"I wanted to have all of these recipes down on paper," Tucci told PEOPLE recently at a Gilt City event in New York. "They were so influential in my life and one of the reasons I am who I am."
More than 10 years ago, Tucci actually released a cookbook filled with his parents' delectables (entitled Cucina & Famiglia), but due to publishing issues, that edition slowly faded away. But with the help of his new wife, literary agent Felicity Blunt, and chef friend Gianni Scappin, Tucci was able to reissue the book this season, adding new photography, new recipes and a foreward by chef Mario Batali.
"It's full of really easy, great recipes to cook every night," Tucci said, adding that while he didn't write much, he did a lot of taste testing. "And I'm just glad it's out there."
A portion of proceeds from sales will benefit Food Bank for New York City, as well.
Interested in a hearty family dish? Try one of Tucci's favorites, created by his grandmother:
Steak OreganatoServes 6
1 top round beef steak (2½ to 3 lbs.)
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
½ cup dry red wine
½ tsp. dried oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Courtesy of Gallery Books
Warm the butter and olive oil in a large sauté pan set over medium-high heat. When the butter is foaming rapidly, add the steak and fry to brown on one side, about 3 minutes. (If the steak is larger than your sauté pan, cut in half.)
Turn and season with salt and pepper.
Brown the other side, about 3 minutes.
Remove from the pan to a warm platter and set aside.
Add the wine and oregano to the pan, scraping up any meat that may have stuck to the bottom. Simmer to sweeten the wine, about 1 minute.
Meanwhile, cut the meat into six equal portions. When the wine sauce is ready, pour it over the meat and serve immediately.