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The recipes are not only great - but the whole book makes for great reading. This is my second copy, having lost my original book in a recent move. I highly recommend adding this book to your cookbook library.
I've had this book for years and always recommend it to friends when they ask for the basis of my recipes. I've learned quite a few techniques from reading the recipes and can always rely on the book for something interesting to try. This is an "old school," recipe book, so don't expect a 5-step easy button. The work is worth it though!
This is one of my favorite Italian cookbooks, and I have some chef pals who cooked a glorious dinner of Tortellini Pie from this cookbook (I have made it several times, but was giving a dinner party and asked the chefs to make it for me). They had such fun with my cookbook that I gave it to them and bought this one to replace it...some of the recipes are a bit involved, but they are worth every moment, sauce, pastry, and smile that you put into the dishes. Every one of them that I have made has been spectacular....plus the second hand book I got is in much better shape than the one I gave to the chefs, at a third of my original book's price! If you like Italian food, this is the BEST cookbook for fancy "splendid" dishes...
This cookbook was written to be enjoyed by many different types of readers. Cooks with some experience in the kitchen will find ways to venture deeper into this specific region of Italy. While there are plenty of recipes to sharpen their skills, there are many recipes with only a handful of simple ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions that will produce outstanding and encouraging results for those with less experience. While this is by no means a cookbook dedicated solely to the health-conscious, the author offers genuinely viable alternatives to some of the richer ingredients while not compromising the integrity and essence of the original recipe. Additionally, while there are recipes designed for the adventurous with more time and greater access to specialty ingredients, a great number of recipes are made with everyday ingredients found in any large suburban grocery store. One of the things that sets this cookbook apart (and by no means the only thing) is that it not only gives you the tools to prepare a feast for your tastebuds, it is a sensual feast for the eyes and imagination. It is interesting and visually pleasing enough to serve as a coffee table book, although it may become too marked up with olive oil and garlic to remain there for long. For those who enjoy eating but not necessarily cooking, there is enough here to inspire them to try their hand in the kitchen - or to hunt down a family member or friend who is a willing to create something for them! The stories and explanations about the influence of history and geography that are included with many of the sections and the recipes therein helps Emilia-Romagna and its people come alive on the pages. If someone is already a fan of Lynne Rossetto Kasper, either by way of her other cookbooks or her NPR radio show by the same name as this book, this is a must-have volume. It is written in the intimate and friendly style so enjoyed by her many fans. If you already own an embarrassingly large number of cookbooks (like me!) buy this one anyway even if it means donating another to the library to make room on the shelf. I recommend pouring yourself a glass of red wine, curling up on your favorite chair, and spending an afternoon daydreaming about the people and food produced among the sunny plains, hills, and mountains of this unique region of Italy. You'll find it nearly impossible to remain uninspired!
This book was purchased as a gift for a 17 year old nephew who likes to cook - I made a good choice buying it as he absolutely loved it! His parents listen to The Splendid Table talk show on NPR and are fascinated with Lynne Rossetto's recipes. Good buy.
Love, love this cookbook! Stories galore and rationale behind each recipe... As fun to read as it is to cook from... Thank you Lynne. Bought mine from Meticulous Books/Amazon Seller, excellent condition, timely, great price, extra care in shipping.