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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars

on 25 August 2017
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 30 April 2011
This book presents recipes from the, perhaps, less well-known parts of Italy, covering the cuisine of the regions of northern Italy. I am at a loss to understand one reviewer's comment that these are not authentic dishes. Having lived in northern Italy and travelled there frequently, many of the dishes are familiar to me. Certainly these recipes differ from southern Italian cooking, for example using rice or polenta rather than pasta or beans and chick peas.

The chapters are arranged by region, covering Lombardy, Piedmont, Trentino-Alto Adige, the Veneto, Friuli, Liguria, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria, the Marches. Each chapter starts with an introduction to the cuisine of the region, perhaps a mention of certain meals the author has eaten there. Here are a few of the recipes: trout baked in red wine; rice dressed with Fontina & butter; chick pea & vegetable soup; bean & barley soup; baked polenta with mushrooms & cheese (a lasagne made with layers of polenta rather than pasta); pork bundles with herbs & pancetta; osso bucco; poached chicken stuffed with walnuts, ricotta & parmesan; stuffed onions; stuffed sole in saffron sauce; from Venice, fish & tagliatelle pie; potato ravioli; a variety of fish soups from Liguria; courgette tourte (filo pastry filled with a courgette, rice and egg mixture) - an excellent vegetarian dish; tomato crumble (the crumble being a mix of breadcrumbs, herbs & Parmesan) - simple but a great accompaniment to fish or meat dishes; simple, but lovely, braised potatoes; white fish baked in tomato sauce; cannellini beans with garlic, sage & oil; stewed octopus; Florentine roast pork; lamb stewed in wine; panna cotta al caffé; chocolate & hazelnut truffle cups (delightful and delightfully simple to make).
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on 10 September 2011
This book was bought for me by friends a couple of years back, and over that time has become a firm favourite in my kitchen. As another reviewer has said, this is more than just a collection of recipes. The introductions to the chapters on each region give a vivid overview of the cuisine of the area as well as explaining how the geography and people of the region have influenced the regional culinary traditions. There are also introductions to the recipes which put them in their own context, so when cooking the recipes you don't just end up with an (admittedly excellent) plate of food but you can also experience a part of Italy. I totally disagree with the one-star reviewer; I've eaten many of these dishes in Northern Italy - and not in the tourist restaurants but in the authentic, out of the way, Italian eateries. A fantastic book, and heartily recommended.
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on 4 July 2010
I think this is a really great book and I do not agree with the one star review at all. It actually makes me wonder whether the review was written for the right book! This is quite possibly the most detailed and well researched book I have ever read on Italian cooking. The author has done so much research and has obtained most of these recipes from family, friends or the local baker, fisherman, grandmother etc from the many towns and regions that she has visited throughout Northern Italy.

The recipes are different and interesting but I wouldnt say 'exotic' in the way that they are aimed to cheat the customer like another reviewer said. I think that the majority of the recipes have been passed down through families over many generations using local, seasonal ingredients from the particular region. For example, Anna explains that a Milanese Ossobuco should not contain tomatoes as tomatoes were not part of the tradiditional repertoire for this region, as tomatoes do not grow in the northern regions of Italy! To me, that indicates some thorough research has been done and Anna has a great wealth of knowledge on Italian cookery anyway.

I think these days we see recipes from so many hopeless cookery tv shows, celebrity chefs, nonsense cookery books/magazines and very average Italian restaurants outside Italy that we are blinded! This is a very good book if you are interested in northern italian cookery.
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on 16 March 2009
I can highly recommend it! This book shows the essence of the Italian cuisine (although I am not sure anymore whether it is appropriate to talk about Italian cuisine or rather the cuisine of different regions of Italy). It is more than a cook book. It allows you to feel the Italy and understand the people by learning their cuisine. Thank you very much Mrs Del Conte that there are still cook book writers like you.
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on 8 September 2010
I just came back from a lovely time in Liguria and was really pleased to find a book with recipes of the region, plus several of the others I have visited in the past. I found a good number of the dishes I had in Florence, Genoa and Venice in the book. The recipes look authentic, I certainly recognise a lot of the names. To say that they are not "Italian" is unfair. Perhaps the reviewer comes from another part of the Republic, like in the south, where the cooking tradition is quite different. Flicking through the section on Liguria; there were recipes on Farinata, Minestrone with pesto, Polpettone di Fagiolini and Mackerel with peas. All of which I have eaten in Genoa. All made with local ingredients and nothing exotic in the least. I will now return my library copy and go and find one somewhere. I am sure I will enjoy using this book.
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on 7 February 2017
Anna Del Conte deserves her reputation
. This was a present for my daughter-in-law who is a fabulous cook, and she loved it.
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on 17 September 2014
I lent my son, with colour plates the orignal. dog'ard.
So i bought another.
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on 26 March 2008
No doubt recipes are good. Just what it says is different than how dishes would be cooked in Italy. It is full of exotic recipes aimed to cheat the customer already kidnapped by supermarkets, glossy magazines, celeb chefs, entarteinment tv program pretending to be cooking program. At the same time many, perhaps most, of the basic italian recipes are simply absent.

Buy it if you know nothing about italian food, are happy to continue to know nothing, and want good recipes (not italian, but good).
If you look for italian food look elsewhere.
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