The 10 Italian Cookbooks to delight your senses! 🍝

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Italian Cookbook

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Hi, I am Chef Zara. In this post, I will guide you through Italian 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.

There’s an Italian cookbook for everyone!

Italians are known for transforming a few simple ingredients into delectable, beloved dishes. Take, for example, what is probably the most well-known and classic of all Italian meals β€” Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce. This recipe has just a few ingredients β€” tomatoes, garlic, perhaps some wine, fresh basil, and, if you’re lucky, some real parmesan cheese. This dish can, of course, be made to be bland. Still, with a bit of love and the best ingredients Italy has to offer, this dish can elevate your entire evening into a transformative experience while the sweetness of the tomatoes and the tang of the garlic dance on your tongue. Here are the top books that celebrate not just the deliciousness of more classic Italian cooking but also the spirit behind it that makes Italian food a truly unique and memorable dining experience. 

You can’t miss the 10 Italian Cookbooks we’ve selected for you!


1. How to Eataly 

Why We Love It ❀️

This classic Italian cookbook highlights what we all know to be the staple Italian cuisine ingredients, such as tomatoes, garlic, and basil, but it also introduces us to some lesser-known superfoods like capers, anchovies, sausage, chocolate, and olive oil. This book will tell you how to find the best Italian ingredients to stock your pantry, how to treat them with love, and then, most importantly, how to turn them into gorgeous, authentic Italian cooking that will have you and your guests believing it came straight from Rome.

Review πŸ“–

A beautiful book with some of the best Italian chefs contributing their knowledge and recipes, such as Mario Batali and Lidia Bastianich. This book explores everything you need to know about Italian food and is a thoroughly densely packed must-have for anyone serious about creating authentic Italian recipes. With stunning photography and plenty of step-by-step imagery for most recipes, this book will show you the basics of creating a show-stopping meal for your guests, from antipasti to dessert.


2. Old World Italian 

Why We Love It ❀️

Author Mimi Thorisson is no stranger to beautiful cookbooks. Her specialty has always been writing about French food (A Kitchen in France, French Country Cooking), but with this book, Mimi steps outside of her French comfort zone and brings us a comprehensive collection of Italian recipes straight from the source.

Review πŸ“–

This book is a true testament to what Italian cuisine means to the people of Italy and explores why their food is so essential to their culture. By packing this book full of not only recipes (of which there are over 100) but also stories from the farmers, makers, and cooks she met in Italy, this book is the next best thing to traveling straight to the source! What’s really special about this book is how Mimi has gone to every corner of the country β€” from seafood platters in Sicily, to rich braised dishes in the north, to pizza in Naples, to classically made pastries in Rome; this book has a little something for everyone. Like a good Italian recipe, each page of this book blends a primary love of food with simple instructions and adds a dash of culinary history and storytelling. 


3. Everyday Italian 

Why We Love It ❀️

In this book, Food Network sensation (and Italian!) Giada De Laurentiis will help you create delicious, healthy Italian food without all the fuss. Her recipes are simple and authentic and can often be made on a budget. She shows how to maximize flavor without breaking the bank and, somehow, makes it look easy while she does it! With a focus on sourcing great ingredients.

Review πŸ“–

Giada’s cookbook is much like her shows β€” full of storytelling and delicious recipes that are easy to make, approachable, and will cure whatever Italian food craving you’ve got! In this book, you will find everything you’re looking for to create an epic Italian feast at home, from simple pasta dishes with just three ingredients to real, authentic tiramisu with piles of whipped cream and this book has it all! With 125 recipes, even a novice cook can find something in this collection, but we have a feeling that once you start cooking, you won’t be a novice for long. Her love for everything involving Italy and all countries around of Mediterranean Sea, including small dishes like Spanish tapas. These recipes are approachable, savory, and, most importantly, delicious!


4. The Sopranos Family Cookbook

Why We Love It ❀️

This talisman Italian cookbook combines tales from the show, and the restaurant, into a funny, well-scripted, and mouth-watering collection of recipes that you can make at home and feel like you are part of an authentic Italian familia! In fact, we think Tony’s wife Carmela said it best: “If someone were sick, I would incline to send over a pastina and ricotta. It’s healing food.” This book is loaded with recipes that will heal your soul, tickle your funny bone and, at the very least, fill your belly.

Review πŸ“– 

With four different Italian authors (Artie Bucco, Allen Rucker, Michele Scicolone, and David Chase), this book was created by Soprano’s lovers for Soprano’s lovers, and let’s be honest, can you really love the Sopranos without a healthy love for Italian food? If you’ve never seen the show, all you need to know is that food is a huge part of Italian culture and family life. The show centers around an Italian family, with many scenes shot around a table or at a family restaurant.


5. Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef 

Why We Love It ❀️

This book is “not just another coffee table cookbook!” It is filled to the brim with stunning photographs and dreamy stories of the author, Massimo Buttura’s time as a Michelin star chef at one of Italy’s most celebrated restaurants. This book includes many of the recipes that originated at Osteria Francescana, which made Massimo Bottura famous (as featured on Netflix’s Chef’s Table).

Review πŸ“–

Not for the faint of heart, these recipes are complex and sometimes complicated and require some special equipment and a good imagination. Instead of being simple Italian dishes with a few easy-to-find ingredients, this book elevates every aspect of each word, from compressed chicken fat with macaroni and cheese to olive oil powder and coffee-infused olives; this book is full of contemporary, highly innovative, creative dishes that will wow any guest at your table. With over 50 well-established and tested recipes, hundreds of stunning photos of the process, and the culinary history of this famed restaurant and chef, this book and its contents don’t just entice your belly, but they will feed your eyes as well! 


6. Jamie Cooks Italy

Why We Love It ❀️

Jamie Oliver’s cookbooks are famous for a reason β€” they make you feel in the Italian academy of cuisine because they’re easy to follow, filled with beautiful recipes and pictures, and will make just about anyone’s mouth water. This Italian cookbook is no different β€” it is filled to the brim with Italian recipes Jamie sourced while traveling to this European country.

Review πŸ“–

Jamie combines his use of humor and approachable nature to simplify Italian favorites such as Carbonara, Focaccia, Risotto, and Tiramisu. Each recipe becomes accessible with his step-by-step guide to not only cooking the dish but sourcing the ingredients and serving it in a way that would make any Italian nonna proud. This book is a labor of love, filled with passionate stories about Italian cuisine, a passion for gathering simple ingredients with lots of love and care cooking classic food.


7. The 5-Ingredient Italian Cookbook

Why We Love It ❀️

In this book, Francesca Montillo takes us on a journey through her home in Italy and some of her favorite family recipes, all while keeping each recipe super simple so that anyone, regardless of experience or budget, can recreate these classics. This is a great gift idea for young people and kids new to cooking or for old-timers looking to simplify their lives while adding some great dishes to their repertoire. If this book and author had a motto, it would be: Less is always more.

Review πŸ“–

Francesca has focused on simplifying each recipe in this book to include the freshest and most easy-to-find, affordable ingredients. Most recipes in this book can be made in less than 30 minutes and include just a few ingredients making this book perfect for anyone and everyone!  In it, you will find tutorials on core techniques needed in any Italian kitchen, as well as over 100 recipes for appetizers, main courses, meat, pizza, bread, dessert, and seafood.


8. The Italian Baker

Why We Love It ❀️

We cannot possibly make a list of the best Italian cookbooks without discussing one of the most popular, well-known Italian foods out there… bread!! From focaccia to pizza dough to sweetened pastries and classic delicious kinds of dough, bread is a staple in all Italian provinces. It is celebrated at every meal, from the morning pastries to thick-cut sandwiches at lunch, a slice of pizza on the street, and perfect crusty bread to dip in oil alongside dinner. This book is basically a bible for bread lovers and should be at the top of anyone’s list who is interested in incorporating more bread knowledge (and carbs!) into their lives.

Review πŸ“–

In this book, Carol Field has sourced the best of the best Italian bread recipes and transformed each one into an approachable method so that anyone can make it at home, to serve just themselves or the entire family. She’s left out nothing and has included hundreds of recipes from pasties to tortes, cookies, breadsticks, crackers, buns, loaves, focaccia, pizza, cheesecakes, fruit tarts, and more. When reading this book, you can tell how much love Carol has for not just bread but for Italian cuisine at large. She traveled the country, patiently sourcing the absolute best recipes to include in this book, and it has truly paid off. Β 


9. Italian Street Food

Why We Love It ❀️

If you’ve ever traveled to Italy, then you’ve likely had Italian street food… possibly without even knowing it. In the city centers of Rome, Venice, and Naples, the streets are lined with people selling Italian classics β€” everything from gelato to arancini to fritters and cannoli. Some of Italy’s tastiest food comes from street carts, and it’s no wonder people love this style of food so much β€” for just a few dollars, you can fill your belly and soul with all these dishes known by all the countries bordering the Mediterranean sea, from Spain to Tunisia.

Review πŸ“–

This book encompasses what makes street food so outstanding. With 85 tried, tested, and simple Italian recipes, you will find some of the best recipes the Italian street food scene offers. This collection will take you on a journey of Italy’s back streets and show you some unique flavor combinations, textures, and age-old classics. A highlight of this book is its beautiful photography and accessible recipes. It is an excellent book for anyone who likes to eat outside the box of traditional pizza and pasta… but don’t worry, there are some great pizza and pasta recipes in this book too!


10. David Rocco’s Dolce Vita

Why We Love It ❀️

David Rocco’s love of food was apparent when he was a host on the Food Network, and his book illustrates the fact even further. This book is a labor of love by any right, following the journey of this famous Italian as he travels his home country, learning the recipes of his nonna and wife. He highlights certain aspects of the Italian way through storytelling and colorful pictures, but this book focuses on food and historical context.

Review πŸ“–

With recipes for arancini, pizza, and easy-to-make gelato, this book is a must-have for anyone serious about tips that are essentials of classic Italian cuisine. You will learn the true meaning of dolce vita (a sweet life) and one of David’s most famous catchphrases, “Quanto Basta,” which means just enough. Just enough salt, just enough sugar, just enough pasta to fill your plate. Although we love this mantra, when reading this book, we often say, “there’s never enough David Rocco!” His passion and love for this book make it a beautiful addition to anyone’s cookbook collection. 


Final Thoughts

Choosing the best Italian cookbook is a little like going into a fantastic Italian restaurant and trying to decide the best thing on the menu β€” it’s challenging because there is a lot to choose from! From pasta dishes to risotto, from seafood to slow braised meat, from tiramisu to gelato… Italian cuisine has it all! At a traditional Italian feast, you just got served more than ten courses, we hope you have noticed that classic Italian cookbooks or the new ones are full of beautiful imagery and drool-worthy recipes. 

Italian food is adored worldwide for its simple ingredients yet complex, alluring flavors. It can be comforting, uplifting, and satisfying all at once, but as any Italian will tell you, Italian cuisine is about much more than just the ingredients on the plate. An amazing classic Italian cookbook is one that has many recipes that have been passed down for generations and is one of the core ingredients in every authentic Italian recipe. Every truly Italian meal starts around a big table with lots of family and friends, a lively conversation, great wine or coffee, and a shared appreciation for beautiful, rustic food. 



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AUTHOR

Chef Zara is the founder and chief editor for Bakeaholic. She 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 she has never looked back since. She enjoys experimenting with different flavors and combinations, and takes great pride in creating unique recipes that will tantalize your taste buds. When she’s not whipping up something delectable in the kitchen, Chef Zara can be found exploring new culinary delights around the world. Chef Zara holds a Associate of Arts and Sciences from Kendall College and is a sought after private chef. Connect with her on LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/in/chef-zara/

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