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The Italian Cookery Course: 400 Authentic Regional Recipes and 40 Masterclasses on Technique Hardcover – Illustrated, 22 Oct 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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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: 21 x 4 x 25 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 339,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'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.


Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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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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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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
This is a big book, too big for its useful content. Its 510 A4 pages contain roughly 400 recipes and a lot of padding, mostly in the form of superfluous pictures and irrelevant anecdote. It is superficially nicely presented, but here and there are fundamental design flaws. In particular, the occasional black text on a dark coloured shiny paper is virtually unreadable in the kitchen environment. Also, the use of a script typeface to simulate hand-writing probably seemed like a twee idea at the time, but it looks odd and is hard to read, adds an unnecessary additional font, and is simply bad design.

The book claims to be a cookery course, but surely that should have some structure that becomes progressively more difficult? In fact, this volume has the organisation of a standard cookery book. Dotted throughout are sections entitled Masteclass; these are often simply focused collections of recipes. Even when they do involve a discussion of technique, their value is diminished because they do not have a separate index or section in the Contents. You can only hope to come across them in your travels.

If you can be persuaded to wade through the endless pictures, however, this is actually a quite good cookbook. It contains an eclectic collection of recipes that are well-written, and representative of great Italian cookery. Although the recipes are pitched at a level appropriate for the experienced cook new to Italian methods and ingredients, they do have a few flaws that only experience can prevent. I shall use the recipe for a chicken casserole with lemon to illustrate possible problems. This suggests putting two lemons, halved, into the stew and cooking for at least an hour.
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