August 2011

I would like to show you my personal arsenal of delicious books to secure you raving fans in your kitchen.

1. Food | Wine: The Italian Riviera and Genova is a must-have book for anyone who loves to eat real food. It is not a cookbook but a guidebook that will make you want to cook.  The guide focuses on regional tipicity and  simplicity with a focus on traditional ingredients and cooking techniques. Guidebooks generally love to pin the clichéd  “authentic” tag to these food experiences. I say, just jump on the trail that the The Terroir Guides travel and you will fall in love with Italian food like Italians eat (on a good day).

2. Twelve: A Tuscan Cookbook is a book you will refer to repeatedly. Tessa Kiros has amassed an arsenal of stunning cookbooks with great designs and delicious ideas. I bought Twelve on a friends recommendation and would like to forward the favour to you. I recommend trying her recipe for cantuccini– those beautiful almond cookies served with a glass of Vin Santo in Tuscany. I made her fagiano arrosto, roasted pheasant with pancetta, last winter and it was ridiculously tasty.

3. Light of Lucia: A Celebration of Italian Life, Love and Food /La Celebrazione dell’anima Italiana. I am an adoring fan of this book; I’ve bought multiple copies as gifts to friends who rock their kitchens. The cookbook is narrated through the central character of Lucia who symbolizes an Italian woman’s coming of age. Chapters are divided by life phases- baptism through to first steps, the festivals, being a young lady, falling in love (with your bello), a wedding day and your mother-in-law. It is just so perfectly done and full of heart I’ve never found a cookbook that nearly had me in tears; it is so darn touching.  If you love books, beautiful design and Italian food you get the full package here. The author, Luciana Sampogna runs an Italian cooking school in Australia.

4. Masterclass in Italian Cooking is a book that I faithfully reference. It feature 21 teacher-chefs,  some of which offer cooking classes in Italy. My favorite recipe in the book is the Potato Gnocchi by Claudio Pecorari. The gnocchi comes out insanely good, and you feel like a proper Italian old-school housewife (just don’t linger in that mode for too long) with your hands in eggs and flour. I love this recipe so much I even packed my potato ricer in my luggage once so I could make it for the friends I was staying with (I agree-weird thing to do). The book is easy to follow with illustrative do-this type photography.

Let’s talk food! What is the best Italian meal you’ve eaten? Do you have any cookbook recommendations that deliver sublime Italian eats? I would love to hear all the wonderfulness in the comments. Thank-you for sharing.


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