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Anyone have any recs for some italian cookbooks?

Dio di Romanese Nov 28, 2006 06:23 PM

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

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  1. MMRuth RE: Dio di Romanese Nov 28, 2006 06:30 PM

    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. eLizard RE: Dio di Romanese Nov 28, 2006 06:31 PM

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

      1 Reply
      1. re: eLizard
        Babette RE: eLizard Nov 28, 2006 08:47 PM

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

      2. beetlebug RE: Dio di Romanese Nov 28, 2006 06:36 PM

        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
          MMRuth RE: beetlebug Nov 28, 2006 06:38 PM

          I agree about the sparseness of the directions.

        2. oakjoan RE: Dio di Romanese Nov 28, 2006 06:36 PM

          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
            Nettie RE: oakjoan Nov 29, 2006 03:25 AM

            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. Meg RE: Dio di Romanese Nov 28, 2006 06:46 PM

            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
              oakjoan RE: Meg Nov 28, 2006 09:20 PM

              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. coll RE: Dio di Romanese Nov 28, 2006 08:16 PM

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

              2 Replies
              1. re: coll
                MMRuth RE: coll Nov 28, 2006 08:24 PM

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

                1. re: MMRuth
                  coll RE: MMRuth Nov 28, 2006 11:47 PM

                  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. m
                Mr. Cookie RE: Dio di Romanese Nov 28, 2006 09:23 PM

                Marcella, Marcella, Marcella

                1. rosielucchesini RE: Dio di Romanese Nov 28, 2006 10:16 PM

                  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. NYchowcook RE: Dio di Romanese Nov 28, 2006 11:15 PM

                    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. sharonanne RE: Dio di Romanese Nov 28, 2006 11:49 PM

                      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. r
                        rufustfirefly RE: Dio di Romanese Nov 28, 2006 11:51 PM

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

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: rufustfirefly
                          Dio di Romanese RE: rufustfirefly Nov 29, 2006 02:07 AM

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

                          1. re: rufustfirefly
                            bethd127 RE: rufustfirefly Nov 29, 2006 01:34 PM

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

                            1. re: rufustfirefly
                              SarahEats RE: rufustfirefly Dec 6, 2006 08:38 PM

                              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. f
                              fara RE: Dio di Romanese Nov 29, 2006 02:08 AM

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

                              1. shindiganna RE: Dio di Romanese Nov 29, 2006 01:39 PM

                                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. f
                                  FAL RE: Dio di Romanese Dec 6, 2006 08:33 PM

                                  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. p
                                    PateBriseej RE: Dio di Romanese Dec 6, 2006 08:42 PM

                                    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. thegolferbitch RE: Dio di Romanese Dec 6, 2006 09:09 PM

                                      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
                                        am901 RE: thegolferbitch Dec 12, 2006 02:40 PM

                                        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. potterstreet RE: Dio di Romanese Dec 12, 2006 02:59 PM

                                        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. a
                                          atlantachowhound RE: Dio di Romanese Dec 12, 2006 03:01 PM

                                          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. shindiganna RE: Dio di Romanese Dec 15, 2006 02:01 AM

                                            -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
                                              bropaul RE: shindiganna Dec 15, 2006 11:37 AM

                                              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. johnb RE: Dio di Romanese Dec 15, 2006 03:15 PM

                                              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. lollya RE: Dio di Romanese Dec 15, 2006 05:25 PM

                                                any great vegetarian italian???

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: lollya
                                                  bropaul RE: lollya Dec 15, 2006 09:01 PM

                                                  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
                                                    oakjoan RE: lollya Dec 20, 2006 05:36 PM

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

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