The Easy Italian Cookbook Review

The Easy Italian Cookbook Review

Title: The Easy Italian Cookbook: 100 Quick and Authentic Recipes
Author: Paulette Licitra
Published: April 28, 2020, Rockridge Press
No. of Pages: 164
Cover Price: $16.99 Paperback, $6.99 Kindle

Italian cookbooks are a dime a dozen; almost every cook owns at least one. However, “good” Italian cookbooks aren’t easy to find, and with today’s busy lifestyles, finding an Italian cookbook with doable recipes that most of want to cook is pretty tricky. The Easy Italian Cookbook: 100 Quick and Authentic Recipes is an exception. Paulette Licitra, who grew up in an Italian family in New York and studied in Italy, knows what modern cooks want, and she delivers. This isn’t a cookbook with all of the familiar dishes we are used to. Although there are recipes for perennial favorites, there are unique, mouthwatering dishes that un-Italians may not have ever heard of.

One thing that is important in any cookbook is personal notes, vignettes, and explanation of the dishes; this cookbook has them, and Licitra is an excellent writer who makes readers feel like they know her or want to be her neighbor. It’s so much more fun to prepare a dish when we know where it came from or that it is a favorite in someone’s family. The first dish I tried was Soft and Cheesy Polenta with Roasted Mushrooms because it was midnight and I had all the ingredients. I always prepare my polenta overnight in my slow cooker, so I knew it would be ready and waiting in the morning ready to make it into a quick lunch. For dinner that night, I couldn’t resist the Linguine with Fra Diavolo Shrimp Sauce – Yum! One thing that is helpful is that Licitra suggests accompaniments with every recipe. Those who aren’t Italian (actually and those who are) will be very appreciative.

This cookbook is great because Licitra has used minimal ingredients to make authentic dishes. There is no need to go out searching for special ingredients – most are in our freezers, fridges, or pantry shelves. The instructions are easy-to-follow, and anyone, whether beginning or experienced in the kitchen, can turn out picture-perfect dishes. Unfortunately, this publisher doesn’t think photographs are as important as most of us do, and there are very few. The ones included are nice, but most cooks want more.

This is one cookbook that will actually get used over and over; it is highly recommended.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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