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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic main courses, but salads and accompanying dishes slightly disappointing, 26 Mar 2008
This review is from: Real Fast Vegetarian Food (Paperback)
I've made plenty of dishes from this book and am almost always surprised by just how good a few simple ingredients can turn out. The main courses are a definite winner and I have greatly enjoyed the canned tomato soup (probably the best tomato soup I've ever eaten), dill soup and the porcini risotto...just a few store cupboard ingredients and you get amazing, delicious food. I've made almost all the recipes in the main course chapter and have not once been disappointed.

I was a little less impressed with the salad and accompanying vegetable sections, some of which turned out a little bland or ordinary...I really don't see what was the point of including a "tomato and onion salad" in the book - it is hardly a dish that requires a recipe. There are a number of similar salads that everbody has made in their lives which I feel could have been omitted in favour of something more unusual.

However, the main meals and desserts are so good that you are instantly inclined to forgive Ursula her occasional disappointing moments, and despite the uninspiring salad section I find myself turning to the risottos, soups and pastas again and again. Worth buying just for your main meals.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delicious but high fat food, 5 Feb 1999
By A Customer
If it wasn't for the fat content, I would have given the book 5 crowns. The recipes are mostly Italian with a few other Mediterranean-style flavours. Delicious, but heavy on the cheese. If I ate this way every day of the week, with so many recipes centreing around ricotta/mozzarella/marscapone, my cholesterol level would rocket. So it's best left for occasional use. I love her recipes, though, and would like to see her turn her talents to lower-fat fare.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast food as it should be, 15 May 2003
By 
SUE MARCHANT (Gloucestershire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Real Fast Vegetarian Food (Paperback)
One of my favourite cook books! My husband's vegetarian, I'm not (yet), but Ursula Ferrigno makes you forget that. The recipes are imaginative, easy to follow and wonderfully tasty. And as it says in the title - fast. Great when you're late home from work again. If you don't own a copy of TRULY ITALIAN, (or even if you do) - get this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple tasty food, 27 Jun 2011
By 
Marand (Warwickshire) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Real Fast Vegetarian Food (Paperback)
Ursula Ferrigno was born in Italy to an Italian father and English mother. Even though she moved to the UK years ago, the Italian influence is still strong and many of the recipes in this book are of Italian origin. My first copy of this book fell to bits through over-use. This simple, generally straightforward food relies as much on the quality of the ingredients as anything else. There are certainly recipes that are familiar from other books but there is also plenty that is different. The recipes cover everything from breakfast through snacks, main meals for everyday & for informal entertaining through to desserts.

Starting with Breakfasts & Brunches you will find, amongst others, tropical fruit & yoghurt shake; hot crunchy cinnamon toast (truly delicious); spiced hot apple juice; fried mozzarella sandwiches (I remember this from my days living in Italy - not exactly low-cal or difficult but divine!). Moving on to Soups, Starters & Snacks, the soups include fennel; stuffed lettuce; dill; roasted tomato & garlic; fresh pea. The snacks include crostini with aubergine purée; stuffed mushrooms; Neapolitan baked tomatoes; aubergine & mozzarella sandwich; endive with cannellini bean purée.

There are lots of vegetable accompaniments, for example Tuscan white beans with tomato & sage; ratatouille; asparagus with cream sauce; a recipe from Amalfi which elevates cauliflower from something tasteless into something more-ish; tian of baked courgettes; tomato gratin; wonderful parmesan potato cakes; a delicious potato pie from Bulgaria. Salads include lemon, fennel & rocket with radicchio; tomato and mint; French country salad with beans & potatoes.

As perhaps you would expect, mains includes pasta dishes but some unusual recipes too - roasted fennel & tomato sauce with conchiglie; aubergine cannelloni (the aubergine takes the place of the pasta); roasted red pepper plait; almond & mushroom-stuffed cabbage leaves with a creamy cider sauce; panzarotti (fried savoury pastries); a really nice summer risotto with asparagus, fennel, lemon & mint; gruyere & thyme soufflé; courgette & barley gratin; wild mushroom & basil tart; chive & poppy seed crepes; creamy chilli & tomato bake; a layered potato pie from southern Italy; asparagus & basil pancakes. The chapter 'Cooking for Friends' covers informal entertaining, generally simple recipes but which often look impressive. You will find, for example, fettucine with cream & peas; pissaldiere; tomato tart; herb, cheese & walnut loaf; fennel, tomato & spinach pancakes; ricotta & herb stuffed courgettes; courgette, mint & tomato gougere.

The desserts section again offers up recipes that are often Italian in influence or origin - raspberry fool, panna cotta, various ice-creams (zabaglione, damson), Sicilian lemon tart; chocolate tart (fabulous but to be avoided if you are on a diet); orange tart; orchard lattice pie (a glorious apple & blackberry mix that can be frozen); orange almond cookies.

The preparation of most recipes is very straightforward and, above all, tasty. Whilst there are some recipes which would be on the table in under 30 minutes, I would say that most are in the 30-60 minutes bracket and a few a little longer (at least for me & I would say I am a pretty experienced cook). The results though are reliably good.
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Real Fast Vegetarian Food
Real Fast Vegetarian Food by Ursula Ferrigno (Paperback - 8 May 2002)
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