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Get Your Apron On! The 21 Best Italian Cookbooks for Beginners

Get Your Apron On! The 21 Best Italian Cookbooks for Beginners. such as The Italian Cookbook for Beginners, The Silver Spoon, Cucina Povera, Rustico.

Welcome to an insightful journey through the '21 Best Italian Cookbooks for Beginners,' written by Muhiuddin Alam on the book recommendations and reviews site, ReadingAndThinking.com.

Over the years as a leading authority on literary expertise, I've created numerous articles on the topics of Best CookBooks, many of which can be found on this site. I'm also a regular contributor to other book-related websites and publications.

I have received many requests to recommend some of the best Italian cookbooks. In response, I'm pleased to offer my expert recommendations in this article.

I will recommend the Best Italian cookbooks for beginners in this post, which is based on my in-depth study and testing in this field. 

Such as The Italian Cookbook for Beginners, The Silver Spoon, The Classic Italian Cookbook, Falling Cloudberries, Laura in the Kitchen, The Gourmet Mag, The Glorious Pasta of Italy, and Rustico.

These aren't the only books on this topic. Below, you'll find 21 books with detailed descriptions of each of these outstanding resources, helping you make well-informed decisions in your Italian cookery book journey.

So, when I suggest these Italian cookery books, it's because I've read a lot and want to share the best ones with you. I'm all about making your reading experience awesome. Trust in a guide deeply immersed in the literary books and stories. I love books just like you do!

The Italian nation is a nation of gourmets, and they have a long history in food, just like their art, fashion, and cars, always fond of elaborate preparations.

Italian food, which has a long history, has had a profound impact on catering in European and American countries and has developed various factions including French food and American food, so it is known as the "Mother of Western Food".

Some people travel for the beautiful scenery, while others travel for the food. You can feast your eyes on Italian specialties and take a dip in Italy’s beautiful scenery.

Italian food is elegant and noble, rich and simple, and pays attention to its original flavor. Italian cuisine is very rich, with thousands of dishes.

best-italian-cookbooks-for-beginners

The 21 Best Italian Cookbooks for Beginners

Explore the best Italian cookery books for beginners of 2024 that focus on techniques and offer tips for mastering skills in your own kitchen.

Compile a list of 21 Italian cookbooks, including classic dishes like pasta Alla carbonara and tiramisu to lesser-known specialties like Carciofi Alla Giudia and Polpette di Melanzane.

These Italian cookbooks provide a wealth of recipes and information about Italian cuisine, evaluated based on criteria such as recipe variety, traditional techniques, instruction clarity, photograph quality, and the author's credentials for both beginners and experienced cooks looking to learn more about the rich culinary traditions of Italy.

In addition, we'll highlight some of the most important features of every cookbook and share reviews from other beginners who have used them to learn Italian cooking.

1. The Italian Cookbook for Beginners by Salinas Press

The Italian Cookbook for Beginners: The Italian Cookbook for Beginners: Over 100 Classic Recipes with Everyday Ingredients

Italian food is the ultimate comforting homemade cuisine. Full of rich, robust flavors, enticing aromas, and exuberant colors, Italian cuisine is a celebration of love for both food and family. 

With The Italian Cookbook for Beginners, you won't need to travel far and wide to enjoy the authentic flavors of Italy. Offering over 100 classic recipes, The Italian Cookbook for Beginners will show you how to cook like an Italian mama, using affordable everyday ingredients from your local grocery store. 

The Italian Cookbook for Beginners offers simple, delicious Italian recipes that bring the hearty flavors of Italy into your home. 

The Italian Cookbook for Beginners will show you how to easily create your own classic Italian cuisine, with 

  • 105 authentic Italian Cookbook recipes that use affordable, easy-to-find ingredients 
  • Simple Italian Cookbook versions of your favorites, such as homemade pizza, Eggplant Parmigiana, and Italian-style pork chops 
  • 4 basic sauces to liven up any dish 
  • Tips on buying fresh fish and matching sauces with pasta from the editors of The Italian Cookbook 
  • Guide to planning a complete Italian meal 

Using The Italian Cookbook You don't need fancy techniques, hard-to-find ingredients, or specialized tools to create mouthwatering Italian dishes; all you need is The Italian Cookbook for Beginners and a desire to mangia!

2. The Silver Spoon by The Silver Spoon Kitchen

The Silver Spoon (Traditional Italian Home Cooking Recipes) by The Silver Spoon Kitchen

The Silver Spoon, the most influential and bestselling Italian cookbook of the last 50 years, is now available in a new updated, and revised edition. 

This bible of authentic Italian home cooking features over 2,000 revised recipes and is illustrated with 400 brand-new, full‐color photographs. 

A comprehensive and lively book, its uniquely stylish and user‐friendly format makes it accessible and a pleasure to read. 

The new updated edition features new introductory material covering such topics as how to compose a traditional Italian meal, typical food traditions of the different regions, and how to set an Italian table. 

It also contains a new section of menus by celebrity chefs cooking traditional Italian food including Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich, Tony Mantuano, Rich Torrisi, and Mario Carbone.

Il Cucchiaio d’Argento was originally published in Italy in 1950 by the famous Italian design and architectural magazine Domus and became an instant classic. 

A select group of cooking experts were commissioned to collect hundreds of traditional Italian home cooking recipes and make them available for the first time to a wider modern audience. 

In the process, they updated ingredients, quantities, and methods to suit contemporary tastes and customs, at the same time preserving the memory of ancient recipes for future generations.

Divided into eleven color‐coded chapters by course, The Silver Spoon is a feat of design as well as content. 

Chapters include Sauces, Marinades and Flavored Butter, Antipasti, Appetizers and Pizzas, First Courses, Eggs, Vegetables, Fish and Shellfish, Meat, Poultry, Game, Cheese, and Desserts. 

It covers everything from coveted authentic sauces and marinades to irresistible dishes such as Penne Rigate with Artichokes, Ricotta and Spinach Gnocchi, Tuscan Minestrone, Meatballs in Brandy, Bresaola with Corn Salad, Pizza Napoletana, Fried Mozzarella Sandwiches and Carpaccio Cipriani.

3. The Classic Italian Cookbook by Marcella Hazan 

The Classic Italian CookbookMarcella Hazan introduced Americans to a whole new world of Italian food. In this, magnum opus, she gives us a manual for cooks of every level of expertise—from beginners to accomplished professionals.

On these pages, home cooks will discover:

  • Minestrone alla Romagnola
  • Tortelli Stuffed with Parsley and Ricotta
  • Risotto with Clams
  • Squid and Potatoes, Genoa Style
  • Chicken Cacciatora
  • Ossobuco in Bianco
  • Meatballs and Tomatoes
  • Artichoke Torta
  • Crisp-Fried Zucchini blossoms
  • Sunchoke and Spinach Salad
  • Chestnuts Boiled in Red Wine, Romagna Style
  • Polenta Shortcake with Raisins, Dried Figs, and Pine Nuts
  • Zabaglione
  • And much more

This is the go-to Italian cookbook for students, newlyweds, and master chefs, alike. Beautifully illustrated with line drawings throughout, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking brings together nearly five hundred of the most delicious recipes from the Italian repertoire in one indispensable volume. 

As the generations of readers who have turned to it over the years know (and as their spattered and worn copies can attest), there is no more passionate and inspiring guide to the cuisine of Italy.

4. Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros

Falling Cloudberries is filled with the recipes that have woven their way through the life of Tessa Kiros and her family, from the sweets handed out at Scottish fetes on days off from a Greek school in South Africa to the rice puddings with rosewater and cinnamon made in a shed by her Cypriot grandfather (who also had a fondness for pickling baby birds) and the gravlax with dill prepared by her Finnish mother. 

In this dream-like journey across the globe, recipes and narratives merge with images of food. 

The book features over 150 recipes, all of which have been lovingly collected and adapted by Tessa since early adulthood, or remembered and recreated from childhood. 

They are as diverse in style and flavor as the extended family and households through which they've traveled. 

Some are redolent of roses, cinnamon, cassia cardamom, mint, and citrus, from the Greek side of the family, others are Scandinavian in origin, sprinkled with berries or dill and spread with mustard. Chilli, gar.

5. Laura in the Kitchen

Laura in the KitchenWhen Laura Vitale moved from Naples to the United States at age twelve, she cured her homesickness by cooking up endless pots of her nonna sauce. 

She went on to work in her father’s pizzeria, but when his restaurant suddenly closed, she knew she had to find her way back into the kitchen. 

Together with her husband, she launched her Internet cooking show, Laura in the Kitchen, where her enthusiasm, charm, and irresistible recipes have won her millions of fans.

In her debut cookbook, Laura focuses on simple recipes that anyone can achieve—whether they have just a little time to spend in the kitchen or want to create an impressive feast. 

Here are 110 all-new recipes for quick-fix suppers, such as Tortellini with Pink Parmesan Sauce and One-Pan Chicken with Potatoes, Wine, and Olives; leisurely entrées, including Spinach and Artichoke-Stuffed Shells and Pot 

Roast alla Pizzaiola; and 10 fan favorites, like Cheesy Garlic Bread and No-Bake Nutella Cheesecake.

Laura tests her recipes dozens of times to perfect them so the results are always spectacular. 

With clear instructions and more than 100 color photographs, Laura in the Kitchen is the perfect guide for anyone looking to get comfortable at the stove and have fun cooking.

6. The Gourmet Mag by Claudia Rinaldi

The Gourmet MagThe Gourmet Mag - The Vintage Gold Issue: Winter by Claudia Rinaldi

Smile! You’re about to be a Delighted, Terrific Italian Gourmet. It’s all about cooking the best food in the world… 

What you’ll get from this Italian food magazine: 

  • How to embrace and conquer Italian Food culture. 
  • How to add quality to your homemade experiences. 
  • How to make your cooking gourmet. 
  • How to capture the secrets of Italian healthy eating. 
  • How to slow down and enjoy beauty, elegance, and style. 

The Vintage Gold issue is dedicated to: The ultimate Italian festive menu: Kale Bruschetta, Tortelli di Zucca, Black Canederli, Pesce Spada alla Ghiotta & Neapolitan Struffoli. 

Special homemade gifts to spread happy moments around: Chocolate Enfleurage, Homemade Extracts, Cinnamon Stirrers, and Gold Sugar. A decadent Christmas style: a vintage table, Renaissance Gift Wrapping, and Sablè Breton Cookies with Frangipane Cream. 

Winter Magic: Homemade Warming Lotion Bars, a Stars & Champagne Party to cheer you up, the secrets to getting Perfect Homemade Gnocchi & a delicious Spiced Hot Chocolate recipe. 

From the Winter Garden: Meet and cook Spines Pumpkin aka Chayote, meat-free Monday artichokes pesto, a Hot Broccoli Salad, and Pear Infused Rum for your hot toddy. 

Unlocking the medieval doors of the astonishing Orvieto. they liked it: …mi sono immersa nel mag, è bellissimo! (I plunge in the mag, it’s gorgeous!) 

– Emiko Davies, food blogger …bellissima rivista Claudia!!! (wonderful magazine Claudia!!!) 

– Enrico Cerea, 3 Michelin star chef some Amazon reviews: …As you read through this winter issue you will get a glimpse of what Christmas is like in Italy, enjoy some fabulous scenes, scrumptious looking recipes, interesting sounding drinks, and more… …Good recipes, beautiful pictures and lots of cute stories. 

It’s like traveling through Italy with a foodie friend… an amazing magazine, with great ideas for the coming Christmas time, very easy to follow. 

Also, love the inspiring pictures that illustrate the recipes… let the revolutionary and exciting transformation begin!.

7. The Glorious Pasta of Italy by Domenica Marchetti

The Glorious Pasta of Italy: Celebrating pasta in all its glorious forms, author Domenica Marchetti draws from her Italian heritage to share 100 classic and modern recipes. 

Step-by-step instructions for making fresh pasta offer plenty of variations on the classic egg pasta, while a glossary of pasta shapes, a source list for unusual ingredients, and a handy guide for stocking the pantry with pasta essentials encourage the home cook to look beyond simple spaghetti. 

No matter how you sauce it, The Glorious Pasta of Italy is sure to have pasta lovers everywhere salivating.

8. Rustico: Regional Italian Country Cooking by Micol Negrin

Rustico: Regional Italian Country Cooking: Americans have fallen in love with Italian regional food, from the casual fare of Tuscan trattorias to the more refined creations of high-end Piedmontese restaurants, from Sicily’s wonderful desserts to Emilia-Romagna’s superb cheeses and cured meats. 

Rustico is the first American book to explore the remarkable breadth of these richly varied cuisines, devoting equal attention to each of Italy’s twenty regions. 

This includes thorough treatment of such places as Val d’Aosta, high in the Alps, whose fare is an intriguing mix of northern Italian, French, and Swiss influences: truffled fondue or grappa-spiked venison stew will

transport you to the slopes of Monte Bianco. Or Trentino–Alto Adige, with the southernmost German-speaking towns in Europe, for goulash and spaetzle. 

Or the scorched southern regions like Basilicata, known for their spicy dishes; the Veneto, with the aromatic foods that are a legacy of Venice’s reign as the spice capital; or Sardinia, with its Spanish-inflected cuisine.

For each of the twenty regions, Micol Negrin provides ten authentic, truly representative recipes, with a special focus on original, rustic dishes, encompassing the entire meal—antipasti to dolci. 

Each chapter is introduced by an overview of the region, its culinary influences, food staples, and important recipes; each includes information on specialty products like cheeses and wines; and each explores the traditions, preparations, and life of the region, not only through recipes but through anecdote, history, and captivating photos. 

Each chapter, in fact, is a book unto itself; and the sum total is the last Italian cookbook you’ll ever need.

9. The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook by Jack Bishop

The Complete Italian Vegetarian CookbookThis uniquely accessible collection draws together the best vegetarian recipes of Italy-350 in all. 

'Pasta and pizza may be Italy's most eye-catching exports, but it is the country's varied and sensible use of vegetables that provides the best inspiration for American cooks,' writes Jack Bishop. 

'Asparagus spears coated with a little olive oil and roasted to intensify their flavor; thick slices of country bread grilled over an open fire and topped with diced tomatoes and shredded basil from the garden; or a fragrant stew with fennel and peas-Italians enjoy these dishes because of what they do contain, not what they don't.' 

Many of the recipes were gathered by Bishop during extensive travels throughout Italy. Some are family favorites, adapted from those of his Italian grandmother. 

All deliver perfect results with a minimum of effort. Serving suggestions for each recipe make planning vegetarian meals easy.

10. The Four Seasons of Pasta by Nancy Harmon Jenkins

The Four Seasons of Pasta: Acclaimed food writer Nancy Jenkins, teams up with her master chef daughter Sara with a unique around-the-seasons cookbook devoted to simple, everyday pasta recipes. 

There are few ingredients in a cook’s pantry that beat out pasta—for tastiness, for ease of preparation, for versatility, and for sheer delight. It’s irresistible to all and perfect for every occasion. 

In The Four Seasons of Pasta, Sara Jenkins and Nancy Harmon Jenkins celebrate the Italian native that has become a beloved American staple.

Jenkins and her mom draw on their own background in Italy, where they’ve lived, cooked, studied, and worked in Rome and Florence, and on a Tuscan olive farm for many years. 

Today, Sara is a highly accomplished chef and owner of Porsena and Porchetta, two restaurants in New York’s East Village while Nancy is a nationally known food journalist and authority on the Mediterranean diet, with a number of prominent cookbooks to her credit (including The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook and Flavors of Tuscany).

The Four Seasons of Pasta brings together more than 120 recipes focused on seasonal ingredients from supermarkets and farmstands across America, from the gamey meat ragus, chestnuts, and brilliant pumpkins in autumn to summer’s explosion of tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers. 

Nancy and Sara introduce readers to quick-and-easy weeknight dishes as well as more ambitious affairs while four-color photography brings the recipes vividly to life. 

Along the way, the two cooks delve into how to cook, sauce, and present pasta, how to make it by hand, and pasta’s significant place in a healthy modern diet.  

The Four Seasons of Pasta is an invaluable tool for home cooks seeking to enjoy the quintessential food that’s in their pantry all year round.

11. Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking: Marcella Hazan introduced Americans to a whole new world of Italian food. In this, magnum opus, she gives us a manual for cooks of every level of expertise—from beginners to accomplished professionals.

In these pages, home cooks will discover:

  • Minestrone alla Romagnola
  • Tortelli Stuffed with Parsley and Ricotta
  • Risotto with Clams
  • Squid and Potatoes, Genoa Style
  • Chicken Cacciatora
  • Ossobuco in Bianco
  • Meatballs and Tomatoes
  • Artichoke Torta
  • Crisp-fried zucchini blossoms
  • Sunchoke and Spinach Salad
  • Chestnuts Boiled in Red Wine, Romagna Style
  • Polenta Shortcake with Raisins, Dried Figs, and Pine Nuts
  • Zabaglione
  • And much more

This is the go-to Italian cookbook for students, newlyweds, and master chefs, alike. Beautifully illustrated with line drawings throughout, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking brings together nearly five hundred of the most delicious recipes from the Italian repertoire in one indispensable volume.

As the generations of readers who have turned to it over the years know (and as their spattered and worn copies can attest), there is no more passionate and inspiring guide to the cuisine of Italy.

12. Mastering Pasta by Marc Vetri 

"Mastering PastaAward-winning chef Marc Vetri wanted to write his first book about pasta. Instead, he wrote two other acclaimed cookbooks and continued researching pasta for ten more years. 

Now, the respected master of Italian cuisine finally shares his vast knowledge of pasta, gnocchi, and risotto in this inspiring, informative primer featuring expert tips and techniques, and more than 100 recipes.

Vetri’s personal stories of travel and culinary discovery in Italy appear alongside his easy-to-follow, detailed explanations of how to make and enjoy fresh handmade pasta. 

Whether you’re a home cook or a professional, you’ll learn how to make more than thirty different types of pasta dough, from versatile egg yolk dough, to extruded semolina dough, to a variety of flavored pasta—and form them into shapes both familiar and unique. 

In dishes ranging from classic to innovative, Vetri shares his coveted recipes for stuffed pasta, baked pasta, and pasta sauces. He also shows you how to make light-as-air gnocchi and the perfect dish of risotto. 

Loaded with useful information, including the best way to cook and sauce pasta, suggestions for substituting pasta shapes, and advanced preparation and storage notes, Mastering Pasta offers you all of the wisdom of a pro. 

For cooks who want to take their knowledge to the next level, Vetri delves deep into the science of various types of flour to explain pasta’s uniquely satisfying texture and how to craft the very best pasta by hand or with a machine. 

Mastering Pasta is the definitive work on the subject and the only book you will ever need to serve outstanding pasta dishes in your own kitchen.

13. Lidia's Commonsense Italian Cooking by Lidia Bastianich

Lidia's Commonsense Italian CookingAs a storyteller and chef, Lidia Bastianich draws on anecdotes to educate and illustrate. 

Recalling lessons learned from her mother, Erminia, and her grandmother Nonna Rosa, Lidia pays homage to the kitchen sages who inspired her.

Whether it's Citrus Roasted Veal or Rustic Ricotta Tart, each recipe is a tangible feast. 

We learn to look at ingredients as both geographic and cultural indicators. In Campania, the region where mozzarella is king, we discover it is best eaten three hours after preparation. 

In Genova we are taught that while focaccia had its basil origins in the Ligurian culinary tradition, the herbs and flavorings will change from region to region; as home chefs, we can experiment with rosemary or oregano or olives or onions! 

When it's time for dessert, Lidia draws on the scared customs of nuns in Italian monasteries and convents and reveals the secret to rice pudding with a blessing.

Lidia's Commonsense Guide to Italian Cooking is a masterclass in creating delectable Italian dishes with grace, confidence, and love.

14. The Italian Baker by Carol Field

The Italian Baker, Revised: The Classic Tastes of the Italian Countryside--Its Breads, Pizza, Focaccia, Cakes, Pastries, and Cookies [A Baking Book] 

The only comprehensive book, in English or Italian, to cover the entire range of Italian baking, from breadsticks and cornetti to focaccia, tarts, cakes, and pastries. 

This latest edition, updated for a new generation of home bakers, has added four-color photography throughout, plus new recipes, ingredients, equipment sections, source guides, and weights. 

Carol Field introduces artisanal doughs and techniques used by generations of Italian bakers. Every city and hill town has its own unique baking traditions, and Field spent more than two years traversing Italy to capture the regional and local specialties, adapting them through rigorous testing in her own kitchen. 

Field’s authentic recipes are a revelation for anyone seeking the true Italian experience. 

Here’s a chance to make golden Altamura bread from Puglia, chewy porous loaves from Como, rosemary bread sprinkled with coarse sea salt, dark ryes from the north, simple bread studded with toasted walnuts, succulent fig bread, and Sicilian loaves topped with sesame seeds.

One of the most revered baking books of all time, The Italian Baker is a landmark work that continues to be a must-have for every serious baker.

15. Cucina Rustica by Viana La Place

Cucina Rustica: Simple, Irresistible Recipes in the Rustic Italian Style

A go-to, no-fuss cookbook for anyone who loves Italian food but needs a simple repertoire of country-style recipes that don't require a lot of preparation or cooking time. 

Cucina Rustica, "the rustic 'kitchen," is Italian food at its simplest and freshest—a celebration of the complete Italian meal from soup to dessert. 

With more than 250 recipes that use readily available ingredients in deliciously creative combinations, culinary multitaskers Viana La Place and Evan Kleiman offer a style of cooking and eating that's inviting, easy, and elegant.

16. Pasta Grannies by Vicky Bennison

Pasta Grannies: The Official Cookbook: The Secrets of Italy's Best Home Cooks

Learn how to make pasta like Italian nonnas do. Inspired by the hugely popular YouTube channel of the same name, Pasta Grannies is a wonderful collection of time-perfected Italian pasta recipes from the people who have spent a lifetime cooking for love, not a living: Italian grandmothers.

For a nonna, love is putting food on the table, and pasta is the perfect vehicle to make precious ingredients go further. 

Featuring easy and accessible recipes from all over Italy, you will be transported into the very heart of the Italian home to learn how to make great-tasting Italian food. 

From pici – a type of hand-rolled spaghetti that is simple to make – to lumachelle della duchessa – tiny, ridged, cinnamon-scented tubes that take patience and dexterity, every nonna has her own special recipe. 

Pasta Grannies brings together the huge diversity of these authentic dishes and also celebrates the expertise, life, and extraordinary stories of the amazing women behind them.

17. The Sopranos Family Cookbook by Allen Rucker

The Sopranos Family Cookbook: Nuovo Vesuvio. The "family" restaurant, was redefined. Home to the finest in Neapolitan cuisine and Essex County's best-kept secret. 

Now Artie Bucco, la Cucina's master chef, and your personal host, invites you to a special feast...with a little help from his friends. 

From arancini to zabaglione, from baccala to Quail Sinatra-style, Artie Bucco and his guests, the Sopranos and their associates, offer food lovers one hundred Avellinese-style recipes and valuable preparation tips. 

But that's not all! Artie also brings you a cornucopia of precious Sopranos artifacts that includes photos from the old country; the first Bucco's Vesuvio's menu from 1926; AJ's school essay on "Why I Like Food"; Bobby Bacala's style tips for big eaters, and much, much more. 

So share the big table with Tony Soprano, waste management executive "Most people soak a bagful of discount briquettes with lighter fluid and cook a pork chop until it's shoe leather and think they're Wolfgang Puck."

Enjoy his tender Grilled Sausages sizzling with fennel or cheese. Warning: Piercing the skin is a fire hazard. Corrado "Junior" Soprano, Tony's uncle "Mama always cooked. 

No one died of too much cholesterol or some such crap." Savor his Pasta Fazool, a toothsome marriage of cannellini beans and ditalini pasta, or Giambott', a grand-operatic vegetable medley. 

Carmela Soprano, Tony's wife "If someone were sick, my inclination would be to send over a pastina and ricotta. It's healing food." 

Try her Baked Ziti, sinfully enriched with three kinds of cheese, and her earthy 'Shcarole with Garlic. Peter Paul "Paulie Walnuts" Gualtieri, associate of Tony Soprano "I have heard that Eskimos have fifty words for snow. 

We have five hundred words for food." Sink your teeth into his Eggs in Purgatory-eight eggs, bubbling tomato sauce, and an experience that's pure heaven. As Artie says, "Enjoy, with a thousand meals and a thousand laughs. Buon' appetito!"

18. Italian Food by Elizabeth David

Italian Food: Elizabeth David's Italian Food was one of the first books to demonstrate the enormous range of Italy's regional cooking. 

For the foods of Italy, explained David, expanded far beyond minestrone and ravioli, to the complex traditions of Tuscany, Sicily, Lombardy, Umbria, and many other regions. 

David imparts her knowledge from her many years in Italy, exploring, researching, tasting, and testing dishes. Her passion for real food, luscious, hearty, fresh, and totally authentic, will inspire anyone who wishes to recreate the abundant and highly unique regional dishes of Italy.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. 

With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. 

Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

19. Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well by Pellegrino Artusi

Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well: First published in 1891, Pellegrino Artusi's La scienza in cucina e l'arte di mangier bene has come to be recognized as the most significant Italian cookbook of modern times. 

It was reprinted thirteen times and sold more than 52,000 copies in the years before Artusi's death in 1910, with the number of recipes growing from 475 to 790. And while this figure has not changed, the book has consistently remained in print.

Although Artusi was himself of the upper classes and it was doubtful he had ever touched a kitchen utensil or lit a fire under a pot, he wrote the book not for professional chefs, as was the nineteenth-century custom, but for middle-class family cooks: housewives and their domestic helpers. 

His tone is that of a friendly advisor – humorous and nonchalant. He indulges in witty anecdotes about many of the recipes, describing his experiences and the historical relevance of particular dishes.

Artusi's masterpiece is not merely a popular cookbook; it is a landmark work in Italian culture. 

This English edition (first published by Marsilio Publishers in 1997) features a delightful introduction by Luigi Ballerini that traces the fascinating history of the book and explains its importance in the context of Italian history and politics. The illustrations are by the noted Italian artist Giuliano Della Casa.

20. Gastronomy of Italy by Anna Del Conte

Gastronomy of Italy: Revised Edition: Gastronomy of Italy – the seminal work on Italian food, first published in the 1990s – is revised updated, and illustrated with new photography.

This classic book leaves no stone unturned in its exploration of Italian gastronomy. Anna Del Conte, the doyenne of Italian cooking, defines the country's regions, ingredients, dishes, and techniques for a new generation in her comprehensive explanation of its culinary terms. 

This simple A-Z format covers all elements of Italian gastronomy from abbacchio to zuppe inglese.

There are over 200 recipes, including great dishes from every major region of Italy. Variations on the classics – pasta, polenta, gnocchi, risotto, and pizzas – sit alongside Anna's recipes for versions of Italian favorites, such as peperonata, lamb fricassée, ossobuco and less well-known regional specialties.

Specially commissioned photographs of the dishes, ingredients, and techniques along with maps of the regions, make this a truly unique and invaluable book.

21. The Tuscan Sun Cookbook by Frances Mayes

The Tuscan Sun Cookbook: Recipes from Our Italian Kitchen 

“Tuscan food tastes like itself. Ingredients are left to shine. . . . So, if on your visit, I hand you an apron, your work will be easy. We’ll start with primo ingredients, a little flurry of activity, perhaps a glass of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, and soon we’ll be carrying platters out the door. We’ll have as much fun setting the table as we have in the kitchen. Four double doors along the front of the house open to the outside—so handy for serving at a long table under the stars (or for cooling a scorched pan on the stone wall). Italian Philosophy 101: la casa aperta, the open house.” —from the Introduction

In all of Frances Mayes’s bestselling memoirs about Tuscany, food plays a starring role. 

This cuisine transports, comforts, entices, and speaks to the friendly, genuine, and improvisational spirit of Tuscan life. Both cooking and eating in Tuscany are natural pleasures. 

In her first-ever cookbook, Frances and her husband, Ed, share recipes that they have enjoyed over the years as honorary Tuscans: dishes prepared in a simple, traditional kitchen using robust, honest ingredients.           

A toast to the experiences they’ve had over two decades at Bramasole, their home in Cortona, Italy, this cookbook evokes days spent roaming the countryside for chestnuts, green almonds, blackberries, and porcini; dinner parties stretching into the wee hours,  and garden baskets tumbling over with bright red tomatoes. 

Lose yourself in the transporting photography of the food, the people, and the place, as Frances’s lyrical introductions and headnotes put you by her side in the kitchen and raising a glass at the table. 

From Antipasti (starters) to Dolci (desserts), this cookbook is organized like a traditional Italian dinner.          

The more than 150 tempting recipes include:

  • Fried Zucchini Flowers
  • Red Peppers Melted with Balsamic Vinegar
  • Potato Ravioli with Zucchini, Speck, and Pecorino
  • Risotto Primavera
  • Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Sausage
  • Cannellini Bean Soup with Pancetta
  • Little Veal Meatballs with Artichokes and Cherry Tomatoes
  • Chicken Under a Brick
  • Short Ribs, Tuscan-Style
  • Domenica’s Rosemary Potatoes
  • Folded Fruit Tart with Mascarpone
  • Strawberry Semifreddo
  • Steamed Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Sauce

Frances and Ed also share their tips on stocking your pantry, pairing wines with dishes, and choosing the best olive oil. Learn their time-tested methods for hand-rolling pasta and techniques for coaxing the best out of seasonal ingredients with little effort.           

Throw on another handful of pasta, pull up a chair, and languish in the rustic Italian way of life.

Honorable Mentions: Italian Cookery Books

Here are a few additional Italian cookery books that didn't in the top 21 of my most favorite list but it is not complete without these additional authentic cooking books.

If you're looking to expand your Italian cookery collection, here are a few more books to consider:

  • "Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City" by Katie Parla and Kristina Gill

Conclusion: Best Italian Cookbooks for Beginners

In conclusion, to improve your Italian cooking skills, investing in a quality cookbook is essential. 

We've carefully chosen these best Italian cookbooks based on their recipe variety, attention to traditional techniques, clarity of instructions, quality of photographs, and the credentials of the authors.

With the help of these cookbooks, you can master pasta-making, discover lesser-known regional specialties, and much more.

We highly recommend trying out these best Italian cookbooks for beginners and sharing them with your friends and family. Go ahead and explore the delicious world of Italian cooking today! Buon Appetito!

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