What’s Your Favorite Italian Cookbook?

published Sep 8, 2010
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

So we want to know: with hundreds of Italian cookbooks to chose from these days, what’s your favorite? Which one is spattered with tomato seeds and olive oil and cracks open right to the Ragu page? Which one do you reach for when your Italian in-laws are coming for dinner? Does it even have to be written by an Italian?

Read on for a list of a few well-known titles and tell us your pick in the comments.

I don’t consider myself an Italian cook, yet my cupboard has never been without a stash of pasta and a few cans of good tomatoes, and my refrigerator is a lonely and bare thing unless there’s a wedge of parmesan tucked on the shelves. But even more interesting is the influence of Italian cuisine that runs through many of my favorite Eurocentric cookbooks (The Canal House series, Jamie at Home), even if they’re not specifically Italian titles or authors.

Here’s a list drawn up of classic and popular Italian cookbooks. I have personal experience with only a handful of the books below; I know I can vouch for Marcella Hazan, Viana La Place, Elizabeth David and The Frankies. They, along with the A16 cookbook, have a special place on my overloaded bookshelves.

Please share with us your most beloved Italian cookbook and tell us why!

From The Grandmothers
• Marcella Hazan: The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
• Lydia Bastianich: Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy
• Anna del Conte: Classic Food of Northern Italy

From The Italian-American Aunties
• Lynne Rossetto Kasper: The Italian Country Table
• Viana la Place (and Evan Kleiman, honorary Auntie): Cucina Rustica and Cucina Fresca
• Mary Ann Esposito: Ciao Italia
• Michele Scicolone: The Italian Slow Cooker

The Bibles
The Silver Spoon
• Carole Field: The Italian Baker

From The Good Sons
• Mario Batali: Italian Grill
• Michael Chiarello: At Home with Michael Chiarello
• Giuliano Bugialli: The Fine Art of Italian Cooking
• Nate Appleman: A16

From The Bad Boys (Mama’s Favorite)
• The Frankies: The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual

From The Pretty Little Sister
• Giada De Laurentiis: Everyday Italian

From The Brits
• Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers: Italian Easy from the London River Cafe
• Jamie Oliver: Jamie’s Italy
• Elizabeth David: Italian Food

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