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Italian Classics (Best Recipe) [Hardcover]

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Item description for Italian Classics (Best Recipe) by Cook's Illustrated Magazine & Cook's Illustrated...

Covering the wide range of Italian cooking, the 337 recipes in this book run the gamut from Tuscan Tomato and Bread Soup to Sicilian Chickpeas and Escarole--with American favorites such as Chicken Parmesan, Calzone, Risotto, and Tiramisu represented as well. More than 200 hand-drawn illustrations show how to shape pizza, prepare artichokes, make espresso, and more.

Publishers Description
Designed with the home cook in mind, this collection of classic Italian recipes has been stripped to the bone and then reworked, updated, and improved so that each recipe is as close to foolproof as possible.

Awards and Recognitions
Italian Classics (Best Recipe) by Cook's Illustrated Magazine & Cook's Illustrated has received the following awards and recognitions -
  • IACP Crystal Whisk Award - 2003 Winner - Single Subject category

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Item Specifications...

Studio: America's Test Kitchen
Pages   496
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 11.14" Width: 8.62" Height: 1.44"
Weight:   3.4 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Sep 15, 2002
Publisher   Boston Common Press
ISBN  0936184582  
ISBN13  9780936184586  

Availability  0 units.

More About Cook's Illustrated Magazine & Cook's Illustrated

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! This book has been tested, written, and edited by the test cooks, editors, food scientists, tasters, and cookware specialists at America s Test Kitchen, a 2,500-square-foot kitchen located just outside Boston. It is the home ofCook s Illustratedmagazine andCook s Countrymagazine, the public television cooking showsAmerica s Test KitchenandCook s Country from America s Test Kitchen, America s Test Kitchen Radio, and the online America s Test Kitchen Cooking School."

Cook's Illustrated Magazine currently resides in Boston, in the state of Massachusetts.

Cook's Illustrated Magazine has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Cook's Illustrated

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Cooking, Food & Wine > General
2Books > Subjects > Cooking, Food & Wine > Regional & International > European > Italian
3Books > Subjects > Cooking, Food & Wine > Special Occasions > General
4Books > Subjects > Cooking, Food & Wine > Special Occasions > Holidays

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Reviews - What do customers think about Italian Classics (Best Recipe)?

Excellent Italian reference for American cooks  May 28, 2006
A passionate home cook that has been honing her cooking skills for the last 25 years, concentrating on Italian cooking for the last 10 years, writes this review. My favorite cookbooks are "The Professional Chef" by the Culinary Institute and "Culinary Artistry". With more than 500 cookbooks in my collection I am usually disappointed in my recent cookbook acquisitions. I am also very tough on Italian cookbooks in particular.

The "Italian Classics" by the editors of Cooks Illustrated Magazine pleasantly surprised me. I expected the typical Italian American recipes that I dislike. This book is much more authentic that I expected it to be. Even as an experienced Italian cook I find it difficult to criticize this book to any large extent.

The editors of Cook's Illustrated write this book in the same manner as their other books. The writers tell you what they tried that didn't work, before they get to the ingredients and techniques that did work. There are very few pictures in this book. The paper is not the glossy stock that you find in my cookbooks today. I would have appreciated if the book had included the Italian names for the recipes. Sometimes they include the Italian name of the recipes in the narrative about the recipe, and sometimes they do not. But, the recipes themselves more make up for these minor disappointments.

The book is outlines as follows:
1. Antipasti
2. Salads
3. Vegetables
4. Soups
5. Pasta
6. Risotto, Polenta, and Bean
7. Poultry
8. Meat
9. Fish and Shellfish
10. Bread and Pizza
11. Eggs and Savory Tarts
12. Fruit Desserts
13. Chilled and Frozen Desserts
14. Biscotti, Crostate, and Cakes

The first recipe that I check out in any Italian cookbook to gauge its authenticity is Spaghetti Carbonara. If this recipe has cream included the book is immediately put back on the shelf. Unexpectedly, the recipe is this book does not add the cream, as American books tend to do. As I looked further, I realized that the authors tried to make each recipe as authentic as possible. The reason for the qualifier is that it is always not possible to make a recipe 100% authentic. I for one have never found an American supplier of Guanciale (cured pig's cheek), and Farro is also tough to come by. The writers did a very nice job substituting products that are easier to locate in the US.

If you are in need of comprehensive and reasonably authentic Italian cookbook, this will make a nice addition to your cookbook collection.
My favorite cuisine-specific book  Oct 21, 2005
Cooks Illustrated did an excellent job with this book. It is an invaluable reference to me because my knowledge of Italian fare is limited. True to form, CI takes the guesswork out of making the recipes and provides valid reasons why not to stray. If you are unfamiliar with CI methodology, each recipe comes with a background information regarding the failed tests that lead to the creation of the recipe. If you are not interested in this type of background, the recipes are still great so just skip the added info.

I really enjoy the tasting and equipment ratings that have been incorporated into the book. This is not an all-day recipe type of book. CI balances time with flavor. Many of the recipes can be used for weeknight meals and certainly for weekends.

My favorite pasta sauce recipes are from this book. They turn out perfectly every time.
Better than average reference for Italian dishes.  Sep 17, 2005
'Italian Classics' is a 'Cooks Illustrated' treatment of well known Italian recipes. I have reviewed a number of similar 'Cooks Illustrated' books and a fabulous number of Italian cookbooks, and I believe that this volume is both better than the average 'Cooks Illustrated' volume AND better than the average Italian cookbook.

Part of the value of this book is not due to the efforts of the 'Cooks Illustrated' staff, it is due to their applying their usual approach to a body of recipes which are well established and about which there is a great body of writing already available in English.

That means that when they evaluate a pasta Puttanesca recipe, there is little chance they will be going wrong, as they have the writings of Marcella Hazan, Lydia Bastianich, Mario Batalli, Giuliano Bugialli, and Michelle Scicolone to proof their researches against.

This is not to say that they sometimes go off the deep end of fussiness, as when they suggest parboiling the garlic in the pan before adding the oil and other ingredients so as to not burn the garlic when starting out on their Puttanesca.

Still, I am always guaranteed of seeing a highly reliable recipe for the Italian standards in this volume and while I have multiple volumes written by all those other authors, I still refer to this book first every time I want to do meatballs or lasagna or gnocchi or osso bucco.

Recommended for people who like to cook Italian.
Excellent reference book on Italian Cooking  May 18, 2005
Would you like to learn all the tips and tricks about Italian Cooking? How about learning what is the best perfoming spaguetti brand, or different types of eggplant and how to work with it? Best garlic crusher, best pans, best everything - look no further: this is the book to get all the information you need.

The guys at Cooking Illustrated did an outstanding job researching for this book, I was very pleased and impressed. This is my first "The Best Recipe Series" cookbook! (and now I that I know the format of these books I want to buy the other ones too.!!)

This is a book you want to take to bed and read - recommended for both the amateur cook and for the professional - lots and lots of interesting facts and information about ingredients, techniques, products, equipment, utensils, you name it.

If you are a cookbook lover like myself, you will see the difference between this one and all the rest of the books you have read.

Rich of great recipes and information  Jan 31, 2005
This is a great book for anyone interested in cooking italian. It provides very in depth discussions of many classic italian dishes and many possible variants. I agree with a previous reviewer that this book is not perfect and some dishes miss essential ingredients. But I still think it is a great book. Most of the recipes are excellent and, most importantly, this books provides a lot of information on why and how: once you will digest this type of information you'll be able to even get creative a make your own italian style dishes.

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