Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jan 11, 2007 05:30 PM

advice requested for best italian regional cookbooks

Hi, I'm trying to improve the section of my cookbook collection devoted to regional Italian cookbooks. I have several that deal with the country in its post-Garibaldi whole, but few dedicated to Sicily, Sardinia, etc. Any tips would be welcome! Thanks

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The only regional cookbook I have is Italian Regional Cooking by Ada Boni - a big, photo-filled book with loads of great recipes. Don't know if it's in print anymore. Can't help with individual books on specific regions.

    1. Naples at Table(Campania) by Arthur Schwartz and The Splendid Table(Emilia-Romagna)by Lynne Rossetto Kasper are good.

      1. Another good one is Rustico: Regional Italian Country Cooking by Micol Negrin.

        1. For Sicilian cooking, check out "The Flavors of Sicily" or "The Heart of Sicily" by Anna Tasca Lanza. Her family owns the Regaliali winery in Sicily and she also runs a cooking school there.

          I agree with "Naples at Table" by Arthur Schwartz -- a great cookbook covering the Campania region.

          1. For Sicily, quite a few, but Mary Taylor Simeti's On Persephone's Island and Wanda Tornabene's La Cucina Sicilian di Gangivecchio are excellent. For Puglia, Nancy Harmon Jenkin's classic Flavors of Puglia is out of print (though there will be a comprehensive Southern Italian cookbook by Jenkins, La Cucina del Sole, out in April--a must have); Viana LaPlace's La Bella Cucina is a lovely guide to home dishes from the Salento plains of Puglia. Colman Andrews's book on the Riviera covers both Liguria and its French neighbor in brilliant cultural detail, and Fred Plotkin's similar book (title escapes me, but it's got Paradise in it) focuses just on Liguria.

            1 Reply
            1. re: obob96

              I like Mary Taylor Simeti's Pomp and Sustenance for Sicilian, although it might be more a book about the food than a cookbook. I like the recipes in Anna Tasca Lanza's Heart of Sicily, but after taking a class from her I can't forget what a total diva she is (the assistant instructor couldn't do anything well enough to please her, and she wasn't very nice about it).

              I'll second Nancy Harmon Jenkins' Flavors of Puglia, and add her Flavors of Tuscany.

              I don't have Fred Plotkin's Liguria book Recipes from Paradise, but I love the recipes (and travel ideas) in his Italy for the Gourmet Traveller. I also notice that he has a book on Friuli-Venezia Giulia (!) called La Terra Fortunata.

              I'll also second Ada Boni's Italian Regional Cooking, and note that you can find a copy of it (and other out-of-print books) at

              Emilia-Romagna: Lyn Rossetto Kaspar The Splendid Table
              Piedmont: Matt Kramer A Passion for Piedmont