Venetian Republic – Review & Giveaway

Enter our US giveaway to win one of two copies of Venetian Republic: Recipes from the Veneto, Adriatic Croatia, and the Greek Islands by Nino Zoccali with one additional copy being offered worldwide by Eat Your Books.

Nino Zoccali is an Australian chef and restauranteur whose first cookbook Pasta Artigiana: Simple to Extraordinary is brilliant and a favorite in my collection. When I learned that his second book, Venetian Republic was in the works I was thrilled and am happy to report that Zoccali does not disappoint in this offering.

The book is organized into the following chapters: Venice, the Veneto, Venetian Croatia, and ending with the Greek Islands of the Republic. Each of those chapters is subdivided into antipasti, pasta, rice and pies, mains, and dolci. The book ends with a chapter on base recipes.

The dishes here are to be relished and enjoyed with family and friends. While most of the recipes are not of the quick and easy variety they are not overly complex. Recioto red wine risotto with lardo, Venetian spider crab pie, and Bassano white asparagus with mountain hen egg salad are a few examples of the more elaborate dishes. In contrast, there are recipes for Cephalonian razor clams in gentilini robola, Orange sponge cake with candied grapes, and Classic Dalmatian coast seafood grill that can be put together without a great deal of effort.

The stunning photographs of the land- and sea-scapes and the lovely headnotes before each magnificent recipe make this book a keeper in every sense of the word. Venetian Republic is another example of a cookbook that senses your culinary/travel dreams and guides you to make them come true in your own kitchen.

Special thanks to Interlink for providing the recipes below for our members to try now as well as offering copies of this beautiful book in our giveaway below.

Mixed Venetian crostini: baccala mantecato 
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This is classic hacari (wine bar food), served in any one of the multitude of hole-in-the-wall wine bars in Venice. A very Venetian tradition is to enjoy these bite-sized crostini during the late-afternoon aperitivo hour, when couples, friends, and worn-out tourists round out the day with a selection of cicchetti (snacks) and omhrette (little glasses of regional wine). A tradition worth savoring, I say.

Prep Time 15 minutes, plus 48 hours for cod preparation
Cooking Time 35 minutes – Serves 4

  • 13½ oz (380 g) salt cod (baccala)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Generous ¾ cup (200 ml) extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing crostini
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 thin Italian baguette
  • 8 black olives, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Wash the excess salt from the salt cod and then soak it in cold water in the fridge for 48 hours, changing the water twice each day. This process will remove most of the fish’s saltiness. After 48 hours, remove the fish and pat it dry with paper towels.

Place the fish, garlic, and bay leaf in a large pot and cover with water. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside, discarding the fish skin, bones, and bay leaf.

Using a food processor, blend the fish to a paste, slowly adding the extra virgin olive oil in a steady stream to emulsify. Add the lemon juice and season with pepper (no salt needed).

Slice the baguette into½ inch (1 cm) slices on an angle, brush with olive oil, and toast until crisp under a broiler or in a cast-iron skillet on the stovetop.

Generously spread the baccala onto the crostini, then place the chopped olives on top and garnish with lemon zest and parsley.


Mixed Venetian crostini: tiny shrimp and mayonnaise 
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Prep Time 15 minutes – Cooking Time 5 minutes – Serves 4

  • 14 oz (400 g) small shrimp, cooked and peeled
  • Scant ½ cup (3½ oz/100 g) Mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¼ cup (½ oz/15 g) chopped chives
  • 1 thin Italian baguette
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing crostini
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the shrimp with the mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, zest, and chives and season with salt and pepper.

Slice the baguette into½ inch (1 cm) slices on an angle, brush with the olive oil, and toast until crisp under a broiler or in a cast-iron skillet on the stovetop. Place the shrimp mayonnaise mixture on top of the crostini and serve.


Mixed Venetian crostini: sardines “in saor” 
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Prep Time 10 minutes – Cooking Time 20 minutes – Serves 4

  • Scant ½ cup (2 oz/60 g) pine nuts
  • ½ cup (130 ml) extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing crostini
  • 8 sardine fillets
  • ½ cup (3 oz/80 g) sliced onions
  • ½ cup (70 ml) white wine
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) white wine vinegar
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • ½ cup (2 oz/60 g) raisins
  • 1 thin Italian baguette

Preheat the oven to 325° F (170°C). Arrange the pine nuts evenly on a baking sheet and roast for 6-8 minutes, or until lightly browned. Take out of the oven and remove the nuts from the sheet to prevent them over-coloring. Allow to cool completely before using.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat for 1 minute, then add the sardines and cook for 1 minute on each side. Remove from the pan and place on a serving platter.

dd the onion to the frying pan and cook over low heat for 10 minutes to soften. Add the wine, vinegar, cinnamon, bay leaves, thyme, and raisins and cook for 4 minutes, then pour over the sardines and allow to completely cool.

Slice the baguette into½ inch (1 cm) slices on an angle, brush with olive oil, and toast until crisp under a broiler or in a cast-iron skillet on the stovetop.

Top the crostini with the sardines in saor and garnish with pine nuts.


Mixed Venetian crostini: scallop and Castelluccio lentils
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Prep Time 10 minutes – Cooking Time 30 minutes – Serves 4

  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 1½ cups (330 ml) extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing crostini
  • ¾ cup (5½ oz/150 g) Castelluccio (or French Puy) lentils
  • ½ tomato, finely diced
  • 3½ oz (100 g) celery, finely diced
  • 14 oz (400 g) medium-sized scallops
  • ¼ cup (½ oz/15 g) finely chopped parsley
  • Scant ½ cup (100 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 thin Italian baguette
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a saucepan, sauté the garlic, bay leaf, rosemary, and onion in generous ¾ cup (200 ml) of the olive oil for 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add the lentils and tomato and cover with water.

Cook the lentils over medium heat for 20-25 minutes, until tender but not mushy, topping up with water if needed. Drain the lentils, remove the tomato skins, bay leaf and rosemary, and chill in the fridge.

Blanch the celery in boiling water for 10 seconds, then refresh in ice water. Drain and mix with the lentils.

Heat a sauté pan with 1½ tablespoons of the olive oil over high heat for 1 minute, then add the scallops and sear quickly for 1 minute, caramelizing both sides. Add the scallops to the lentil mix, then add the parsley, lemon juice, and remaining olive oil and season.

Slice the baguette into ½ inch (1 cm) slices on an angle, brush with olive oil, and toast until crisp under a broiler or in a cast-iron skillet on the stovetop.

Top the crostini with the lentils and scallops and serve.

Special thanks to Interlink Books for offering two copies of Venetian Republic in our giveaway with EYB providing one additional copy worldwide.  Entry options include answering the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won’t be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post and this forum post. Once you log in and enter your member name you will be directed to the next entry option – the blog comment. After that, there are additional options that you can complete for more entries. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on August 27th, 2020.

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69 Comments

  • VanessaJ  on  June 29, 2020

    Venetian spider crab pie, two of my loves, crab and pies…😋

  • suzielarose  on  June 29, 2020

    I left most of my cookbooks in long term storage and now I am missing going through them to get inspiration… I am intrigued by the recipes that are calling for snapper heads!

  • miznic  on  June 29, 2020

    Mixed Venetian crostini: scallop and Castelluccio lentils – because it sounds awesome.

  • matag  on  June 29, 2020

    Spicy lobster linguini

  • lean1  on  June 29, 2020

    Croatian blackberry crumble

  • RickPearson54  on  June 29, 2020

    spicy lobster linguini

  • Mtetpon  on  June 29, 2020

    Blackberry crumble

  • nvernon  on  June 29, 2020

    Seared chicken livers with muscatel grapes, sour cherries, and biancoperla white polenta

  • jinni  on  June 29, 2020

    I’d love to try Dubrovnik tuna pasticada with yellow polenta and smoked eggplant.

  • Shelley.b  on  June 29, 2020

    Croatian blackberry crumble

  • hbakke  on  June 29, 2020

    Rab Island almond and maraschino liqueur cake

  • ravensfan  on  June 29, 2020

    Sweet pea risotto

  • Alivdh  on  June 29, 2020

    Seafood Grill!

  • MarciK  on  June 29, 2020

    Veronese beef and cherry pastissada with celeriac and pancetta gratin

  • DarcyVaughn  on  June 29, 2020

    Venetian Prosecco and snapper risotto

  • KarinaFrancis  on  June 29, 2020

    The crostini with sardines en sour

  • LeilaD  on  June 30, 2020

    Pandoro tiramisu with homemade mascarpone

  • dbranigan27  on  June 30, 2020

    I would try the Sweet pea risotto.

  • sarahawker  on  June 30, 2020

    Venetian Carnival fritters

  • kmn4  on  June 30, 2020

    Venetian Carnival fritters

  • elinwoods  on  July 1, 2020

    I love pistachios, so easily the Osteria alle Testiere pistachio cake with pistachio gelato.

  • ruthdenton  on  July 1, 2020

    Roasted venetian duck with prunes

  • Julia28  on  July 1, 2020

    Venetian Carnival fritters

  • atticusfinch1048  on  July 1, 2020

    spicy lobster linguini

  • kmetcalfe727  on  July 1, 2020

    Mixed Venetian crostini: scallop and Castelluccio lentils

  • KevinSeattle  on  July 1, 2020

    I think I would try Grilled octopus and black-eyed pea salad with Messolonghi bottarga. I’ve had this at a local Greek restaurant and it’s delicious!

  • bopper  on  July 1, 2020

    Venetian Spider Crab pie

  • maci234  on  July 1, 2020

    Seafood Grill!

  • LeMinou  on  July 2, 2020

    Blackberry Crumble

  • Rurban  on  July 2, 2020

    Dalmatian pasta and borlotti beans with smoked pork hock and olive oil

  • Jow  on  July 2, 2020

    The blackberry crumble

  • JessHeilman  on  July 2, 2020

    Mixed Venetian Crostini

  • Isis1981uk  on  July 2, 2020

    Hemingway’s scampi remedy risotto

  • StudlyDoRight  on  July 2, 2020

    Mixed Venetian crostini: tiny shrimp and mayonnaise

  • calguire  on  July 2, 2020

    Hemingway’s scampi remedy risotto

  • agreaves19  on  July 2, 2020

    Croatian blackberry crumble

  • divamode  on  July 2, 2020

    Mixed Venetian sandwiches: tuna, caper, and Castelfranco radicchio tramezzini

  • ElizM  on  July 2, 2020

    Hemingway’s scampi remedy risotto

  • thensley1  on  July 3, 2020

    Blackberry crumble 😍

  • LaurenE  on  July 3, 2020

    Croatian blackberry crumble

  • PeavineBlues  on  July 3, 2020

    Lobster linguini

  • debbiehb  on  July 3, 2020

    Hemingway’s scampi remedy risotto

  • Sand9  on  July 3, 2020

    Ionian Plum Tart

  • Siegal  on  July 3, 2020

    🌶 🦞 🍝

    Spicy lobster linguini

  • Pizzacat13  on  July 3, 2020

    Dubrovnik tuna pasticada with yellow polenta and smoked eggplant…mmmm.

  • youngsvnnhrs  on  July 3, 2020

    Sweet pea risotto

  • t.t  on  July 4, 2020

    Osteria alle Testiere pistachio cake with pistachio gelato

  • roxlet  on  July 4, 2020

    Spicy lobster linguini. Perfect for summer!

  • dowdpe  on  July 4, 2020

    Roasted Venetian duck and prunes with potato and zucchini torta

  • emi10383  on  July 4, 2020

    Sweet pea risotto.

  • Tracey11  on  July 4, 2020

    I would first try the Roasted John Dory with porcini mushrooms and crisp potatoes.

  • acorgihouse  on  July 4, 2020

    Hemingway’s Scampi Remedy Risotto

  • JuneHawk  on  July 4, 2020

    The Tagliolini pasta with homemade butter, white Alba truffle, and Parmigiano Reggiano sounds amazing, I’d start there!

  • RuthHarwood  on  July 5, 2020

    Blackberry crumble

  • BlairHoffman  on  July 5, 2020

    Roasted John Dory with porcini mushrooms and crisp potatoes

  • BeH  on  July 5, 2020

    Tiny shrimp crostini.. a use for tiny shrimp

  • trudys_person  on  July 5, 2020

    Orange Sponge Cake with Candied Grapes – yum!

  • kjhines  on  July 6, 2020

    I would try the crostini with sardines because I love sardines and have few recipes with them.

  • jd5761  on  July 6, 2020

    spicy lobster linguini for me

  • gilmonster  on  July 6, 2020

    sweet pea risotto

  • kennethjohngilmour  on  July 8, 2020

    Valpolicella spiced pears with sweet cream found on page 122

  • fmd518  on  July 9, 2020

    Seafood Grill!

  • MissKoo  on  July 9, 2020

    Pumpkin and ricotta gnocchi

  • maisietoo  on  July 10, 2020

    Blackberry crumble and I’d add custard.

  • vhfvhf  on  July 11, 2020

    Mixed Venetian crostini: baccala mantecato

  • Roosta  on  July 11, 2020

    Venetian crema rosada

  • northwestwoman2020  on  July 12, 2020

    Spicy lobster linguini

  • HomespunHouse  on  July 12, 2020

    Venetian Spider Crab pie

  • Zigzag123  on  July 13, 2020

    Croatian blackberry crumble

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