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Anyone have any recs for some italian cookbooks?

Anyone have "Italian Easy: Recipes from the London River Cafe" and the second book how are they?

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  1. I have the other one - I think it's called the River Cafe Cookbook or something like that. I like it - the amatriciana is a favorite - but there are some errors in the book in terms of ingredient amounts.

    1. if you're asking for rec's. Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Italian Cooking is outstanding.

      1 Reply
      1. re: eLizard

        Second that. I also use Cucina Fresca frequently--by Viana La Place & Evan Kleiman.

      2. I've borrowed Italian Easy from the library. Unlike my other library cookbooks, this one was returned fairly quickly.

        Although there are some beautiful pictures and clever organization of the book (what jumps to mind is the bruschetta section where each page has about 15 pictures of brushcetta and the next page had the ingredients), there were major flaws in the book. The biggest flaw was that the ingredients weren't quite accurate. There was always something a little off about them. The few dishes I made came out a bit flavorless, and I upped and added some ingredients. It's not that the directions were sparse (which they were) but the combination of flavors within the dishes just didn't work. After a couple of recipes (I made a few pasta recipes), I returned the book and moved on.

        1 Reply
        1. re: beetlebug

          I agree about the sparseness of the directions.

        2. Although I generally am put off by Mario Batali's antics, I really like Molto Italiano.

          My favorite Italian cookbook is Italian Regional Cooking by Ada Boni. It's a beauty of a book (if it's still in print) with gorgeous pictures and recipes from each region. I also have Marcella's 2 book set (can't remember the name but they're at least 20 years old)

          1 Reply
          1. re: oakjoan

            I'm pretty sure the Ada Boni book is out of print. However, it looks like you can get a copy from www.alibris.com (that's where I got mine).

          2. The Silver Spoon, is the hands down best Italian cook book I've ever used or come across. It's the Italian version of the Joy of Cooking - what Italian mama's and grandma's have used for almost a century, and only last year was it translated and released in English. And it's much easier to find this year than last. It is a Bible of Italian cooking. Great simple recipes and lots of pictures. But best of all it has separate sections for each course and each major ingredient (from 20 different vegetables to every meat and fish imageinable). I've made 30 or so recipes from it in the last year. If only we could get the same quality ingredients in the US, it would taste just like my tour of Tuscany last year!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Meg

              Weird. I posted about a bargain Silver Spoon at COSTCO and got mainly "don't bother" responses. This was about 2 weeks ago, I think.

            2. I love Sophia Loren's Recipes and Memories, haven't gotten a mediocre dish yet.

              2 Replies
              1. re: coll

                I've been pleasantly surprised by that one - it was a gift.

                1. re: MMRuth

                  I originally bought a copy as a gift for someone else, then was amazed at the great food she suddenly produced and when I said so, she got me a copy. Every recipe is simple and perfect.

              2. Marcella, Marcella, Marcella

                1. I purchased the Silver Spoon a few months ago and I have yet to make anything from it. Granted, it is a beautiful book and very inspiring but I find the regional cooking from Biba Caggiano's books to much more doable and easier to navigate. Her lates is Biba's Italy. While I don't have a copy yet as I am hoping Santa has one for me under the tree, it is my understanding that it has no pictures so if you like gorgeous food styling with your cookbooks, this one isn't for you. However, I have 3 of her others: Italy Al Dente, Biba's Northern Italian Cooking and Biba's Italian Kitchen and my absolute favorite is Italy Al Dente. It focuses on just pasta, soups, and risotto-very rustic recipes and all very easy to replicate.

                  1. Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking is my bible, that I cook from weekly. Never let me down. The eggplant patties alone are worth the book shelf space!

                    I also like Faith Willinger's "Red, White & Greens", a cookbook of vegetables, by the American emissary of Italian cooking, much as Diana Kennedy did for Mexican cuisine (and Marcella did for Italian!) Not glitzy, but reliable authentic recipes.

                    1. Anything by Anna del Conte. The recipes vary from easy to difficult but are extremely reliable. Just Google her name for a list of titles.

                      1. Does anybody have anything to say about any of Lidia Bastianich's cookbooks?

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: rufustfirefly

                          i love watching lidia but alot of her recipes dont appeal to me, except he fritto misto that was delicious

                          1. re: rufustfirefly

                            I have Lidia's Family table. I really like this one, especially when cooking for a large group

                            1. re: rufustfirefly

                              I have three of her books - two I use frequently, one I've never even opened (one of her earlier books). Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen is my standby cookbook for anything Italian. Lidia' Family Table has some more "exotic" recipes that I'm interested in trying, but haven't gotten around to yet. That book also contains one of my favorite Lidia recipes - sugo with sausage meatballs. There's a hint of orange in the sauce and the recipe is to die for!

                            2. The books from Gangivecchio, especially the first one. Really outstanding.

                              1. i have lidia's family table also. It's good. What really sold me on it: her recipe for eggplant in tomato sauce. My grandmother used to stew cocozza (baseball bat squash) in tomato sauce and always did what Lidia suggests: fold in a scrambled egg before serving....

                                1. Sliver Spoon is great
                                  Giuliano Bugialli's on Pasta , a must
                                  Marcella Hazen Essentail's of Italian Cook
                                  Jamie Oliver's Food of Italy is a great book
                                  David Ruggerio Litte Italy
                                  Mario Batili all his book are real cool
                                  I am a long time follower of G Bugialli's cook books. I have everyone he has ever put out and I never been dipleased with his cooking methods.

                                  1. Lidia' Family Table rocks! She's one of my PBS fav's. I also love Jamie Olivers "Happy Days" his carbonara recipe is amazing.


                                    1. I have to say, though it was bought for my dad as a joke, Dom Deluise's (I'm not kidding)"Eat This, It'll Make You Feel Better" has never led me astray. There's a good variety of recipes and it has good, basic info, especially for beginning Italian cookery.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: thegolferbitch

                                        I agree, growing up in a house where my grandmother(from Italy) did all the cooking-the dishes in Dom's book are the closest I've ever come to having grandmas recipes written down. I've bought this book for many wedding showers of friends who always said "can I just have some of your grandmas recipies?" And I just found out though the original is out of print you can buy the reprint exclusively at Dom Deluises site. http://www.domdeluise.com/cookbooks.html

                                      2. marcella, obviously - great great books. but i'd also point out enthusiastically - lynne rossetto kasper's "splendid table' which is really great - focuses on emiglia romagna, and patricia wells' trattoria - both of which are favorites of mine.

                                        1. i agree about lynne rosetto kasper's "splendid table" - took a few cooking classes from her a really long time ago and she is into the history of the Emiglia Romagna region and her recipes rock. Very easy to follow. Enjoy!

                                          1. -The Art of Italian Cooking by Maria LoPinto, 1948 (the old standby)

                                            -Italian Cooking In the Grand Tradition by Jo Bettoja (elaborate menus for special occasions)

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: shindiganna

                                              I'm glad to see someone else mention Jo Bettoja's "Italian Cooking in the Grand Tradition". It was the first Italian Cookbook I ever got and I still use it all the time. I also have her book on Southern Italian Cooking, but I don't use it as much - many of the recipes are quite involved. Of course, Marcella Hazan, too.

                                            2. Ada Boni's book that was mentioned above is a great old standby. It has been "out of print" for years, and I used to see it on remainder shelves perpetually but haven't noticed it lately. A good one to get if you see it, or maybe on eBay.

                                              Has anyone tried Fabio Trabocchi's new book on cooking of the Marche? It supposedly has lots of down home Italian recipes. He is chef at Maestro in Tyson's Corner VA (the DC area).

                                              1. any great vegetarian italian???

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: lollya

                                                  I am sure that some exist, but so much Italian food is already vegetarian (not vegan!)that there's plenty you could cook from any Italian cookbook.

                                                  1. re: lollya

                                                    I used to have an Italian veggie cookbook. I'll look for it tonight and post if I can find it.