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Viva la Cucina Italiana

By Joe Famularo


Viva la Cucina Italiana is a no frills, personal journey through Italian cookery, beginning with the author’s fond memories of Italy and its food.  Says Joe Famularo,  “Going to Italy always reminds me of how we should be eating (and living) in the U.S.”.

Naturally, tackling the cuisine of any country can be intimidating, particularly when the country is as notorious for fine dining as Italy. What the book manages to provide, though, is a stable starting point for the would-be chef. Full of recipes that rarely go beyond a few pages, each dish is accompanied by a short paragraph of explanation, such as with Risotto alla Milanese. “Americans love risotto, but many of them fear cooking it. There is no mystery to cooking this if one follows the cardinal rule that the liquid should be added to the pan in small amounts and the rice should absorb it before adding more liquid.” Sparse at under 400 pages, the work is by no means exhaustive though it never lacks for want of food that sounds enticing.  

In contrast to the array of flashy cookbooks available, this collection of recipes remains short and to the point. While many readers may find the lack of accompanying photographs (of which there are none) disheartening, those uninterested in the added bulk will find the book delightfully light. With only a few pages devoted to basic technique (and most of these devoted to the making of different broths), readers lacking basic culinary ability may wish to begin with something more explanatory. Readers  feeling confident with knife and saucepan and with a desire to try their hand at Italian cooking, however, need look no further.

Brief and to the point, this manageably sized collection of recipes serves as an excellent introduction to Italian cooking. Instructions are straightforward and easy to follow for those looking to try their hand at this array of famous dishes.      

From antipasto to dessert, this cookbook of Italian fare covers a wide range of regions and styles.

Reviewed by Collin Marschiando for IndieReader