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The Italian Cookery Course: 400 Authentic Regional Recipes and 40 Masterclasses on Technique [Illustrated] [Hardcover]

Katie Caldesi
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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Book Description

22 Oct 2009
Katie Caldesi travelled the rice fields of Italy's northern provinces and the lemon groves of the south, the richly diverse urban and rural terrains and patchwork regions. She collated recipes, techniques and ingredients to create this unique compendium of Italian food. 'The Italian Cookery Course' will guide you through the vast collection of famous recipes and lesser-known regional dishes, with clear instruction on how to replicate them at home. The book is broken down into straightforward chapters including 'Meat', 'Fish', 'Dolci' and 'Cheese'. Each chapter contains 'masterclasses' on technique, revealing the practical secrets of Italian cooking and giving the reader new confidence in the kitchen. All this is interwoven with fascinating narration about the culinary influences that have come together to create this wonderful cuisine.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Kyle Cathie; 1st Edition edition (22 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1856267792
  • ISBN-13: 978-1856267793
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 25.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 270,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Katie Caldesi and her husband Giancarlo own London's Caldesi Restaurant and Caffé Caldesi. Katie is the principal of their cookery school, La Cucina Caldesi, where she teaches alongside some of the biggest names in Italian cuisine, including Gennaro Contaldo, Ursula Ferrigno and Valentina Harris. Together Giancarlo and Katie co-authored Italian Mama's Kitchen and Return to Tuscany, the cookbook that accompanied a BBC2 TV series chronicling the couple's trip to Tuscany to rediscover Giancarlo's culinary roots.

Product Description


'The Italian Cookery Course aimed at the serious students of Italian cookery and culture, takes a more in-depth approach, with the aim of developing the key skills of Italian cooking.' Time Out 'This book is not only a fascinating read, teaching you about the regions of Italy, but is also full of things that you really do want to cook.' --Thomasina Miers, The Times

Katie's excellent book includes ingredients lists and 400 traditional recipes. She highlights distinctive dishes from Italy's 20 different regions and reveals practical secrets for risotto, meats and gnocchi. --BBC Good Food Magazine

Katie Caldesi offers 500 recipes gathered during her travels from the rice fields of the northern provinces to the lemon groves of the south. Her interspersed masterclasses add spice to this mammoth book. --The Independent

About the Author

Owner of London's Caldesi Restaurant and Caffé Caldesi, Katie is also the principal of the cookery school, La Cucina Caldesi, where she teaches alongside some of the biggest names in Italian cuisine, including Gennaro Contaldo, Ursula Ferrigno and Valentina Harris. Previously, Katie and her husband Ginacarlo co-authored Italian Mama's Kitchen and Return to Tuscany, the cookbook that accompanied a BBC2 TV series which chronicled the couple's trip to Tuscany to rediscover Giancarlo's culinary roots.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You need this book in your life! 4 Jun 2010
This book is brilliant! If you are looking to buy a book about simple Italian cuisine, then your search has ended. The recipes are well detailed and easy to follow, as are the 'master classes'. The book is beautifully illustrated with photographs of the food including the steps taken by those that cooked it and includes excellent guides to Italian cheeses and wines too. So far every recipe I have prepared has been a winner. The Ragù alla Bolognese is to die for and the pizza recipe will have you never dialling for a take-out again (my partner said it was one of the best pizzas she'd ever had!). All in all, beautifully simple and easy to follow recipes that help you produce wonderfully delicious and seemingly complex dishes. My only niggle is the portion sizes are on the large size--often the recipes cater for 8-12 people, but it's not too hard to work out the proportions for smaller quantities--it's certainly worth it!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Italian cookbook - ever!! 29 Jun 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is quite simply one of the best cookbooks ever! Lovely photos make the dishes look very appealing yet they are really true to the dishes we produced in our kitchen! The recipes are easy to follow and the evocative background stories add up to a perfect combination. We have tried about ten of the recipes so far and they have all turned out beautifully. The best thing about it is the teaching of classic techniques rather than just passing on recipes. A really great book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Pronto. In short this Italian cook book has eclipsed my italian collection in terms of inspiration, methodology and results and Ihave a few; Most of River Cafe, Jamie's, Carluccio's, Zilli, Little along with the excellent Frankie Dettori, Angela Hartnett and the sublime read of Locatelli. For a large book this is very accessible and once opened you want to cook from it. It's clear why their school is so sucessful as the methods are clear and easily understood with lots of lovely pictures too. If I had to dump all my other Italian books and keep just one this would win with Hartnett in 2nd place. An excellent book and a bargain at this price.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional cookery course 13 Feb 2010
This book is exactly what it says on the cover, a cookery course and not simply a bunch of recipes. I've been intrigued by Italian food for years and relish dining in genuine Italian restaurants in the UK which are not easy to find. I wanted to learn Italian cookery but found little inspiration in other books. Then this book came along as a present. It is amazing. First it gives you wonderful background to the cooking, then you are taken on a lesson in cooking like an Italian in Katie's master classes, finally you get to knock up the real deal in recipes that are simple, brilliantly presented and above all authentic. I love that confidence that you are truly honouring one of the world's greatest cooking traditions. Finally it is a really well made, bomb proof book. A truly remarkable achievement and I would be amazed if it ever received anything less than a five star review.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not THAT great, definitely not that authentic 14 Nov 2012
By Chiara
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Everyone seems to be raving about how authentic this book is, but it's really not. Around one out of every three recipes (often on the same page) says 'this isn't how an Italian would do it...don't tell an Italian!' or 'don't invite an Italian!'. Cute, but not exactly what I was looking for. I was taught to cook by my dad who used to live in Italy, and the recipes in here go against some of the basics I was taught (I have actually checked, he didn't make this stuff up) - egg whites in the carbonara, for example. Don't tell an Italian! Yeah...they'd be able to tell.

I have the basics of Italian cooking more or less down (don't get me wrong, the Master classes in this book are VERY useful for the things you just wouldn't normally do, like making pasta), what I need help with is learning how to season food properly to make it really Italianicious - I always err too far on the side of caution. Unfortunately that's the one thing this book doesn't help with, with the exception of the fresh herbs it pretty much doesn't mention seasoning in the recipes at all, which is a shame. So if you make stuff to the letter the result is very bland, but I guess that's not the intention.

I've also noticed some recipes which are clearly just untested in this book, and a few which are badly edited. The recipe for spaghetti meatballs, for example, kind of just ends halfway through and you have to guess the rest. With a book of this size I suppose that's to be expected but I think they got the scope wrong. They're also missing out on a lot of recipes you'd expect from an Italian cookbook (e.g. chicken cacciatore).

The recipes are good for absolute basics (e.g. how to make pesto) but the proper meal recipes mostly need to be adapted, for which you need some pre-existing understanding that the book's niche doesn't really fit. Good for flicking through and combining bits and pieces, but if you want the Bible of Italian cooking I'm told it's Silver Spoon.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I will be using it often 13 Jun 2011
By HelenW
I received my 2nd hand copy of this book a few weeks back - it came up on my amazon US recommendations list, and after reading that the measurement system had been converted for the US issue, I decided to track down the original.

I really love the set up of this book which is divided into sections: Forweword; Introduction; The Wines of Italy; Bread; Pizza and Savoury Pastries; Antipasti; Soup and Stock; Pasta; Rice and Polenta; Fish; Meat; Poultry and Game; Vegetables and Salad; Dolci; Cheeses; Preserves; Glossary; Bibliography; Index.

Each section has lots of information. For example the Antipasti chapter includes the Introduction; A guide to Salumi; seperate sections with information about Bresaola, Proscuitto, Olives, Tomatoes, Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar, with a master class and many recipes throughout. Very informative.

I am now very keen for my husband to hunt down one of the rabbits that are currently free-loading on our property so I can try out the rabbit recipes included.

I have tried a number of the recipes, as follows, with good success and the book is already significantly oil smudged.

Ciabatta - very easy and tasted great fresh & toasted the next day/s
Foccacia - a little drier than my usual recipe, but I did have to cook it longer than recommended to get the colour that I wanted, so probably the reason, but I will stick to my usual recipe on this one. Again, great toasted the next day and drizzled with olive oil.
Mushroom & Saffron Risotto (sans saffron) - I have had varying success with risotto and as it is a bit of a non-event with my kids, I don't get to practice very often. This one worked out great - my husband and I loved it - kids, as expected, totally disinterested.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for cooks of all levels
If you are new to some aspects of Italian cooking, such as pasta-making, making the perfect granita or boning a rabbit, this is the book for you. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Miranda
5.0 out of 5 stars Authentic
A very authentic book. Makes a change from all the Anglicised Italian recipe books out there. Gives a real taste of Italy with practicality mixed in.
Published 5 months ago by mr Kenneth J Sharman
4.0 out of 5 stars The Italian Cookery Course: Techniques, Masterclasses, Ingredients,
Fantastic, the best of my Italian books that I bought. The bread recipes are amazing and so easy to make and advantage is if you have a bread maker too!!
Published 6 months ago by Linda Griffin
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious!
Bought this as a present for a friend. She absolutely loves it and uses it constantly. From the Italian meals she has cooked for me, I must say they are delicious
Published 10 months ago by starcat
5.0 out of 5 stars comprehensive and authentic
utterly amazing. not your average 'flick through and knock up a meal' type recipe book, this is pure italian cooking right from the heart. Read more
Published 10 months ago by VenusSpecimen
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding.
I bought this book for my daughter who is learning Italian cookery. It has everything in it a beginner needs to know and would also be well received by an accomplished cook. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Fisher
5.0 out of 5 stars The best cookery book I own...............
All you have ever wanted or needed to know about Italian cooking is in this book. Easy to follow recipes for complicated and simple meals.
Published 12 months ago by V. S. Russell
5.0 out of 5 stars the best.
this , is one of the best books that i have ever bought, it makes me smile everytime i open it. the only problem i have with this book, is all the recipes are so good it becomes... Read more
Published 12 months ago by jenna
5.0 out of 5 stars Great present
Bought this for my sister's birthday as she had done the course and she was very pleased with it. First recipe she tried on us was superb :-)
Published 14 months ago by D. Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
Beautifully be scribed recipes that take time patience and are delicious. I have also bought it as a present for everal friends who also love it.
Published 15 months ago by cadle
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