I was very excited to recieve a Christmas Present from my husband this afternoon, ok, I know, I am writing this on January 2nd, but that´s another story.
I love Antonio´s take on authentic Italian Cuisine, and in fact his tv series Two Greedy Italians with Gennaro Gontaldo was what inspired our wonderful holiday to the Umbria region of Italy a couple of years ago.
I love to try and cook all kinds of things, simple or complex. This book does what it says on the cover, and if you are looking for simple family food and not posh nosh then this is a great book. Its an attractive book with lots of colour photos, which I like, as its nice to see what you should be aiming for.
I would be good for the novice cook, as he goes through some basic stuff, like what type of pans and tools to buy, what he calls his essential Italian Larder and also his luxurious extras. His book covers Starters and Salads, Soups, Pasta, Gnocchi, Polenta, Rice, Meat, Fish, Vegatables and Desserts.
Although I feel that some of the recipes really are too basic, especially if you are a seasoned cook already, some of these recipes may already be in your repertoire. The Tiramisu for example is almost exactly like the one I have used for years. However there are a few ideas I like, and I am looking forward to trying out the Polpettine de Spinaci (Spinich Balls) and the Stracciatella con gnocchetti di pollo (Egg Broth with Chicken Dumplings) and Zuppa de ceci Costine (Soup of Spare Ribs and Chickpeas).
He also gives some nice tips at the end of some of the recipes on how to use up the leftovers, which is nice if you are trying to stick to a budget, or like me you hate waste!
He also tells you how to make your own version of Sun Blush Tomatoes which I will certainly be trying this weekend.
I would recommend this book to those of you who want some very easy family recipes, like pasta and gnocci and want to build your basic recipe collection. If you are into posh nosh and intricate dining, maybe this isn´t for you, but there are a few recipes there that would be great for an informal dinner too.
This book is available from: