The 10 Best Italian American Cookbooks to mix cultures in your kitchen 🍝

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Hi, I am Chef Zara. In this post, I will guide you through the Best Italian American Cookbooks.

I love discovering new food and cooking with friends and family. One of the most common questions that I often get is for cookbook recommendations. I have created this guide for friends, family, and new friends alike. I hope that you enjoy our site.

American and Italian cuisine brought two cultures together for decades 🌎

Italian is the most popular cuisine in the world, with more than 80% of people across the globe preferring it to other types of food in one survey. But do you know how to make all your Italian favorites at home? Most people don’t.

Thanks to a wonderful library of cookbooks with easy-to-follow instructions, there’s help crafting the perfect pasta dishes, unbelievable sauces, and so much more in your kitchen.

Here are the 10 Best Italian American Cookbooks for you πŸ‘‡


1. Italian American: Red Sauce Classics and New Essentials

Why We Love It ❀️

Angie Rito presents this Italian American classics cookbook that is perfect for the lover of food, with a twist. It includes 125 reimagined recipes inspired by the born Italian American Angie Rito Family. The recipes are thoughtfully created to include a modern point and creative spins to ensure that each dish is specifically northern Italian fare while also being specifically American. Keep reading about American cookbook writers (check out our guide on the Best Brenda Gantt Cookbooks).

What the Readers Are Saying πŸ‘‚

“The book is beautifully written by Angie Rito, the pictures add to the pleasure, and I have entertained three times in the last ten days using many of the recipes. My guests have been effusive in their praise, and the dishes have been fabulous. Can’t wait to try another dish.” -Kim Perbix

Review πŸ“–

If you’re looking for an Italian flavor adventure Angie Rito brings modern elements, you must check out Italian American: Red Sauce Classics and New Essentials.

This Italian American cookbook is filled to the brim with 125 recipes that pay homage to present family classics passed in Italian south culture, while Angie Rito also incorporates the elements of classic American favorites.

Angie Rito gives us recipes in this cookbook that have familiar and comforting dishes feel familiar, but their unique American flair sets them apart and gives you a modern point of view.

This Italian American cookbook is the ultimate guide to straightforward and delicious modern Italian American classic cuisine with Angie’s recipes, including pinwheel lasagna and saucy shrimp parm meatballs.


2. Pasta Grannies: The Official Cookbook: The Secrets of Italy’s Best Home Cooks

Why We Love It ❀️

We can’t recommend this book enough if you want to learn how to make authentic pasta, just like Italian academy grandmothers.

Pasta dishes are central to their food traditions and will be a recurring theme in Italian American cookbooks.

This cookbook features an extensive breakdown of how to make pasta by hand and a plethora of Italian recipes that you will love.

What the Readers Are Saying πŸ‘‚

“I love the entire concept of this Italian American cookbook – preserving the methods used by women who have been making homemade pasta dishes for their families for 70 years or more.” – C.M. Martin

Review πŸ“–

Imagine having a personal guide through the best old-school cooking, beloved techniques, and flavorful amazing recipes for one of Italy’s most beloved dishes, and this is exactly what you’re getting with Pasta Grannies.

This cookbook is essentially a masterclass in which you’re being mentored by seasoned professionals of modern Italian American cuisine, all with a familial touch, almost as though your grandmother is teaching you.

With recipes like Raschiatelli with Red Peppers and Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi, this delicious inside look at fresh and authentic Italian pasta is not a book you want to miss.


3. The Easy Italian Cookbook: 100 Quick and Authentic Recipes

Why We Love It ❀️

There are plenty of easy-to-follow recipes that don’t require expert skills. If you’re a beginner interested in classic Italian cooking, this Cookbook is for you.

It features appetizers, pasta, pizzas, and even Italian desserts (check out our guide on the Best Italian Dessert Cookbooks), all simple recipes anyone can make. This book even includes vegetarian and gluten-free dishes.

There are 100 recipes featured in this cookbook.

What the Readers Are Saying πŸ‘‚

“Easy to read & easy to follow! The dishes are truly traditional. My husband has family from Venice & Naples & is thrilled how there are recipes from his childhood that I can now cook for him!” -Shutterbug

Review πŸ“–

This Cookbook goes beyond other cookbooks to offer more information to help the reader immerse themselves in the culture and refine Italian cuisine.

You’ll learn delicious wine pairing suggestions, essential Italian kitchen staples in your pantry, and helpful time-saving tips to make the recipes in this book even simpler.

This cookbook has something for everybody with 100 simple, authentic recipes, from Chopped Caprese Salad with Balsamic Vinegar to Chicken Saltimbocca with Sage and Prosciutto.


4. Lidia’s Italy in America

Why We Love It ❀️

This is another one of a prominent chef’s best Italian American cookbooks. It’s full of distinctly Italian recipes but with a specific American influence.

This book is a thorough and flavor-filled guide for anyone who enjoys Italian American roots.

With succulent regional main dishes and all of the sweet treats you would expect to find in Italian bakers, Lidia’s Italy in America has the entire range of Italian American food covered. It includes 175 delicious recipes and the lovely stories behind them.

What the Readers Are Saying πŸ‘‚

“Lidia did it again with another great cookbook that Italian Americans and non-Italians can relate to. Many of these dishes we have had a home and in an Italian American restaurant.” -Frank A. DeVito

Review πŸ“–

Lidia Bastianich is a top-tier authority on food and old-school cooking, beloved in general. Her book, Lidia’s Italy in America, is a stunning assortment of Italian recipes modified and blended with regional cooking techniques to do Italian American cooking.

With recipes like Baltimore Crab Cakes, Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza (check out our guide on the Best Pizza cookbooks), and Prickly Pear Granita from California, this book will help you develop a love for eating your way through Italian America.


5. The Italian Baker, Revised: The Classic Tastes of the Italian Countryside

Why We Love It ❀️

We recommend this book to any baker looking to expand their repertoire. 

The Italian Baker covers an incredible array of goods, from Italian bread to cakes, pastries, and cookies. It also includes chapters on ingredients, equipment, and techniques to help home cooks thrive when recreating these Italian family classics.

This comprehensive cookbook is truly a bread lover’s delight. It includes regional and rustic pieces of bread, modern bread, and even uses for leftover bread.

What the Readers Are Saying πŸ‘‚

“This book is on my A-list. I haven’t had bad bread yet; I’m very glad that I bought the book.” -A.M. Glaeser

Review πŸ“–

This book covers the entire range of Italian baking, offering the reader all of the delicious, classic tastes of Italy that can recreate in your oven.

It is a treat to have a classic cookbook that focuses specifically on the wonderful baked goods you can pair perfectly with other classic dishes.

With recipes from Focaccia with gorgonzola to Ladyfingers, Italian Style, this cookbook will keep your oven busy and is a must-have for any serious baker.


6. That Sounds So Good: 100 Real-Life Recipes for Every Day of the Week

Why We Love It ❀️

This cookbook is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to make Italian American cooking a part of their everyday life. 

That Sounds So Good is full of realistic, easy-to-make, and easy-to-love recipes that span a wide range of flavors but largely share Italian roots.

This recipe book includes 100 recipes and helpful tips on making the most of the time you spend in the kitchen and how to waste less food.

What the Readers Are Saying πŸ‘‚

“This is a great book for a home cook! I love the combinations of flavors and ingredients! Recipes are cost-effective and delicious! Lots of interesting pairings in this book – Every recipe I have made has turned out delicious.” -B Harris

Review πŸ“–

Look no further if you’ve been searching for a cookbook rooted in delicious Italian cookery with a delicious American flair.

This book, created by James Beard Award-winning author, Carla Lalli Music, is an incredible compilation of simple recipes for real life. The amazing flavors are captured through beautiful photography, and the easy-to-follow instructions make this a book for everyone.

With recipes from Pasta with Cacio e Walnut to Crunchy and Juicy Feta Salad, this cookbook is packed with Italian American goodness to calm your cravings and keep you satisfied.


7. Laura in the Kitchen: Favorite Italian-American Recipes Made Easy

Why We Love It ❀️

This is the companion cookbook to Laura Vitale’s hit YouTube old-school cooking beloved show. It includes 120 delicious recipes inspired by Vitale’s Italian heritage, including ten fan favorites already beloved by her millions of fans.

What the Readers Are Saying πŸ‘‚

“The recipes themselves are easy to follow, even for beginners. The photos accompanying them are vibrant and appealing. This isn’t a fussy cookbook using 100 different ingredients like olive oil you’ll have to hunt high and low for. It’s a good, hearty staple cookbook with homely recipes like Ham, Pea and Gorgonzola Bow Tie Pasta, Spaghetti Carbonara, Margherita Pizza, etc.” -Ophelia Morganna

Review πŸ“–

Author Laura Vitale moved from Naples, Italy, to the United States when she was 12 and fell in love with cooking.

This cookbook is about as authentic Italian American as you can get, with an impressive array of recipes that seamlessly meld the two cultures and cuisines. With recipes like Tortellini with Pink Parmesan Sauce and Spinach and Artichoke-Stuffed Shells, this cookbook is an amazing guide for any home cook who wants to elevate their skills while pleasing their tastebuds.


8. The Italian American Cookbook: A Feast of Food from a Great American Cooking Tradition

Why We Love It ❀️

This cookbook proves that Italian-American food isn’t just a watered-down version of cuisine but a unique cuisine in its own right with sophisticated flavors and inspired dishes.

This book even shows how many elements of the authentic traditional Italian cuisine that we know and love are inspired by the Italian-American genre of cooking.

This cookbook contains 250 Italian American classic recipes to help you expand your repertoire.

What the Readers Are Saying πŸ‘‚

“The book reads well. Fresh ingredients result in 100% excellent meals. The wine selections for each entree are spot on. The history of what is Italian versus Italian American makes me proud of what Italians brought to this country. The best soups and entrees I make are from this cookbook.” -Bigheadcloud

Review πŸ“–

Italian American heritage food is all about heartiness and flavor.

The comforting dishes that feel familiar are uniquely comforting. If you’re looking for one of the ultimate Italian American resources, this cookbook is essential to your bookshelf.

With recipes from Risotto with Apples and Saffron to Pork Roast with Fennel, this book will guide you through putting a thoughtful spin on classic Italian cooking.


9. Big Flavors from Italian America: Family-Style Favorites from Coast to Coast

Why We Love It ❀️

American cuisine would not be what it is without the great influence of Italian immigrants.

The editors at America’s Test Kitchen (check out our guide on the Best America’s Kitchen Cookbooks) have done a deep dive into the specific Italian cuisine to create a book full of recipes for flavorful Italian American dishes that are popular throughout different parts of the United States.

With bright and beautiful photos as well as simple instructions and incredible family history of this cuisine, this cookbook is an amazing, well-crafted resource simply for anyone who just loves cooking.

What the Readers Are Saying πŸ‘‚

“This is a wonderful cookbook. It contains many recipes, including some I have not made before. As with all ATK books, the recipes are easy to follow and well laid out.” -SLS1

Review πŸ“–

If you’re a family history lover and cooking, this book is the perfect marriage between the two. Big Flavors from Italian America explores the rich cultural background of Italian American cuisine and brings the reader through America to further explore the great impact of the Italian kitchen on American cooking. Keep reading about American Cooking, (check out our guide on the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook).

With recipes from Fried Calamari to Bruschetta with Black Olive oil Pesto, Ricotta, and Basil Topping, this cookbook is full of classic dishes and their modern companions.

All nutritional information is provided for each recipe, and there are many variations and cooking tips throughout the book.


10. Carmine’s Family-Style Cookbook: More Than 100 Classic Italian Dishes to Make at Home

Why We Love It ❀️

This cookbook is inspired by the delicious food at Carmine’s famous Times Square restaurant.

The book contains rich and hearty Italian food recipes, from Italian Cheesesteak Heroes to Chicken Wings, Scarpariello-Style, and much more.

The flavors are special, and the recipes are centered around family, just like the restaurant. It includes more than 100 favorite recipes cooked to classic Italian perfection.

What the Readers Are Saying πŸ‘‚

“I use this book every week. Some recipes have become common in our household, and I don’t even need the recipe book anymore; ingredients and measurements are now memorized. The recipes are classic and oh so delicious.” -Pamela J Gerber

Review πŸ“–

We recommend this cookbook to the Italian cooking lover who craves family classics.

This is one of the great Italian cookbooks whose Table of Contents has been based on a popular restaurant. In this case, however, “popular” by the New York Post is an understatement as Carmine’s flagship location in Times Square welcomes more than one million guests every year to enjoy everything from meatballs to chicken parm and, of course, lots of pasta.

You can recreate some of the restaurant’s incredible comforting dishes and feel familiar with a book from your home kitchen.

With recipes like Short Ribs with Cabbage and Potatoes, chicken parm, pork chops whit molten cheese, broccoli rabe, and Carmine’s Lasagne, all of the classics are covered with tomato sauce or red sauce, along with plenty of innovative twists from their food traditions.


Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed our roundup of the 10 best Italian American cookbooks to help you recreate delicious southern Italian flavors at home.

From indulgent entrees with deep Italian roots to modern point dishes with distinct American flair, these essential cookbooks are filled with satisfying recipes whit red sauce for any meal or occasion. They’re also loaded with helpful tips, variations, and backstories to take you on a culinary journey full of flavor and family history.


FAQ on Italian American Cooking

What is Italian American Cuisine?

Italian American cuisine is made up of dishes that have distinct Italian roots but with unique additions. This cuisine uses fewer vegetables but more garlic (check out our guide on the Best Garlic Cookbooks), tomato sauce, cheese, and meat than specifically food.

One thing that separates Italian American dishes is that all comforting dishes that feel familiar in this cuisine are considered comfort foods.

There is a larger focus on the richness of flavor and indulgence. There also tends to be quite a bit of creativity when merging Italian dishes with American classics. Some classic recipes include baked ziti, stuffed shells, cold and hot antipasti, homemade Bengali feast, pork chops, molten cheese, broccoli rabe, hearty baked pasta laden, red sauce classics, chicken parm, and chicken piccata.

What is Italian American cooking like?

It’s important to note that Italian American cooking isn’t vastly different from Italian cooking. Italian Immigrants adapted recipes tend to be a bit simpler, with fewer ingredients and less complexity in the recipe. Italian American food also closely resembles the more creative items you might find at a popular Italian restaurant chain in America.

Though they have similarities and differences, as seen in our collection of the best Italian American cookbooks, both cuisines can stand on their own and be equally delicious.



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AUTHOR

Chef Zara is the founder and chief editor for Bakeaholic. He loves bringing smiles to people with the delicious visuals, smells, and tastes of food. Chef Zara's passion for baking started at a very young age, and he has never looked back since. He enjoys experimenting with different flavors and combinations, and takes great pride in creating unique recipes that will tantalize your taste buds. When he’s not whipping up something delectable in the kitchen, Chef Zara can be found exploring new culinary delights around the world.

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