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The Little Italy Cookbook - Book Review

This beautiful, authentic Italian cookbook was purchased for me by a family member when its second edition was released in 1996. I have many Italian cookbooks, and this one just adds to the exquisite section of my cookbook shelf as one of the best, as the recipes are easy-to-read, easy-to-prepare and cook.

The Little Italy Cookbook, second printing, is written by Maria Pace and Louise Scaini-Jojic. This edition is a nice soft cover which is easy to wipe in case of dirty fingers. Both of the authors have high culinary and educational background and without a doubt, this shows throughout the presentation and the compilation of the flavorful recipes in this lovely book.


The introduction for starters draws you into Italian family life and that of friends and neighbors. Scattered throughout there are black and white photos, which look like the originals of family, friends and acquaintances and who for the most part, are in some way or another the contributors to the book as far as recipes.

The recipes gathered for this book were collected from real Italian people, and they reflect the immigrant influx of Italians at periodic times - most of them flocking to the east coast of Little Italy, N.Y. Here you will find Italian food so delicious, that it makes you wonder how un-authentic restaurants stay open, when you can eat authentic food such as this. I know of this firsthand, as I lived in New York between 2012 and 2015. This is what this book is all about, great authentic Italian food created by the people who make it the best!

The titles, and only the titles of the recipes in the book, are all expressed in the native dialect...and why not? After all, this is an authentic Italian cookbook! However, just below the title, the authors were kind to the non-comprehensive lovers of the Italian written word, that they provided its translation in English. Who knew that Minestra di Pollo con Riso meant Chicken and Rice Soup or that Involtini de Vitello in Umido were Stuffed Veal rolls with Sage.

The book is packed, and I mean packed with 261 pages worth of authentic Italian eats, including recipes alphabetized in the contents from Antipasti to Sweets, as well as paragraphs on Preserves, Condiments and Wine plus a great glossary and conversion table. Italian food is some of the easiest and inexpensive food to cook – give someone an Italian cookbook someday – they will love you for it!

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