Italian Cook Books

Italian cook books are the heart beat of what keeps traditional Italian pasta recipes alive! They are passed on from generation to generation and many of them are paper clipped bound, stuffed in a kitchen drawers, faded, pencil written index cards that are stained with olive oil or marinara sauce. But they are the treasure chest of Italian food recipes and what authentic Italian cooking really is.

Yes there are plenty of really great celebrity Italian chefs, and I have my favorites.
  1. Lidia Matticchio Bastianich: This is a real traditionalist, straight from the old country, and I love it!
  2. Mario Batali: Another great traditionalist with a creative edge and story behind his style.
  3. Giada De Laurentis: Don't you just love her and her and her crazy Aunt Raffi?
And that is definitely not in order of preference. It would be impossible to choose the best out of the three. I love them all for different reasons.

Then there are the all time Classic Italian cookbooks from chefs like:

  1. Marcella Hazan Italian Cook Books: The Julia Child of Italian Cooking.
  2. Ada Boni, the regional Italian food specialist.
  3. Biba Caravaggion: a Northern Italian cooking icon.
But let's not forget the independent chefs!

Have you ever gone to a little tucked away Italian restaurant that you would have missed if you blinked? But you walk in and find a hidden gem. That’s where all the great culinary secrets lay and you never know when these great little places have an Italian cook book to boast their best. Ask the chef or hostess if there isn’t one prominently displayed.

There is one restaurant that comes to mind as I write this. I was living in Rome at the time and I went to visit my friends Andrea and Rachel who lived in Florence. They took me to a fabulous restaurant called Garga in the center of Firenze (Florence). The ambiance eclectic and unique, the crowd was fun and exciting, but the food… To Die For! The Gargani Family has owned this restaurant for many years and Sharon Gargani wrote a charming Italian cookbook about her life in Italy, raising her family and recipes that corresponded with pivotal times in her life. Once Upon a Tuscan Table is a must have for any Italian chef.

Then there are always the novelty Italian cook books such as "YO" The Soprano's Family Cookbook. They happen to have some really great guido recipes that mirror the Napolitano style of cooking.

They all have fabulous Italian pasta recipes, and even some family secret cooking tips.

Where to buy Italian Cookbooks:

I don't know about you but I've invested a small fortune in my Italian cook book collection. I usually get a couple of cookbooks a year as gifts because it's a sure way of getting me something I'll enjoy but most of them I've pickup in my travels.

Italian cook books at is a great place to start. Not only can you search for exact categories and titles but you usually get free shipping if the order is big enough. Not only does this site offer the largest variety of the newest cookbooks but it also has a selection of used and out of print books as well. I have to admit when I've purchased my cookbooks on Amazon in used condition it's almost impossible to tell that they were previously owned and the description of the actual wear and tear is very accurate.

Do you have a used bookstore or a consignment shop? These can be virtual gold mines when it comes to finding books of all categories. I bought my Julia Child, "The Way to Cook" at a vintage shop and I paid less then three dollars. It's how I learned to de-bone a chicken. I can tell you it looks a lot easier then it is!

I add to my Italian Cook Books collection all the time. I'm always looking for something special and unique to add to this site that you don't find everyday. Italian pasta recipes from the classics or something from the hottest new foodie chef. There's enough to spread around and plenty to keep you eating delicious Italian pasta recipes every night of the week.

Vivere, Amare, Ridere e Mangiare Bene
Live, Love, Laugh and Eat Well!
Kira Volpi

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