Although we are awash in great Italian cookbooks, Luca Manfé’s My Italian Kitchen stands out from the crowd. It’s an excellent, well-written, well-edited cookbook with Italian recipes in eight chapters that cover everything from crostini, through primi and pasta to dolci. The recipes are not for beginners, but they are not overly taxing for a good cook. It helps to have a good source of Italian food ingredients.
“This book is the story of the first thirty-three years of my life.”
The two forewords and an introduction are a little too much to start with, as well as Manfé’s frequent references (and photos) to his fame as a television MasterChef. This reviewer would’ve liked to give this cookbook the highest rating, but the for the recipe layouts prevented this. Whoever designed the book has never worked in the kitchen while laboring over a recipe—many skip to overleaf pages for the inconvenience of the cook. Head notes and recipe instructions are excellent, so are the chef’s tips and sidebars. He gives very nice chapter introductions with explanation of the type of dish in that chapter. For ingredients that may be fresh or canned, he provides measurements for both. Photo illustrations are very good, not overwhelming (with some thumbnail demos). The index is well cross-referenced. The Italian glossary is too brief.
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