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Cooking a feast fit for Romans



Italian food. Arguably the most popular cuisine in the world, it's a great deal more than lasagna and pizza.

And judging by recipes in "Saveur Cooks: Authentic Italian" from Saveur Magazine (Chronicle Books, $40), there are more styles of Italian food than even the well-versed diner can know.

Divided into chapters like "Cheese and Eggs," "Meats" and "Desserts," the book covers dishes familiar and exotic with photography so gorgeous your mouth will water.

Alongside recipes for rigatoni and spaghetti Pomadoro are dishes like "abbacchio al forno" (lamb with potatoes), the rich Roman soup called stracciatella, and a delicate pasta dish called "silk handkerchiefs" from Liguria.

The instructions are easy, even for the kitchen-inept, and the results will have guests talking for weeks. Plan a party.