A tavola! by Katrina Pizzini

A collection of family recipes and stories by Katrina Pizzini

By Sara Schwarz
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A tavola! by Katrina Pizzini

A tavola! by Katrina Pizzini


I don’t know about you but I often feel overwhelmed by recipe books. Many are so bulky and packed full of recipes that I get indigestion just flicking through them. Which is why it was an absolute delight when Katrina Pizzini’s A tavola! landed with a ‘plink’ not a elephantine ‘thump’ on my doorstep.

If you’re a fan of Italian varietal wines and / or the King Valley region of North Eastern Victoria, then chances are you are familiar with the Pizzini name. The Pizzini’s were one of a number of Italian tobacco farming families in the Valley who in more recent times have become successful winemakers and restaurateurs.

This delightful and light (only 88 pages) book artfully interweaves favourite family recipes with Katrina’s own story from the time of her marriage to husband Fred Pizzini at just 17 and a half (the half is very important!), with the story of Pizzini Wines and the King Valley as farmers began replanting their land with vines, turning workman’s cottages into bed and breakfasts and opening up their kitchens and cellars to hungry travellers.

In recent years the King Valley has become a favourite destination for travellers for its picturesque outlook, quality authentic food and wine and some very popular annual festivals. The La Dolce Vita festival is held at cellar doors and restaurants across the region each November and attracts an ever growing crowd while Pizzini's Sangiovese e Salsicce Celebration has become an annual pilgrimage for many each Queen's Birthday weekend.

The recipes within are those Katrina has gathered and perfected over the years along with a selection gifted from her extended family. Inside you'll find hearty and tasty fare celebrating the Pizzini's italian heritage, Katrina's British parentage and a few Aussie favourites. Whatever the culinary history of the dish, each one celebrates the seasons, the importance of family, quality produce and always quality wine.

A tavola! is the perfect addition to anyone’s recipe collection if you’ve an interest in the region, Pizzini wines or are looking for an authentic family recipe book with quality unfussy tasty fare the whole family will enjoy. Each recipe is thoughtfully matched with a wine variety and the photography is simple and stylish.

We sat down to the Autumn Vegetable Lasagna (p54-5) and a bottle of Dal Zotto Sangiovese – made by the Pizzini’s cousins just down the road, so I’m sure Katrina wouldn’t mind – and as we dined with friends, we planned a trip to the region to experience La Dolce Vita or the Weekend Fit for a King festivals for ourselves.

Be warned, for a slim book A tavola! inspires big talk. Read through it and you'll find yourself making similar plans.


A tavola! is self-published by the Pizzini family (2009, RRP A$39.95) and available from Pizzini Wines cellar door (call 03 5729 8278), the Pizzini website and select bookstores around Wangaratta and Beechworth.





  • King Valley including Milawa (VIC)
  • Legends, Wine and High Country (NE Victoria) (VIC)
  • North East Victoria (VIC)

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July 22nd, 2011
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