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Easy Tasty Italian [Illustrated] [Hardcover]

Laura Santtini
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
RRP: 20.00
Price: 16.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

2 Oct 2009
Winner of Guild of Food Writers Award for Best First Book 2010

Contemporary and empowering - once you've read Laura Santtini's book and learnt the secrets of transformation in the kitchen, your cooking will never be the same again! Discover the potent alchemy of cookery and how Laura's magical flavour bombs make the simplest food unforgettable. Learn how to make the most of the powers of umami, the recently identified flavour component and how to use simple techniques to transform everyday ingredients into sublime dishes with minimum effort. In the first part of the book, Laura reveals the secret ingredients of her larder and gives recipes for her intense flavour combinations - the marinades such as red wine, porcini and anchovy, rubs such as pink peppercorn, rose petal and salt, and pastes like parmesan and prosciutto - that give her food sparkle. She also shows how procedures such as pounding, chopping, slicing and beating yield mouthwatering extras that can be used to transform dishes. Finally, cooking methods are described under Air, Water, Fire and Earth and, with each one, Laura gives a treasury of delectable recipes. Throughout, suggestions are given for transforming basic recipes - so a carbonara sauce might be uplifted with artichoke and saffron or a smooth vegetable soup might have scorched almonds stirred through. Simple, original and unexpected, this cookbook will become your new best friend in the kitchen.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Quadrille Publishing Ltd (2 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844007553
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844007554
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 25.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 117,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Fashion forward gastropreneur and food writer Laura Santtini burst onto the UK food scene in September 2009 and instantly set culinary tongues wagging with her debut book Easy Tasty Italian and range of scratch food preparations, Easy Tasty Magic. At the same time the price of gold reached an all time high and her edible gold products made front-page news across the world. Swiftly following her similarly successful Credit Crunch chocolate this further solidified her reputation as a pioneering food-trend expert.

Having candidly gigged the urban groceries of the world Laura has seen her breakthrough Taste #5 Umami Paste settle upon supermarket shelves throughout Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia. Grabbing the attention of editors along the way Laura has shown an alternative and vibrant approach to cooking, eating and doing business.

Despite possessing a healthy obsession with flavour, Laura's achievements have not been confined to the food world however. This edgy poet of the palate has similarly captured the attention of fashion titles including Instyle US, Elle Italia and WWD amongst others who have profiled her work.

Flash Cooking, to be published in October, follows on from Laura's successful first book, Easy Tasty Italian, which won the Jeremy Round Award for Best First Book at the 2010 Guild of Food Writers Awards. As we have come to expect from the world's first gastrotherapist, Flash Cooking is not only trend-setting but also thought-provoking. She christens an exciting new cooking genre and delivers a do-able, bite-sized philosophy for living a healthful 80/20 life via a collection of emotionally nutritious tips and recipes. Simply
put, Flash Cooking is where flavour meets wellbeing.

Product Description


"The Domestic goddess is so last season, this is the year of the Domestic Alchemist!" - The Culinary Guide

" Her food is a daring mix of unexpected ingredients that surprises and delights at every turn. "- LivingEtc

"It's not often that you come across someone with a fresh way of thinking about food, but Laura Santtini is one of them" --Lucas Holweg Sunday Times Style

" A foodie apothecary of flavours [her] spice rack will revolutionize your kitchen. "- Stylist magazine

" Food is in Laura Santtini s DNA. "- Bon Appétit

" Santtini... can speak with as much passion about a toasted cheese sandwich as she can about a sprinkling of sumac, pink peppercorns and rose petals on roasted root vegetables." - --WWD Newspaper


'The influence of three prestigious generations of Italians comes alive through the eyes of a modern British woman,
with original concise recipes, all the while holding on to her roots.'

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There's actually a very good cookbook fighting to get out here from under the weight of an excruciatingly irritating manner and overly chi-chi style.

The irritating manner can be demonstrated by the example of Santtini's discussion of the umami flavour. She christens the use of umami in Italian cooking as "U-Mamma!" (sic), which coinage she then proceeds to use at frequent intervals throughout the rest of the book.

It's not exactly authentic traditional Italian; ingredients used include Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, barberries, pomegranates, sumac, chemoula, Szechuan pepper, soy sauce, green tea and so on and so forth. A number of recipes even include edible gold or silver leaf (like the "vark" of Moghul cooking); sensibly the small print on the copyright page says "This is a suggestion and not a recommendation, and the use and consumption of such metals is at your own risk. Neither the author nor the publisher accept any liability for any illness, harm or injury arising from the use or consumption of such metals". Moghul emperors wanted to demonstrate their wealth but I'm not sure that I would want to eat such heavy metals.

One of the best parts of the book is the section with numerous recipes for various flavoured mayonnaises, pestos, salsas and relishes, trifolati, flavoured butters, marinades, rubs, pastes, "elixirs" (oils and sauces), crumbs and stuffings and so on, many of which are used in the later recipes.

This is a book packed with ideas and sophisticated flavours, and will be of immense use not just for Italian food lovers. Just a pity about the style.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Length: 1:24 Mins
From first impressions, Laura Santtini's beautifully presented Italian cookbook 'Easy Tasty Italian' appears to be a very elegant and contemporary looking book, with a cunning secret of a cheat's guide lurking behind its glossy pages. Indeed, Simon Wheeler's pristine photography that appears for almost every recipe, really manages to capture the true essence of the book. This is a cookbook for people who are either keen (and somewhat knowledgeable) cooks, or for those who plan to pull out all the stops and impress someone with some quality Italian dining.

The book attempts to take the reader on a trip through the culinary history of each of the dishes and their respective key ingredients. This is not only an interesting little insight into the individual dishes (if you so choose to learn a little more than how to cook each dish), but also allows the cook to recite these snippets of information during the meal afterwards, as a way of further impressing their audience.

The vast majority of the dishes are (what we are at least led to believe) very authentic and traditional Italian dishes, with a contemporary angle to the cooking to simplify the process somewhat. The ingredients are hardly 'everyday ingredients', but then this book isn't really about everyday cooking (despite the constant references to 'everyday food' both on the cover and repeatedly in the book itself).

Here is a basic breakdown of the book's contents:

- Kitchen equipment
- Typical Italian larder
- The umami larder
- The alchemic larder

- Whipping it up (basic mayonnaise)
- Hey pesto!
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars My Nonna would be spinning in her grave! 21 Oct 2009
By F. Proctor VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Don't get me wrong, Ms Santtinis' cookbook is beautiful and if I had recieved it as a Christmas present I would have been well chuffed, but once you start to read it!!!

For a start, the typical Italian larder!!, maybe for her and her family that ran a restaurant, but in my house and all my Italian friends who we lived near in Streatham we didn't have seven different italian cheeses, eight types of cured meats and sixteen!! different herbs and spices along with all the rest, and then she starts to talk about 'UMAMI'! if this was a book by Heston Blumenthal I would not blink but I suspect that MY Mama and MY Nonno would be muttering some pretty dark words by now.

Then we have the Alchemic Larder, which has edible gold and silver in it, many dried flowers, Amalfi Lemons (not just any old lemons but Amalfi Lemons) I'll send my private jet for those! Rose Grappa (never heard of it) Mexican Chocolate Powder (again, specified, not sure where in Sainsbury's I'll pick that up, perhaps they have it at ASDA!

We get 'Elixirs and Potions', Elemental Recipes, Air being raw, with the basic recipes looking pretty good, but then she says stuff that just irks me, like when she talks about a white bean and pomegranate dip and she says "I like to add a sprinkle of gold flakes to give a new dimension to this dip" Gold flakes in a dip? ITS A DIP for Gods' sake, get a flippin' grip!

I read about Pasta and get a quote KC and the Sunshine Band! many of the recipes are classic Italian, and then you get a recipe that's got a salsa made from mango, mint, grappa and lime, the only thing that's Italian about this is the grappa, take that out, put in tequila and it's a mexican dish!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars It's good but flawed
A fairly good cookbook let down by a terrible layout, bland photography (it really isn't inspirational in any way) and a really annoying use of U-mamma! Read more
Published 10 days ago by AbsoluteSpirit
5.0 out of 5 stars Get it!
A fantastic recipe book filled with mouth watering recipes from snacks to delicious desserts. Highly recommended and will keep you in the kitchen for hours!
Published 17 months ago by Beefer28
5.0 out of 5 stars Irreverent and easy
I've bought 5 copies of Easy Tasty Italian (1 for me, the rest for friends). I'm a fan of Laura Santtini's work (obviously) and although it's no longer the new book on the block,... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Sarah
3.0 out of 5 stars Blonde Nigella
We've had this about a year and only used one recipe. It's a nice looking thing and some of the recipes look quite interesting but Laura Santinni's poncy style, ludicrous blonde... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Johnentwistlespout
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good dishes, but there are better Italian books out there
This book is great looking and would be something anyone would be pleased to open as a gift, however, it only has a certain market appeal due to the writing style and not quite... Read more
Published on 15 Mar 2012 by J.E.T
3.0 out of 5 stars Tasty, sure. Easy? Hmm...
I love Italian food so when amazon Vine offered this up I jumped at the chance. I am not exactly a skilled cook, I'm more a throw it all in a pot and let's see what happens sort... Read more
Published on 26 Nov 2011 by Will
2.0 out of 5 stars Nonna would not be happy!
I should start by saying that this book is incredibly `Italian' in terms of design; it is stunning to look at and the pictures are worthy of a coffee table book - which is perhaps... Read more
Published on 24 Nov 2011 by Sarah Durston
5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous grimoire of Italian cookery
This magical book brings a breathe of fresh air into cookery by taking a slightly sidereal look at classic Italian food and shows us how to make both new and traditional dishes in... Read more
Published on 23 Oct 2011 by Paolo Sammut
4.0 out of 5 stars The thinking cook's cook-book
This is a sumptuously presented book by Laura Santtini, which provides a thought-provoking, if somewhat pretentious, approach to the planning and presentation of Italian cuisine. Read more
Published on 13 Feb 2011 by Steve Benner
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy
As the title suggests, the book is full of easy and tasty Italian recipes. We've made a number of them at home and found the book inspiring and straightforward. Read more
Published on 20 Jan 2011 by Richard Hammond
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