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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Italian cookbook - ever!!
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...
Published on 29 Jun 2010 by Sue, Darlington

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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
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...
Published on 14 Nov 2012 by Kiki


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Italian cookbook - ever!!, 29 Jun 2010
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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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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastico! One Italian Book to eclipse all others, 11 Mar 2011
By 
stephen camps (London, London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional cookery course, 13 Feb 2010
By 
Greg Laws (Wiltshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You need this book in your life!, 4 Jun 2010
By 
Mr. Simon Banyard (UK) - See all my reviews
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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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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 
Kiki (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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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
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.

Bread:
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.
Rice:
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.
Pasta:
Summer Herb Cannelloni - this was very involved as it required making Fresh Pasta, Bechamel Sauce and Tomato Passata as well as the cannelloni filling ingredients. Totally worth it, it was excellent.

There are many other recipes I have marked to try - particularly during summer when we are producing a lot of veggies from our garden.

I am very happy with my purchase and I will be using it often.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who couldn't be inspired to cook (and to eat!) after reading this book, 25 May 2011
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A successful cookbook is made up of both recipes and text that gives you useful, interesting information about its recipes and ingredients, and this book does just that. If you only have room for a few cookery books on your kitchen shelf, make room for this one, I have owned many cook books over the years, and most have ended up in car boot sales, but for me this book ticks all the boxes and will remain in my kitchen next to some of the best cookery books ever published.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Katie's cookery, 23 Nov 2009
By 
Ms. Ann Alexander "Ann Alexander" (Manchester UK) - See all my reviews
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I have just completed my first recipe from Katie's latest book. It worked perfectly and was very well complimented by my guests. A tremendous book with wonderful photographs and very interesting text about Italy and all things foodie. What a great Christmas present it will make.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book!, 19 Nov 2009
By 
Daniel Hunt "daniel" (UK) - See all my reviews
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I found this an informative book stacked with useful tips - would recommend it to anyone who really wants to learn how to make proper traditional Italian food past the limited cliched dishes we sometimes, misguidedly, associate with Italy. Def broadened my understanding and 'know how' of regional italian cooking
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Scot cooking for Italians!, 10 Nov 2011
As a Scot who has rcently bought a home in Abruzzo I was daunted at the prospect of cooking for my new Italian neighbours and friends . Like most Italians they are passionate about their food and not shy in telling you where you are going wrong! However by using this excellent book and practicing the Masterclasses I have been able to present dinner parties which were met with great enhusiasm and many compliments. Molto Gracie!
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