Jarrett Wrisley, who lived in Italy, and Paolo Vitaletti, who is from Falcognano, near Rome, and is a chef and partner at Appia, an Italian restaurant in Bangkok, have written a compelling new travel and recipe book. The result of several trips to Italy, it explores the foods that punctuate the Via Appia, the ancient Roman road. They take the reader from Emilia-Romagna south through Tuscany, Umbria, Lazio and down to Campania and Puglia, then back to Rome. Along the way, they summon encounters with local food producers and discuss the often rustic tastes of these regions with a penchant for vegetables, sturdy cheeses and offal. A raw zucchini salad with Parmigiano-Reggiano and mint, and seafood meatballs in Bari were two of the recipes I’ll keep, along with everything they say about anchovies. For making cacio e pepe and carbonara, there’s a clever method using a bowl suspended over the pasta pot. Their all’Amatriciana profiled in Amatrice, before it was destroyed by the 2016 earthquake, brought back memories. The photographs are beautiful, but those that do not illustrate recipes lack helpful captions.
“The Roads to Rome” by Jarrett Wrisley and Paolo Vitaletti (Clarkson Potter, $40).