With life in Italy becoming increasingly urbanized and Americanized, le nonne (Italian for "the grandmothers") are the last generation that knows the rich traditions and unique dishes of the country's towns, valleys and hilltops. Carol Field goes trolling through Italy's back roads to find these true guardians of the Italian culinary heritage, and weaves their stories, wisdom and dishes together in a wonderful cookbook that celebrates their history and preserves their timeless wisdom. In these pages are the authentic meals enjoyed by generations of Italians. There are savory breads such as Gnocco Ingrassato (made with crunchy cubes of pancetta), such fruit preserves as Le Pesche d'Estate (peaches in lemon and sugar syrup), sumptuous sauces like Salsa Piccante alla Senape (spicy mustard) and mouthwatering meat dishes like Agnello in Umido (braised lamb with green olives). And what's a meal without dessert? Tempting fare like Crema Bacchica (literally, Bacchuss pudding -- a cinnamon-and-clove-scented pudding flavored with wine) and Torta di Mandorle e Cioccolata (chocolate almond tart) will elicit heartfelt cheers of "magnifico" from grateful gourmets.