Italy is made up of twenty regions with distinct features. Every town, every village makes the same dish in many different ways and has its proudest specialty. Local cooking preferences and customs are shaped by geographic, historical, and climatic differences. This article will provide you a brief introduction of 10 Regional Italian cookbooks from the north to the very south.
The Talisman Italian Cookbook: Italy’s bestselling cookbook adapted for American kitchens
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“The Talisman Italian Cookbook is concise, clearly written, and updated so that you can get all the ingredients you’ll need in any American supermarket, and prepare exquisite original, authentic Italian regional dishes!” – Amazon Customer
Il Talismano is the one great standard Italian cookbook for over 50 years, and its meaning to Italian is as same as Joy of Cooking to Americans. Including simple and clear best recipes for all the foods that we associate with Italian cuisine covers all the regional variations of Italian cooking: Milanese, Bolognese, Venetian, Neapolitan, Sicilian, Veronese, and Florentine. Though comprising a wide range of lands, the author still fully mentions all types of dishes, such as appetizers, seafood, pasta, and desserts.
In the American edition of The Talisman, all quantities, measurements, instructions, and ingredients have been modified to adapt American usage. The result is a collection of recipes that are as easy to cook as they are tasty.
About the Author: The book is created by author Ada Boni and translator Matilde La Rosa.
Ada Boni was an Italian chef, magazine editor, food writer, and book author. Her most famous book was The Talisman of Happiness in English in 1928. It is considered one of the best classic Italian cookbooks and is still very popular. With the stated aim of saving traditional cuisine that was being lost, she also wrote the notable book as Roman Cuisine.
Bitter Honey: Recipes and Stories from Sardinia
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“Bitter Honey takes me back to a place that I love. The photos, recipes, and stories are exquisite. Thank you Ms. Clark for this work of art and bringing a piece of Italy to anyone who owns this book. Buon Appetito!” – Tracy
In Bitter Honey, experienced chef Letitia Clark takes us into a trip to her new home on one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean Sea – Sardinia.
The slow-pace and relaxed life are reflected through local cooking itself. For example, meat is almost always slow-roasted over an open fire, often on a rustic spit. Cheese is made and matured slowly, using age-old methods and tools. Beans and legumes and most vegetables are also cooked long and slow to extract all their sweetness.
The recipes in this book don’t take much time to make, but you still can taste the spirit behind every one of them, which invites you to slow down, enjoy yourself and nourish yourself with food, friends, and family. With beautiful design, photography, full-color illustrations, and joyful lore throughout, Bitter Honey is a vacation, a cookbook, and a window onto a covetable lifestyle in the sun.
About the Author: Letitia Clark was born in the UK. After completing a degree in English Literature at Durham University, she put her love of food into practice and completed the diploma course at Leith’s School of Food and Wine.
Her first professional kitchen was The Dock Kitchen, where she worked for a year. She went back to Edinburgh University to complete a Masters in English Literature due to desire of the literary side of her life while still cooking and baking in the now notorious Peter’s Yard in the evenings.
Together with a Sardinian partner, Luca, who was also a chef, two people crave opening spaces, rustic Italian food, and a self-sufficient lifestyle, so they quit their jobs and London and moved to rural Sardinia. Here they are building a small farm and dairy, while Letitia writes about the food they cook and records the recipes.
Vegetariano: 400 Regional Italian Recipes
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“I am in love with this book. It is such a fantastic compilation of both familiar and unusual dishes from all of the regions of Italy.” – Courtney
Cooks across Italy have been making vegetarian dishes for centuries. Therefore, befitting recipes handed down through families featuring their original preparations and ingredients is much better than being re-created as vegetarian by modern chefs. Local knowledge and experience are highlighted in no-waste recipes that are meticulously researched by Slow Food.
Organized by course, these approachable 400-plus recipes are perfect for both family meals and celebratory feasts. Each features charming cultural details and culinary customs that are not found in chef-driven books.
About the Author: Slow Food is a notable principal organization founded in Italy in 1989 to preserve local foodways and traditional recipes. They raise awareness of where food comes from and affects the world around us for more people. Today, Slow Food is active in more than 160 countries, with 1,500 local chapters worldwide and more than 200,000 supporters in the United States.
Old World Italian: Recipes and Secrets from Our Travels in Italy
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“Great book on cooking discovered on the way traveling” – Cindy
As a beloved cookbook French author for A Kitchen in France and French Country Cooking, Mimi Thorisson explores Italy’s beautiful coasts and countrysides in their newest cookbook. Here Thorissons pause their lives in the peaceful French countryside to start a new adventure in Italy and satisfy their endless curiosity and passion for the magic of Italian cooking.
Old World Italian captures their journey and the culinary treasures they discovered. From Tuscany to Umbria to Naples and more, Mimi dives into Italy’s varied regional cuisines and shares 100 recipes for authentic, classic dishes, enriched by exchange information with devoted local food experts who share their ancient techniques and stories.
You’ll indulge in dishes from across the country, such as plump agnolotti bathed in sage and butter from the north, the tomato-rich ragùs and pasta of the southwest the multifaceted, seafood-laden cuisine of Sicily.
With full local color, history, and culture, plus beautiful photography shot by Mimi’s husband, Oddur Thorisson, Old World Italian transports you to a seat at the family table in Italy where you may never want to leave.
About the Author: Mimi Thorisson is a French cook and writer living between Médoc, France, and Turin, Italy. She is the author of A Kitchen in France and French Country Cooking and operates the award-winning food blog Manger, which documents her cooking adventures in Médoc and around Italy.
The Best Pasta Sauces: Favorite Regional Italian Recipes: A Cookbook
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“A Beautiful Book with Lots of Pictures! I’d give it a 10+ out of 10” – Jennie B
As a Milan native and food writer/cooking teacher, Micol Negrin explores the best, most authentic Italian pasta sauce recipes from a regional perspective in The Best Pasta Sauces.
The culinary adventure begins in northern Italy, where creamy sauces are prepared with fresh cream or local cheese. Going down to central Italy, sauces are made with cured meats, sheep’s milk cheeses, and extra-virgin olive oil. In southern Italy, simple, frugal ingredients meld into satisfying and delicious flavors.
Among others, Sicily and Sardinia’s islands take advantage of the abundant seafood from the Mediterranean and game from the mountainous terrain.
Negrin also provides a textbook on saucing the Italian way, the basics for handmade pasta, with vital ingredients for every Italian kitchen and the best food shopping sources around the United States. Wrap up with vibrant color photographs and detailed maps of the various regions, the Best Pasta Sauces lets you travel to Italy without ever leaving your kitchen.
About the Author: Micol Negrin is the owner of Rustico Cooking, an Italian cooking school in Manhattan. She is the author of the James Beard-nominated Rustico: Regional Italian Country Cooking and The Italian Grill. She was the editor of The Magazine of La Cucina Italiana for six years and has written for major newspapers like Cooking Light, Fine Cooking, and Bon Appétit. Micol Negrin lives on a small lake in New Jersey with her husband.
La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy
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“The most recent addition to my library of Italian cookbooks is a true, complete, and helpful compendium of basic and not-so-basic Italian recipes.” – Beppe Primo
Fifty years ago, a team of Italian scholars gathered to discuss how to preserve traditional Italian cooking. As a result, they grouped and formed the Italian Academy of Cuisine to record classic recipes from every region. The members interviewed grandmothers and farmers right at their stoves and transcribed their recipes with famous to even the most remote village. Some of them had never been documented before.
The result of this attempt is astounding 2,000 recipes that represent Italian country cooking. Each recipe is labeled with its region of origin, the ingredients, and the techniques that change with geography.
With unlimited achievable recipes and such simple dishes as Polenta with Tomato Sauce and Chicken with Lemon and Capers, La Cucina is a vital reference for every cook’s library.
About the Author: The Italian Academy of Cuisine was founded in 1953 in Milan to preserve the gastronomical heritage of Italy. Every year it is the host of enormous education programs and awards prizes to leaders in gastronomy. Besides that, they also release a monthly magazine and restaurant guide.
The Barbuto Cookbook: California-Italian Cooking from the Beloved West Village Restaurant
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“Marked it as to-read” – Eric Dowdle
The Barbuto Cookbook is a culinary exploration of Barbuto’s menu, a unique mixture of rustic Italian and contemporary California cuisine from legendary chef Jonathan Waxman.
From time to time, there are very few New York City restaurants that can maintain their quality and attraction to the customer as same as Jonathan Waxman’s Barbuto did. Being recognized as the first time, the Barbuto Cookbook invites home cooks into the history, culture, and cuisine of the Greenwich Village dining spot that became both a neighborhood favorite and a New York culinary destination.
In this book, Jonathan and with his team provide the essential tools for re-making Barbuto classics, including the famous JW roast chicken, the kale salad, specialty pizzas, gnocchi, spectacular desserts, and much more. Every recipe is a flavorful restaurant signature adapted for accessible preparation at home.
About the Author: Jonathan Waxman is the chef and owner at Barbuto in Manhattan’s West Village and Jams in 1 Hotel Central Park. He has made an appearance on two seasons of Top Chef Masters and is the author of two previous cookbooks. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and three children.
The Complete Italian Cookbook: Essential Regional Cooking of Italy
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“taste-filled “culinary tour” of Italy” – Virginia Campbell
If you’ve been searching for comprehensive Italian cookbooks that offer go-to recipes your Nonna will approve of, the Complete Italian Cookbook is your new passport to culinary adventures.
In this book, you will find over 100 classic, time-honored recipes that maintain the right preparation techniques, cooking methods, and fresh, seasonal ingredients of traditional Italian cuisine. Sample menus such as a Hearty Make-Ahead Supper, a Vegetarian Feast, and a Traditional Roman Supper are also suggested.
More than that, this book goes beyond other Italian cookbooks to offer a brief guide to each region’s famous foods, like the peppers, figs, San Marzano tomatoes, and lemons the Amalfi Coast is known.
About the Author: Manuela is a full-time blogger, recipe developer, photographer, and influencer. She is the creator and voice behind the blog “Cooking with Manuela” where she shares her passion for food and photography and inspires others to try new dishes with her easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions and video recipes.
Borne and grew up in Venezia, Italy, Manuela now resides in Los Angeles, California with her husband and two sons. Visit her online at CookingWithManuela.blogspot.com.
The Italian Regional Cookbook: A Great Cook’s Culinary Tour of Italy in 325 Recipes and 1500 Color Photographs
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“Even an Italian chef found this book a must-have!” – Nicole Poch
No matter how diverse regional Italian cuisine is, Italian cooking expert Valentina Harris examines each area in turn, with a carefully curated selection of recipes, and detailed instructions and photographs to help you achieve an authentic, and utterly delicious till the end.
This book is the combination of 325 recipes and 1500 unique color photos that forms a great cook’s culinary tour of Italy’s regions, including Lombardy; Piedmont; Liguria; Emilia-Romagna; Veneto; Tuscany; Umbria; Sardinia; Campania; Sicily; Puglia; Basilicata; and Calabria.
An extensive introduction thoroughly examines the history and traditions of classic Italian cooking, the ingredients, and how to prepare and use them. For the first time in the large deluxe hardback, Valentina’s prestigious Italian regional series has been published in a newly designed single volume with new additional recipes, updated dishes, and special photographs.
About the Author: Valentina Harris is a passionate Italian cook and award-winning author with over 30 books. Tracing her family back to 1369, Valentina is the youngest member of a large Anglo-Italian family of gourmets. Educated in Italy, Valentina brought her qualifications for teaching and cooking from Rome to London in 1976.
Valentina is an experienced and enthusiastic teacher and is passionate about sharing her food philosophy, techniques, stories, and experiences both with food and its intricate history. As a regular face at food festivals in the UK, Valentina stills finds time to share her expertise and love of Italian cuisine by hosting courses that can be found regularly contributing to radio, TV, newspapers, and magazines.
Now Eat This! Italian: Favorite Dishes from the Real Mamas of Italy–All Under 350 Calories
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“Rocco’s “Now Eat This” Recipes Forever; Yes, They Are That Good!” – Rani
Rocco’s Now Eat This! series consists of healthy makeovers of America’s favorite comfort foods to all under 350 calories dishes that you can enjoy it without worrying about your waistline. Everything you loved from fried chicken to apple pie cooked with zero bad carbs, zero bad fats, zero sugar, and maximum flavor.
Being one recipe book in that series, Now Eat This! Italian proves that Italian food doesn’t have to be calorie-packed to be delicious. These full-flavor, low-fat recipes are sure to indulge your taste without feeling guilty.
DiSpirito has recreated 100 classic Italian recipes in this book to be healthy and low in calories but still full of flavor. After traveling to Italy and perfecting the dishes with the Italian mamas, he offers pasta, sauces, and desserts you never thought you could eat while keeping healthy Spaghetti with My Mama’s Meatballs, Mozzarella en Carozza, Chicken Parmigiana and much more.
About the Author: Rocco DiSpirito is a chef/author of nine award-winning books, including back to back # 1 New York Times bestsellers Now Eat This! And Now Eat This! Diet.
Chef Rocco DiSpirito is on a mission to change people’s perception of healthy food by making delicious low-fat, low-calorie dishes easily accessible.
Rocco began his culinary studies at the Culinary Institute of America and was working in kitchens of legendary chefs around the globe at the age of 20. He was named Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chef and was the first chef to appear on Gourmet Magazine’s cover as America’s Most Exciting Young Chef.
Rocco is a frequent guest on Good Morning America, Rachael Ray, The Talk, and The Dr. Oz Show and has made appearances on The View, Today, The Doctors, Ellen, and many other programs.
We hope you like this post and finally find out your favorite regional Italian cookbooks. Meanwhile, we welcome you to explore our site and discover more cookbook recommendations from the same cuisine below.