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I am a little disappointed by the layout of the book. The cover is promising and inside there are very few pictures of the finished dishes. When you have never cooked Italian food before it is nice to have a photo of the finished dish to see how it is supposed to look like. Maybe a little more colour throughout the whole cookbook would have helped too. Otherwise the recipes are great. I looked forward to trying out many of the recipes soon.
This is an absolutely fantastic cookbook for all things Italian. I love the fact that it states how long it takes to prepare each one, how many portions, cook time and temperature. Also, in many cases the region from which it originated and in some cases which wines it pairs well with... Toss in some restaurants so you may visit them on your next (or first) trip to Italy. I also loved reading about the local regions and their cuisine. And, the recipes also state if it is kid friendly, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, etc.
Two excellent tips that I will do in the future are to freeze the rind of the Parmesan cheese and also to freeze basil. Never knew that herbs could be frozen...Love these tips...
At the very end, is a most helpful tool that lists the volume equivalents in US and Metric along with both weight and oven temps. Nothing is more frustrating than selecting a book that lists in the metric system. So, all of those are most appreciated by me.
One other thing that I had never heard about was also at the end....The Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen. Rest assured that I will be selecting from the clean fifteen whenever possible from now on.
Having lived in Spain for over 10 years while in the US Navy, I was anxious to see some familiar recipes ...and I found quite a few. Some of the recipes that I will make are at the end of this review.
I will add that I made the Spaghetti Carbonara already.. And, I did not scramble the eggs~ The last time I enjoyed this was in Pisa, Italy, in 1987, and it was delightful. Was so pleased with the way mine came out so will make that one again soon.
Am looking forward to making the Crispy Cauliflower, the Asparagus with Prosciutto, the Orange with Onions sounds really different and will make that soon.
In the meat section, I selected the Beef Ragu and the Balsamic Vinegar steak. Both of those had me drooling when I was reading through the ingredients. The chicken with peppers is also on my list to make as is the Chicken with red sauce. Seafood is not fresh in Vermont so ,,,the one that I will be able to make in the summer is the Rainbow Trout one. I will be able to catch my own!!
Not much of a dessert person but will try the Tongue cookies...Interesting recipe.
All in all, am so pleased that I found this cookbook. Have several people I must recommend it to and will forward the link to them today.
Most highly recommended and for multiple reasons... 'Quality over quantity' ....
Disappointed that there were no pictures of the dishes. I'm not a cook. Just starting to get into cooking. Images of the finished dishes would have been very helpful. I was assuming I could peruse the recipes, see something that looked delicious and try it out. Does not seem very useful for someone (like me) who is looking to expand their culinary knowledge. I have no idea what Ricciarelli is, so I'd probably just bypass that. I'm American of German ancestry. In this case I did a quick check on the internet, and it seems that Ricciarelli "looks" like something I would like. If a picture of it had been in the book I would not have just passed it up. It would be ridiculous to do this for every dish in this book I am not familiar with.
So I would suggest the author purchase a camera, or just use your smartphone and include pictures of the dishes. A cookbook should be engaging and draw the reader in, making them want replicate that delicious looking meal they see in a cookbook. If I have to search elsewhere to see what exactly it is I am trying to cook then the book is pretty much pointless for me.
I have over one thousand cookbooks, and have made countless meals of varying nationalities over the years. I’m stunned with Francesca’s easy, flavourful dishes and simple tips. What a find. I’m delighted.