Fifty years ago, a group of Italian scholars gathered to discuss a problem: how to preserve traditional Italian cooking. They formed the Italian Academy of Cuisine to document classic recipes from every region. The academy’s more than seven thousand associates spread out to villages everywhere, interviewing grandmothers and farmers at their stoves, transcribing their recipes—many of which had never been documented before. This is the culmination of that research, an astounding feat—2,000 recipes that represent the patrimony of Italian country cooking. Each recipe is labeled with its region of origin, and it’s not just the ingredients but also the techniques that change with the geography. Sprinkled throughout are historical recipes that provide fascinating views into the folk culture of the past. There are no fancy flourishes here, and no shortcuts; this is true salt-of-the-earth cooking. The book is an excellent everyday source for easily achievable recipes, with such simple dishes as White Bean and Escarole Soup, Polenta with Tomato Sauce, and Chicken with Lemon and Capers. For ease of use there are four different indexes. La Cucina is an essential 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. Each year it hosts a number of education programs and awards prizes to leaders in gastronomy. Among its publications are a monthly magazine and a restaurant guide.
The most complete and authentic Italian cookbook ever published in the English language, featuring more than 2,000 recipes by home cooks, for home cooks.
“This bible of the Italian culinary tradition is now available in English, a must-have reference book for all who love cooking and eating the dishes of Il Bel Paese—Italy.” ~Lidia Bastianich, author of Lidia’s Italy
“If you have been to Italy and still dream about the fish soup you had in Liguria, the peppery pasta of Rome, or the seafood risotto of Venice—not to worry—all these dishes can be found here. This book shows that trends may come and go but the tradition of great, heartwarming Italian food is here to stay.” ~Biba Caggiano, author of Biba’s Italy
“As one would expect from a book put together by the members of the Italian Academy of Cuisine, this represents the apex of Italian food culture. The book is an essential contribution to our understanding of the intricate complexities of real Italian food. I have found here recipes unknown to me, despite my having studied the subject for more than five decades.” ~Comm. Antonio Carluccio, OBE, author of Italia: The Recipes and Customs of the Regions
"This impressive collection of recipes is a testament to the extraordinary diversity of Italian cuisine." ~Giuliano Hazan, author of Giuliano Hazan's Thirty Minute Pasta
“A comprehensive book, loaded with interesting recipes. This is the way Italians cook.” ~Pino Luongo, chef and author of Two Meatballs in the Italian Kitchen and Dirty Dishes
“At a time when regional distinctions are blurring in Italian cuisine, the publication of La Cucina comes as a forceful and comprehensive reminder of the enormous diversity and honest goodness of home cooking, which has always been the true basis for the country’s gastronomy.” ~John Mariani, author of The Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink
“Many of us feel we know the regional dishes of Italy, yet this bible of a book broadens our horizons to the unexpected. It will teach you the traditions and ingredients of Italy and an understanding of Italians’ approach to cooking—a book to truly treasure.” ~Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers, The River Café
"If you’ve traveled in Italy, you’ve probably wondered why, say, pasta with chickpeas is made differently in towns 10 kilometers apart, or why you have never found that spice cake you loved in Terni anywhere else. That’s because Italian cooking isn’t just regional, it’s microregional as La Cucina proves to fascinating effect. This book packs in so many recipes there’s no room for bucolic back stories, photos or detailed instructions…but what delicious recipes you’ll find…picking and preparing dishes at random will prove an enjoyable game for winter’s day." ~New York Times Book Review
"La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy (Rizzoli, 2009) is a masterpiece of Italian cooking, compiled by the founders of the Italian Academy of Cuisine. It's an essential addition to any cook's library with 2,000 recipes." ~Saveur
"Try to cook your way through one of these books. Bigger is better with new cookbook trend." ~The Associated Press
"The book is absurdly comprehensive…" ~Time Out New York
"La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy (Rizzoli; 928 pages; $45). More than 2,000 recipes from all over Italy, collected a half century ago by cultural preservationists and published here for the first time in English. The recipes are neatly organized and identified by region - there are dozens of recipes just for anchovies (yes, that is a good thing). Every home should have a copy." ~The San Francisco Chronicle
"The book reads that way, familial and familiar, idiosyncratic yet organized, and feels at times like spending a year in Italian kitchens, circa 1950. Nonni would approve." ~Foreword Magazine