Joined: 18 Jan 2006 Posts: 17 Location: Toronto, Canada
Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 3:17 pm Post subject:
I would highly recommend the two books by Carlo Middione--the one I have, published in 1996 is called "La Vera Cucina" (written in English), and it features lesser known dishes from around Italy, with many from the south. It has a great ingredient and equipment section, and his food writing is hilarious--for example, he tells you never to put oil in the pasta water, since if you watch the pot carefully it shouldn't spill over, and if it does, you will have enough energy after a good dish of pasta to clean the stove after your meal! Seriously though, he has a lot of rustic and different dishes, all of which are delicious, and his bread/pizza section and dessert section are worthwhile as well. I've never taken a look at his first book (1987) "The Food of Southern Italy" which apparently won the award which has now become the James Beard Award.
Joined: 17 May 2005 Posts: 87 Location: Madison WI
Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 4:04 pm Post subject:
I love my Arthur Schwartz's "Naples at Table" It deals mostly with southern Italian cuisine, but is written in a very friendly, conversational way, details what a good Italian cook should have in the pantry and why, and also laces in historical tidbits about pasta, pizza and the like. I also have Marcella Hazan and Silver Spoon as well as many Italian language cookbooks, but Naples at Table is always my first choice when I am looking for a recipe. _________________ "Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!"
Joined: 06 Nov 2004 Posts: 268 Location: Melbourne Australia
Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:38 am Post subject: italian cookbooks
please tell me more, what is so special about Antonio's books?
I have seen his TV show and I adore his passion for food, does it come through in the books? Please elaborate! _________________ a minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips
Joined: 12 Jan 2006 Posts: 22 Location: Sénas, France (Provence)
Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:40 am Post subject:
thanks everyone for your suggestions - I'll definitely get a Marcella Hazan book to start. Victoria, I am tempted by Arthur Schwartz's books also especially "What to cook when you think there's nothing in the house to eat" - what a great title, sounds like us! Sometimes even a full refrigerator offers no inspiration...
Joined: 24 Dec 2004 Posts: 27 Location: Arlington, Massachusetts USA
Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:43 am Post subject:
Lidia's Italian Table, by Lidia Bastianich. Her son is Mario Batali's business partner and her restaurants are Felidia, Esca, and Becco, Lidia's Kansas City and Lidia's Pittsburgh. She has several other cookbooks as well.
Joined: 17 Jun 2005 Posts: 185 Location: New Orleans Louisiana
Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:30 pm Post subject:
My Italian "bible" comes from the pen of one of my favorite food writers, Waverly Root, although over 30 years old THE VERY BEST OF ITALIAN COOKING. is one of my favorite cookbooks, His opening essay on how any "true" cuisine stems from peasant cooking, should be required reading for all those who think good cooking is "elitist" _________________ I would like a gin martini, straight up, olives on the side, as dry as my wit, as clean as my conscience.
and... as cold as my heart!!!!
Joined: 17 Aug 2005 Posts: 307 Location: Far, far away
Posted: Fri May 26, 2006 5:24 pm Post subject:
I'm happy the original poster bought Marcella Hazan's *Esssentials*, a book I would have recommended. (If anyone's confused by the reference to her book *Classic Italian Cooking*, volumes 1 & 2 of the original publication were combined & updated to reflect greater accessibility of formerly scarce ingredients and to lower fat content in certain instances, although I hope not too much. This revised edition is entitled *Essentials...*) One of her more recent books, *Cucina* is also quite good and available at discount price at ecobooks.com now. I also have more recently grown to admire Lidia Bastiniach and have her book on Italian-American cooking.
Carol Field's *Italian Baker* is the usual recommendation for baking, though I haven't used it. She's highly regarded...and prolific. Nick Malgieri is someone else to consult, his most recent book being international vs. Italian in focus.
I picked up *Silver Spoon* but it did not appeal to me. One of the things that bothered me, given its scope, was the fact that regional cooking was not acknowledged. One of the most welcome trends in Italian cookbooks has been to focus on specific regions and their intrinsic traditions. Arthur Schwartz's book on Naples has been mentioned.
Lyn Kasper Rossetti's *Splendid Table* is a classic example of one of the first and best books in English to do so, devoted as it is exclusively to Emilia-Romagna, the land of prosciutto, Parm-Reggiano, lasagna, tortellini... I could go on, but I am probably making you hungry.
David Downie's *Cooking the Roman Way* is wonderful too, rich in historical and cultural information as well as photographs and well researched recipes that work.
Joined: 28 Mar 2006 Posts: 154 Location: North of Auckland, New Zealand
Posted: Mon May 29, 2006 12:18 am Post subject:
This thread has been very helpful to me too. I've been reading with interest
I love Italian cooking, but have had no decent books on the subject. I recenlty bought the Silver Spoon, which I love for it's recipes and the way it's set out (which is great when you have soemthing like brussel sprouts and no idea what to do with them)...although I realise that it's basically a 'slice of 1950's Italian life' and it's not regional, yet I still love it to bits.
The only other book I have is one by Julie Biuso...which basically, I hate. I can't bring myself to even pick up the book.
So next on my list is Marcella Hazan's essentials! And more than likley something by Antonio Carlucci too!
Joined: 12 Jan 2006 Posts: 22 Location: Sénas, France (Provence)
Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 2:02 pm Post subject:
I did get a copy of Marcella Hazan's Classic Italian Cooking and More Classic Italian Cooking sold together on ebay and they are really terrific. Full of great techniques for cooking the things I usaully make in a better way...
I just wanted to mention one special Italian cook book that I have, which is called "Il cucchiaio azzurro" by Silvana Franconeri. They are all fish and shell fish recipes, and it contains many useful infos re fish, how to clean, cook and preserve it, which fish fits better with risottos, pasta, couscous, soups, the choice of wines, what to do with the left over, how to cook algs, frogs, snails, well a pretty handy book which I recommend...I have the italian version and do not know if an English version is available though!
For an easy Italian home cooking, I recommend Luigi Carnacina whose recipes are really clear and simple.
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