Italy Celebrates Gastronome Pellegrino Artusi

Fri, 02/25/2011 - 03:33

Pellegrino Artusi, author of famous Italian cookbook La scienza in cucina e l'arte di mangiare bene (The Science of Cooking and the Art of Eating Well), can be considered by any measure ‘the father of Italian cuisine'. This year the 100th anniversary of his death will be remembered with special events and celebrations, especially in Forlimpopoli (Artusi’s birth place) and Florence (the city where Artusi spent his life), Turin and Rome.

Artusi made his fortune as a silk merchant, but after retiring he devoted himself to fine dining. In 1891, at age of 71, he completed his cookbook ‘The Science of Cooking and the Art of Eating well’ where he included amusing anecdotes as well as recipes. The book was
immediately a success and went on to become one of the most read books of the time, together with I Promessi Sposi by Alessandro Manzoni and Pinocchio by Collodi.

Before Artusi died in Florence in 1911, more than 200,000 copies had been already sold. The book is a perennial best seller in Italy and the recipes are still cooked and tested today, you can find it translated in Spanish, Dutch, German and English.

In 1904 Artusi published a practical manual for the kitchen, with over 3,000 recipes and 150 tables, simply entitled Ecco il tuo libro di cucina (Here is your cookbook) with the anonymous participation and influence of the baroness Giulia Turco.

Writing only two decades after the unification of Italy, Artusi was the first to include recipes from all the different regions of Italy in a single cookbook. He is often credited with establishing a truly national Italian cuisine for the first time and the coincidence of the 100th anniversary of his death with the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy could not go unnoticed.

The events and initiatives to celebrate Artusi include a conference in Florence and Folimpopoli about Artusi and his work, an Artusi-themed dinner held in different Italian cities on the 17th of March, Italy’s National holiday, to celebrates Italy’s unification, a theatrical performance,various demonstrations and videos, and a national competition.

If you would like to know more about the gastronome who contributed to further unite Italy through his literary ability and exceptional recipes from all regions this is the best time to find related events and information.

To know more about the events in Forlimpopoli and Florence you cann write to

You can buy the English version here and the Italian version in pdf file here.


Below is Artusi's recipe n. 110: Chicken liver crostini.


Crostini di fegatini di pollo

Sapete già che ai fegatini va levata la vescichetta del fiele senza romperla, operazione questa che eseguirete meglio operando dentro a una catinella d'acqua. Mettete i fegatini al fuoco insieme con un battutino composto di uno scalogno, e in mancanza di questo di uno spicchio di cipollina bianca, un pezzetto di grasso di prosciutto, alcune foglie di prezzemolo, sedano e carota, un poco d'olio e di burro, sale e pepe; ma ogni cosa in poca quantità per non rendere il composto piccante o nauseante.

A mezza cottura levate i fegatini asciutti e, con due o tre pezzi di funghi secchi rammolliti, tritateli fini colla lunetta. Rimetteteli al fuoco nell'intinto rimasto della mezza cottura e con un poco di brodo finite di cuocerli, ma prima di servirvene legateli con un pizzico di pangrattato fine e uniteci un po' d'agro di limone.

Vi avverto che questi crostini devono esser teneri e però fate il composto alquanto liquido, oppure intingete prima, appena appena, le fettine di pane nel brodo.


Chicken liver crostini

You already know that from the liver you need to remove the gall without breaking it, an operation which can be better performed working within a bowl of water. Place the chicken livers onto the fire with a mixture of chopped shallot, or a quarter white onion, a piece
of ham fat, a few leaves of parsley, celery and carrot, a little oil and butter, salt and pepper. But everything in small quantities as not to make the mixture hot or nauseating.

When the chicken livers are half-cooked and dry, remove from the heat and finely chop with two or three pieces of dried mushrooms, previously softened. Return it to the fire in the same pan with a little broth and finish cooking, but before you use them thicken with
a pinch of bread crumbs and add some lemon juice.

I warn you that these crostini should be soft and make the mixture quite liquid, or dip the bread into the broth beforehand.

Topic:Culture Books