Hotel Granduca chef, ‘Tasting Rome’ author team up for April 11 dinner, book signing

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Tasting_Rome_Cookbook-e1452785664145 Do artichokes make you think of Rome?

Pizza and pasta aren’t the only foods you can find in one of Europe’s great cities, and a local chef and Rome-based cookbook author are joining forces for a dinner on April 11 at Visconti Ristorante inside the Hotel Granduca, off Loop 360 in the Westlake area.

Hotel Granduca chef Tom Parlo and “Tasting Rome” author Katie Parla, distant cousins who apparently haven’t yet met, are hosting an event at 6:30 p.m. that will include a book singing and a four-course dinner featuring several recipes from Parla’s book, which comes out this week.

(Also coming out this week is a story in the Wednesday food section about making vacation plans — or at least vacation dreams — through international cookbooks.)

Tickets, which cost $150 per person, include a copy of the book. You can make reservations by calling 512-306-6424 or emailing proy@granducaaustin.com.

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These baked vegetables with bread crumbs are from “Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City.” Photo by Kristina Gill.

Baked Vegetables with Bread Crumbs

2 red bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips
2 white onions, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rings
2 zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1 Tbsp. sea salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the seasoned bread crumbs:
8 to 10 slices dry country bread, torn into bite-size pieces
2 tsp. dry oregano or chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbsp. grated Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano

First, make the bread crumbs: Heat the oven to 250 degrees. Spread the bread pieces on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until crispy and completely dried out, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to cool, and pulse in a food processor until finely ground to the size of coarse coffee grounds.

In a medium bowl, combine the bread crumbs with the oregano and grated cheese. Mix thoroughly. The seasoned bread crumbs will keep in an airtight container for 1 or 2 days.

Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees. On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet or in an unlined casserole dish, toss the vegetables with the salt, then with 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Layer the bread crumbs on top, at least 1/4-inch thick.

Drizzle over the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and bake, covered with aluminum foil, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the vegetables have reduced in size considerably. Uncover and continue to bake until the vegetables are soft, 20 to 30 minutes more. Serve hot. Serves 4 to 6.

— From “Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City” by Katie Parla and Kristina Gill (Clarkson Potter, $30)


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