I love looking through cookery books for inspiration for new meals but I must admit, I never usually bother with Italian ones because I always assume they will be top-heavy on pizza and pasta dishes that are easy enough to throw together without needing recipes. Parragon Books may have just changed my mind though by sending me the fabulous Mama's Family Cookbook - Family Recipes From The Italian Kitchen.
More than a cookery book, it comes across as a mixture of lifestyle guide and family scrapbook, interspersing the recipes with family photos and musings from an Italian Mama on everything from how to host a laid back family meal to making the perfect pizza dough.
The hardback format and easy-on-the eye layout with two pages per recipe and lots of beautiful photos of the food mean that it is equally good as a coffee table book to flick through at idle moments, even when you're not trying to decide what to cook for dinner.
Many of the recipes had me salivating. There are inevitably some pasta and pizza recipes (it wouldn't be an Italian recipe book otherwise !) but there are a lot of other, more unusual and intriguing recipes too, including Christmas specialities, desserts (the Chocolate Orange Cannoli and Rich Italian Chocolate Cake leapt out at me) and some simple salad and soup ideas that I can't wait to try. Other "must try" dishes that caught my eye are the Mini Cheese & Potato Frittatas (I'd never thought of making small ones in a muffin tin - genius idea !), Umbrian-style Broad Beans, Italian Turkey Steaks, Chicken Parmesan and Chicken Wings (great idea for using them as the basis for a whole casserole-type meal, rather than just as nibbles).
I'm still at the in-laws' and won't be on cooking duty for another week but I'll be back to tell you how I got on, once I've tried some of the recipes. Can't wait !
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £16
- Publisher: Parragon Book Service Ltd (11 Feb 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1781868107
- ISBN-13: 978-1781868102
- Product Dimensions: 27.9 x 22.3 x 2.3 cm
Disclosure : I received the book in order to write an honest review.
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