heat it up with the best of them :)

Sherman Oaks Pesto with Fusilli and Chicken                                                                 

Yield 4-6 servings




  • 2 fresh jalapeno peppers (one red, one green) seeded
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts
  • grated zest of two lemons
  • 1 whole head of garlic, cloves peeled
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Lawry's seasoned salt
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 boneless, skinless whole chicken breasts, halved
  • 1 pound fusilli
  • 1/2 cup extra virdin olive oil
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved


  1. For the pesto, blend the jalapenos, sugar, ginger, macadamia nuts, lemon zest, garlic and 1/2 cup of the olive oil in a food processor.  Add the herbs and slowly pour in the remaiing 1/2 cp olive oil while the machine is still running.  Process until a puree is formed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  2. To prepare the chicken, mix the seasoned salt, Worcestershire, and soy sauce in a shallow bowl.  Add the chicken and turn to coat.  Marinate for 20 minutes, turning once or twice.

  3.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

  4.  Remove the chicken from the marinade andput it in a large casserole.  Cover with foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

  5.  To make the pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the fusilli until al dente.

  6.  Add the 1/2 cup of olive oil to a large skillet and heat to smoking.  Cut up the cooked chiken into chunks or julienne and sear in the hot olive oil.  Remove and drain on paper towels.  Drain the pasta and transfer to a large bowl.  Add the chicken and tomatoes, then toss with enough pesto to coat but not to drench it.



Book Title:

Don't Fill Up On the Antipasto


Tony and Marc Danza

Category: Celebrity Cookbooks
ISBN: 978-1-4165-4487-6


a division of Simon and Schuster, Inc.

Publisher address:

1230 Avenue of the Americas

New ork, NY 10020

Website or e-mail of publisher:
Published: 2008
Edition: First
Description: Hard Cover
Illustrated: no

Beautiful Color Photos

and Black and White Family Photos

Price: $22.00
Reviewed by: Elise Feiner
  June 18 , 2008


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