If only to prove that there is more to Italian food than pizza or pasta to your family and friends, this little GoodFood book could be for you as the GoodFood magnifying glass turns and focusses its gaze on all matters Italian.
Forming part of a great little library of squat, colourful books the reader is able to browse quickly through to find recipes of interest. As is standard for books in this series, they have been tested, tested and tested again to be sure that they are suitable for home cooks, thus almost guaranteeing that you cannot go wrong.
Split into a few distinct sections - light meals & lunches; simple suppers; perfect pasta; easy entertaining; side dishes and desserts and drinks - the book has its usual trademark excellent signposting so you can find things either by chapter, by browsing or through the excellent index at the back. After a while there is only so much you can say about these books, especially to an audience who probably knows about the series already. Each recipe features its own full colour photograph of the finished dish, that can inspire and possible assuage the fevered brow of a cook who thinks that they are doing it all wrong. The recipes are easy to understand, well laid out and feature all of the information that you would require in one place. Brief words of advice are also given along with the recipes, but to be honest these don't always add that much. Any advice is better than none though.
Compared to some of the other books in the series, the recipe selection here seemed a little less well, comprehensive, than others we have examined. Some of the recipes appear to stretch the definition required for being included in a book of Italian food, but that might also show just how certain dishes have became mainstream over time. Some of the recipes just feel like variations on a theme, yet there are probably enough to keep your enthusiasm up. If we had not seen many books in this series before and the very high standards they attain for what is, let's be a honest, a very small, inexpensive book, there may not have been a reaction at all... talk about being hoist by your own petard.
Nonetheless this is still a good little book and if you own a number of the other titles in the series then this is a bit of a no-brainer to add it into your GoodFood library. If you are a GoodFood "virgin" take a look at it and possibly break your duck!