This book opens with a fascinating introduction to the background of Italian cooking. This is followed by a full-colour, illustrated reference guide, with information about all the common and less well-known Italian ingredients. Each section includes facts about how and where the ingredient is made or grown, its history and culinary uses, and essential information on buying and storing, along with detailed cooking and preparation instructions and basic recipes where appropriate. The second part of the book is a beautifully photographed recipe section, with over 320 recipes presented in an illustrated step-by-step format. The recipes are a combination of authentic regional favourites and contemporary classics.