Book Review: “Big Night In” by Domenica Marchetti

This month, in the spirit of the holidays, colder temps, and lots of family togetherness, I am featuring one of my favorite go-to cookbooks for the season: “Big Night In: More than 100 Wonderful Recipes for Feeding Family and Friends Italian-Style,” by Domenica Marchetti. My dear mother nabbed this book for me during a signing with the author herself, who happens to be local – even better!  

This is a beautiful book, full of comfort food recipes that will satisfy your soul and warm you through on a chilly Sunday afternoon.  Some of my favorites include Gorgonzola Stuffed Dates, Sausage Stuffed Olives, a divine Seafood Risotto with Prosecco (wow!), a stunning Pasta Timballo–one of those incredible pastry domes stuffed with pasta, tiny meatballs, delicious pork ragu, and lots of yummy melted cheese, and a Spicy Seafood Chowder with Sweet Fennel. I have also been known to make a giant batch of the Smoky Ham and Corn Chowder in my crock pot–it serves an army for New Year’s Day lunch, or a couple of families on a cozy football Sunday.

And lest I forget about desserts (gasp!) let me push the Sour Cherry-Mascarpone Pound Cake, or the Bittersweet Mocha Torte with Grappa and Walnuts–insanely good!  

This book is such a lovely reminder of all the reasons we love to be in the heart of the home during the winter holiday season–to enjoy family, friends, big flavors, decadent comfort foods, and the fruits of our kitchen labor. There are suggestions for various festive menus too, like “Buon Giorno-A Big Morning In,” which features “Heavenly Eggs with Mascarpone,” and homemade popovers, or “An Elegant New Year’s Dinner for 6,” featuring Beef Tenderloin and a gorgeous Savory Carrot Crostata.  

Pick up or check out a copy of this beautiful book, put on your PJs, and dive into the comforts of your kitchen!