favourite books? Italian food & cooking

Discussion in 'Cookbook Reviews' started by lamington, May 27, 2003.

  1. lamington

    lamington

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    So if you could only have one or two books from which to learn or teach about Italian food & cooking, which would you choose? Does it provide a good detailed overview of regional foods and recipes, or does it have other good characteristics?

    --lamington
     
  2. hedder

    hedder

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    HI !
    I love Italian food, and have alot of Italian cookbooks. I don't seem to get books that do alot of discussing about things, because I just love to get in there and do it, make my own mistakes and learn and add and take away from the recipe. I just like to keep it simple. Below I listed some of my favorites:

    The Robert Rose book of Classic Pasta
    The Pasta Bible
    The Italian- Amercian cookbook
    The complete book of mediterranen cooking ( love this one, except it's just not italian )
     
  3. mudbug

    mudbug

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    Hi lamington, and welcome to ChefTalk hedder.

    You may be interested in browsing some previous threads regarding Italian Cookbooks. Some of these are tangents but well worth browsing and learning.
     
  4. lamington

    lamington

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    Hmm, that was sloppy of me. Tsktsk. I'd browsed the last 100 days (forgetting that that is not the same as "ages and ages")... I shall browse more thoroughly and return if necessary. Thanks to hedder and mudbug for replying!

    --lamington
     
  5. phoebe

    phoebe

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    Hi Lamington,

    Marcella Hazan is my ultimate source. I'll use her recipes as they are--and they are delicious :lips: --but I'll also use them as jumping-off points, basic approaches, and then experiment with different in-season ingredients.
     
  6. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    I've made some of Lidia Bastianich's recipes from Lidia's Italian Table and liked them: gnocchi, fricos, linguini.
     
  7. isa

    isa

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    Definitly Marcella Hazan. My second book would be Bugialli on Pasta.
     
  8. pongi

    pongi

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    Hi Lamington!

    I know I'm boring as I always mention the same book when someone asks for a good Italian cooking source, but "LE RICETTE REGIONALI ITALIANE" by Anna Gosetti Della Salda, Ed. Solares, is the true bible. It provides a wide overview of every italian region, and all the recipes are perfect. I LOVE that book!
    You can also find it in some online shops, but with a small defect...there is no English translation. If you can deal with some italian ;) it's well worth the expense (very reasonable, in any case)

    Pongi :)

    BTW, probably it sounds like a nonsense considering how big it is, but I have relatives living in Melbourne. She is Italian (of course) and her husband is Scottish. They work, as a chemist and a biologist, in a great cancer research institute which name I can't remember. Any chance you know them?
     
  9. lamington

    lamington

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    Hi Pongi! Thanks for that suggestion (and to others for theirs as well). I'm wondering if "LE RICETTE REGIONALI ITALIANE" contains any commentary about regional foods and tradiitons, or is it primarily a compendium of recipes? I'm not scared of having a book in Italian, so that's ok.

    I'm afraid in a city of 3+ million, the chances of me knowing your relatives were a little small;) though odd coincidences can happen! I can guess which institute they'd be at -- Peter Macallum?

    --lamington
     
  10. pongi

    pongi

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    Lamington,

    Three days ago I sent you a private message, but according to message tracking you haven't read it yet. Could you let me know if you have received it?

    Thanks,

    Pongi
     
  11. lamington

    lamington

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    Hi Pongi, a reply has now been sent! I think there was a slight delay in receiving.
     
  12. karen page

    karen page

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    For the chapter on Italy in our forthcoming book THE NEW AMERICAN CHEF, we asked the very same question to cookbook maven Nach Waxman of Kitchen Arts & Letters in NYC. A few he recommended to us:

    * CUCINA ESSENZIALE by Stefano Cavallini

    * THE CLASSIC ITALIAN COOKBOOK and MORE CLASSIC ITALIAN COOKING by Marcella Hazan

    * THE FINE ART OF ITALIAN COOKING by Giuliano Bugialli

    * THE SPLENDID TABLE by Lynne Rossetto Kasper

    * FLAVORS OF THE RIVIERA by Colman Andrews

    * THE FOOD OF SOUTHERN ITALY by Carlo Middione

    Happy reading -- and eating!

    Andrew & Karen
     
  13. hedder

    hedder

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    Thanks for the info on the books... Headed for Italy on Monday can't wait.. Hope to pick-up some great books while I'm there... hedder
     
  14. plum

    plum

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    Hi Lamington,

    you might want to look out for a book called Dear Francesca. It was published in the UK by a Scottish-Italian woman who is part of a dynasty of food purveyors in Edinburgh. The book features her family recipes, and as such includes the kind of simple foods that Italians actually eat at home, such as pasta with lemon and butter etc, as well as the more usual classics. The format of the book is to pass on the cooking knowledge to her student daughter, so it's a nice book to have if you're getting your head round the classic processes of Italian cookery. The store is called Valvona & Crolla, their website is attached which shows the book. http://www.valvonacrolla.co.uk/. Maybe one day it will find its way to the States!

    I would also highly recommend Marcella Hazan, she really gives you the details of the process that make all the difference.

    happy cooking

    Plum
     
  15. lamington

    lamington

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    Great suggestion, Plum. I've read about this one, though not yet seen it. Sounds great. I'm waiting impatiently for a copy of Pongi's recommendation Le ricette regionali italiane to arrive from Europe, but there appears to be a supply problem.:cry: Can't wait to compare some of the English-language books with this one.

    --lamington
     
  16. chiffonade

    chiffonade

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    The one book I'd love to have is so out of my reach it's not even funny. It's called Italian Immigrant Cooking by a lady whose name I can't remember. I do not believe she has written other books.

    Why is this book so out of reach? It's out of print and I have not seen it listed on e-bay or half.com for less than $125.00.

    I kid you not.



    I don't care for Marcella Hazan because she uses sugar in her tomato sauce which most Italians believe is an abomination to disguise less than desirable tomatoes. I have one by Biba Caggiano - and I might purchase on by Lidia Bastianich. Both of these authors are entirely cool.
     
  17. pongi

    pongi

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    Hi Lamington,

    what about Le Ricette regionali italiane? Did you finally get your copy?

    Pongi
     
  18. plum

    plum

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    Chiffonade,

    Maybe they just reissued it, or I got lucky, but when I went online just now to look around for the book you recommended, I came across this: http://www.allbookstores.com/book/1885440022
    Which should link you to being able to buy this book by Elodia Rigante for just $30! Of course, no-one is allowed to buy the book until Chiffonade has her copy!

    Have fun.
    Plum
     
  19. lamington

    lamington

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    Hi Pongi!

    Le ricette regionali italiane arrived a fortnight ago! -- it took a looooong time to get from Italia to Australia. What a beautiful book. Now I just have to brush up my Italian a little and then I'll be having fun for years!

    Thanks again for the fantastic suggestion.

    -- lamington