Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Fitbit



There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

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.
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 14 June 2017
Great book,if you like Italian.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've always liked Italian food, and this is the first book I've owned specific to it.

I opened it and immediately had to borrow some reading glasses because the type is small and the content quite densely packed. It feels like the book was designed to be 30cm by 21cm by instead of the actual 25cm by 18cm. This loses it a star, alas.

However, once I started reading it I was drawn in. The style is light, friendly and very entertaining, full of gentle humour and irony, it could almost be a novel except the recipes are very real and recognisable, and often with an extra dimension that seems obvious when there but I would never have thought of.

This is possibly one of the better books I have read recently, and it is a cookery book! Once one is accustomed to the cramped layout it does make sense, and the method of how to use it is clear. I'd been spoiled by recently reading Simon Hopkinson's The Vegetarian Option which is a perfect model of how best to present the information, but this Laura Santtini book scores more highly for the content.

The explanation of how Umami works is crystal clear, and makes perfect sense. I've been cooking for fifty years and how could I have missed this? Seeing it applied explains why all my favourites taste so good. And then there are a whole load of new recipes and ideas. The pictures of the finished dishes are mouth watering and I hope I can emulate them. In a word then? 'Wonderful!'

I can't wait to work my way through it all. Recommended!

Addendum 19 Nov 2009.
We had tried five random recipes before I wrote the review, all standards, to see if her methods worked better than the way we normally did them. Her methods worked well so I wrote the review.

Since then, we've selected maybe another ten of the recipes from different parts of the book, ignoring the gold etc sillies which I think are jokes aimed at the pretentious. So far, all the so-called 'odd' ingredients were easily found locally, mostly in WR and some in a few little delicatessens an Italian friend pointed me at. All have worked better than we expected, and so we (four cooks in this house) will be continuing our random journey of enjoyment through the book.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 December 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'm not sure how 'The Bookseller' could describe this as "the perfect girlfriend present" - I am a woman and some of the non-food photos in this book I find to be rather unsavory! Such as french kissing with tongues obviously showing and a picture of a man in underpants right at the back. Those pictures actually detract from the cookbook side and for that reason I would not gift this to anyone and certainly not a woman.

As other reviewers have noted, I think in trying desperately to make this book different, it has dumbed the book right down unfortunately.

However, the actual food content of the book is very, very good and that's why despite the above I have given it 4 stars.

Quality food photographs are essential in the cookbooks I enjoy, Easy Tasty Italian does not disappoint in this respect. The food photographs are wonderfully seductive and tasteful. I just wish there were more food photographs instead of the other, silly pictures.

As for the recipes themselves, easy is debatable because for a start there are some very specialist items which many people will find a challenge to get hold of. There are some easy recipes but I wouldn't say they are representative of the book. Only 12 deserts and I have a sweet tooth so this is not a big enough selection for me personally but the ones included do look very appealing. But plenty of meat, fish and pasta recipes which will appeal to those who are looking for a bit of Italian flavour.

So far this has been one of those 'coffee table books' for us but there are several recipes I am planning to try including antipasti and risottos so will hopefully update my review at some point.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 1 December 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is one of those increasingly rare, but very special types of recipe book that not only tell you HOW to make the meals, but WHY you do it the way specified. This makes it possible even for idiots like me to rustle up some impressive meals and makes you more willing to experiment and go beyond the basics outlined on these pages.

As other reviews have stated this is clearly laid out in such a way as to catch the eye and appeal to a particular market. It's also true that there are some rather ludicrous ingredients from time to time. But accusations of style over substance are, in my personal opinion, a step too far. Beneath nthe gloss this is a well written and helpful guide to Italian cooking.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 14 November 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
OK so I ordered this book mostly for my wife with a view to building up a bit more confidence in the kitchen myself. I can't argue with the quality of the book. Nicely laid out, interesting in design and very in depth. For me though, being very in depth is part of the problem. If I order a book which has the word easy in the title well it's not a great leap for me to expect the content to be easy to follow. Alas I personally found this not to be the case. Thankfully though where I struggle my wife copes quite admirably. In my opinion this book is definitely not for the novice. That said, when an expert gets involved some of the dishes my wife has made are simply delightful, hence the three stars and not one!!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 20 October 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book is something different from what I expected. It is a really nice book, very funky with a somewhat different take on Italian food than I am used to. For example, the author uses the term 'umami' (a Japanese term for one of the 5 basic tastes) a great deal and also Japanese ingredients such as seaweed. Some of the recipes will never make it into my repertoire (such as the really revolting looking squid ink risotto!) but there are a fair few lovely sounding recipes with beautiful accompanying photographs which I am likely to have a go at. All in all, a very nice book with a lot of recipes which are 'everyday' recipes and not all really unusual or restaurant-y.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 24 November 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
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 where it's best to keep it!

Having grown up in a house with Italian grandparents and a father who is an Italian chef, I was surprised to find that the recipes were largely unrecognisable, time consuming and fussy. I'm sure that if you have a great deal of money to spend (someone has already mentioned the huge amount of ingredients required) and limitless amounts of time then this is the book for you, otherwise I'd try and go for something more substance over style!
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 20 November 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
OK, so how many ways can there be to cook pasta, because after all, that is Italian food, right? Wrong! Starting from an intriguing concept of satisfying the inner man (or woman), in a way that is difficult to define, this book demonstrates that even an inexperienced cook can achieve really quite palatable dishes.

More importantly, for me, having reviewed another cookery title recently, I was pleased that this book achieved such delights of taste without having to use ridiculously expensive ingredients.

I would heartily recommend this book as an addition and a staple on any cook's shelf.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'm really quite impressed with this book, which has a very simple and logical format - basics such as pastes, rubs and sauces first, detailed recipes later on. There are also several 'Top 10s' - for classic Italian vegetable dishes, pasta sauces, and quick easy desserts (actually, the latter is really a 'Top 12!').

With the exception of the rather dodgy looking squid ink risotto, and veal in tuna sauce mentioned by other reviewers, most of the photographs and art-work are gorgeous. Chili chocolate orange mousse is presented in a pretty vintage tea-cup, and 'The Green Baron' (lemon, basil and vermouth sorbet) in a fab deco cocktail glass.

Other appealing recipes are roasted lamb with tomato and pecorino, and grilled swordfish with an unusual strawberry, cucumber and coriander salsa. My first attempt at one of the recipes was zucchini fritti - a sort of courgette and Parmesan tempura. This was something I'd enjoyed at 'The Elk in The Woods' restaurant, and I was delighted to be able to replicate it at home. I did however shallow fry in about 1cm of oil, rather than scary deep frying (a tip I picked up from Nigel Slater's recent TV series).

The author, Laura Santtini does have some slightly cheesy patter - talk of 'flavour bombs' interspersed with song lyrics might not be everyone's cup of tea, but there's no getting away from the fact that this is actually a pretty decent cookery book. If you don't already have any Italian recipes, this is a very good starting point.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)