I absolutely LOVE Italian cookbooks, probably more so than any other type of books.
As far as I remember, I started collecting cookbooks when I was a teenager. I could not explain the reason, I just recall a strong interest in cooking and cookbooks though my mum and nonna never had one. As a food & travel blogger, I thought I’d show you my favorite cookbooks of the moment! I love getting lost in the pretty pictures and authors’ personal stories about what food means to them. Cookbooks are where I find so much inspiration for future blog posts, photos and yes, what to make for dinner. And while air-fryer and instant-pot books abound, you won’t find any on this list. Call me old-fashioned, but this collection is devoted to that good-old on-the-stove or in-the-oven kind of cooking.
Granted, this is subject to change at any time, because the next one I buy might easily become my new favorite. But I call these my favorite cookbooks because they’re either the ones I’ve been reaching for the most lately, or have stood the test of time throughout the years and managed to keep their place on the list due to the sheer educational value they have provided. Some are newer releases and some are classics, so I hope you enjoy. And please keep reading until the end because I’d love to hear from you!
Nowadays cookbooks are so much more than just recipes on pages. They come alive with vibrant colors and and ingredients and their life-filled pages tell so many interesting stories. For the past couple of years, a lot of you have emailed and messaged to ask about my favorite cookbooks. I’ve hesitated for many reasons but above all because having not written a cookbook until now, I felt it would be a bit unfair for me to decide. Moreover, my wish list is still long and full of titles that I would like to own and browse calmly, over a cup of coffee.
I divided these up into some easy categories so you can find the perfect cookbook for your kitchen shelf or a thoughtful gift.
I love each and every one of these books, and each and every one of the authors behind them.
Pellegrino Artusi, LA SCIENZA IN CUCINA E L’ARTE DI MANGIAR BENE [Italian] The most widely read and well-known Italian recipe book, still a source of inspiration for cooks from all over the world. For those who want to have at hand a practical cooking manual for home cooking that is really well written and organized, but also for those who are less experienced and want to learn all the tricks of the trade.
Gualtiero Marchesi, LA CUCINA ITALIANA: IL GRANDE RICETTARIO [Italian, Kindle e-book] A compendium of contemporary Italian cuisine, which affirms the values of the territory and at the same time represents current trends and tastes. A long journey along the paths of taste with over 1500 proposals reviewed through the eyes of an excellent chef: Gualtiero Marchesi
Francois-Regy Gaudry, LET’S EAT ITALY! EVERYTHING YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE CUISINE [English] It is a celebration of Italian food in the form of an oversized, obsessively complete, visual feast of a book. Readers will find recipes for classic Italian dishes spanning all regions, accompanied by photos and delightfully entertaining information on the origins and modern uses of the foods.
IL CUCCHIAIO D’ARGENTO [Italian] The most famous recipe book of Italian cuisine, offering over 2000 recipes ranging from the great classics to contemporary dishes. A valuable volume for all fans of good food.
Madeline Puckette, WINE FOLLY: THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO WINE [English] Drinking great wine isn’t hard, but finding great wine does require a deeper understanding of the fundamentals. Designed by the creators of the Wine Folly award-winning website, this book combines sleek, modern information design with data visualization and gives readers pragmatic answers to all their wine questions.
If You Want To Go On A Culinary Adventure in Italy
Sophie Minchilli, THE SWEETNESS OF DOING NOTHING: LIVE LIFE THE ITALIAN WAY WITH DOLCE FAR NIENTE [English] The Italians know the importance of enjoying good food and good company and the pleasures of being idle. The Sweetness of Doing Nothing will share this philosophy, with recipes, suggestions and advice to help you to let go of anxiety and savour life’s precious moments.
Arrigo Cipriani, HARRY’S BAR VENEZIA [English] There are some places that have made the history of Italian catering. One of these is Harry’s bar in Venice which has been able to overcome the boundaries of insiders and created dishes that have entered the everyday language of the whole world.
Paola Bacchia, ADRIATICO: RECIPES AND STORIES FROM ITALY’S ADRIATIC COAST [English] A beautifully crafted cookbook that charts the food traditions in the towns that skirt the coastline of Italy’s striking Adriatic Sea.
Domenica Marchetti, PRESERVING ITALY: CANNING, CURING, INFUSING AND BOTTLING ITALIAN FLAVORS AND TRADITIONS [English] Beyond canning and pickling, the book tells Marchetti’s in-person travels across the regions of Italy as well as the recipes handed down through her family.
From My Favorite Bloggers & Chefs in Italy
Rachel Roddy, AN A-Z OF PASTA: STORIES, SHAPES, SAUCES, RECIPES [English] The Guardian columnist and award-winning food writer Rachel Roddy condenses everything she has learned about Italy’s favourite food in a practical, easy-to-use and mouth-watering collection of 100 essential pasta and pasta sauce recipes.
Maria Pasquale, I HEART ROME: RECIPES AND STORIES FROM THE ETERNAL CITY [English] A love letter to Rome, with beautiful food and location photography, classic recipes, and stories from the heart of the Eternal City.
Massimo Bottura, IL PANE E’ ORO [Italian] In recent years, the issue of food waste has risen to the fore, and chef Massimo Bottura has called attention to this issue with his refectories using food surpluses from supermarkets and other local suppliers to offer healthy, seasonal meals to people in difficulty.
Niko Romito, DIECI LEZIONI DI CUCINA [Italian] Niko Romito, a young chef from Abruzzo awarded with three Michelin stars, tells his philosophy in the kitchen in 10 “lessons”. The topics of his reflection: simplicity, stratification, evolution, balance, archetype, health, vegetables, sweets, bread, tasting.
Iginio Massari, IL LATO DOLCE: RICETTE E RACCONTI DI UNA VITA [Italian] Iginio Massari returns with a story that traces his life and the secrets that guided him from a small bakery in Brescia to the Grand Prix as Best Pastry Chef in the World.
Csaba Dalla Zorza, THE MODERN BAKER: 120 RICETTE PER RISCOPRIRE IL PIACERE DEL FORNO [Italian] These recipes have a single common thread: filling the house with that magical scent that only the oven can give. Because, you know, when we turn on the oven it’s not simply because we’re preparing something to eat. The oven implies affection, time and dedication: it is a real choice of love.
If You Really Want To Learn How To Cook Italian
Marcella Hazan, INGREDIENTI: MARCELLA’S GUIDE TO THE MARKET [English] From the inimitable woman who popularized Italian cuisine in America, Marcella Hazan’s simple and elegant manual on how to shop for the best ingredients and prepare the most delicious meals is a must-have for every home cook.
IL CUCCHIAIO D’ARGENTO (11^ edition Italian) The most famous recipe book of Italian cuisine, offering over 2000 recipes ranging from the great classics to contemporary dishes. A valuable volume for all fans of good food.
Richard Nix, BICCHIERINI: LIQUORI E SCIROPPI FATTI IN CASA [Italian] This book offers truly delicious alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks: with a completely unique graphic design thanks to the colorful illustrations, it contains 60 recipes for liqueurs, syrups and cocktails that you can easily make at home
Italy’s Regional Cuisines
Emiko Davies, TORTELLINI AT MIDNIGHT: AND OTHER HEIRLOOM FAMILY RECIPES FROM TARANTO TO TURIN TO TUSCANY [English] Emiko Davies has gathered some of her favorite family recipes and stories: Tortellini at Midnight is a book rich with nostalgia, with fresh, comforting food and stunning photography. It is a book that is good for the soul.
Giulia Scarpaleggia, FROM THE MARKETS OF TUSCANY: A COOKBOOK [English] At once a collection of traditional, seasonal recipes and a guide to the area’s top food markets, Giulia takes readers on a journey through her beloved Tuscany, exploring famous places but also more remote areas.
Sonia Peronaci, IL GIRO D’ITALIA IN 80 RICETTE. VIAGGIO TRICOLORE NELLA CUCINA REGIONALE [Italian] Sonia Peronaci travels to discover traditional Italian cuisine, retracing the boot from north to south. A collection of eighty recipes which, step by step, like the postcards of the past brought with them the memory of a beautiful journey, reproduce all the magic and colors of the land from which they come.
Ben Tisch, SICILIA: A LOVE LETTER TO FOOD OF SICILY [English] Sicily is both a frugal peasant land with a simple robust cuisine, and also full of ornate glamour and extravagance. Ben Tish unlocks the secrets of Sicily’s culture and food within these pages, diving into its diverse tapestry of cultural influences.
Katie Parla, FOOD OF THE ITALIAN SOUTH: RECIPES FOR CLASSIC, DISAPPEARING AND LOST DISHES [English] Acclaimed author and food journalist Katie Parla takes you on a tour through Italy’s southern vibrant destinations so you can sink your teeth into the secrets of their rustic, romantic dishes.
When You Don’t Know What To Make For Dinner
Benedetta Rossi, FATTO IN CASA DA BENEDETTA 2 [Italian] The most popular and most loved Italian food blogger shares 170 recipes: her cuisine is characterized by simplicity and genuineness, with just a few ingredients, which we all have at home.
Michel Roux, EGGS: THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO COOKING WITH EGGS [English] Trained in the classic French style, but an inveterate global traveller with a passion for different cuisines, Michel uses all of his skill and experience to take a new look at one of the oldest foods of all.
So these are a few of my favorites.
What about you? Who are your favorite cookbook authors and why?
What is your favorite recipe from their cookbooks?
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