558987020_tp_2Last year, I started my Italian-Canadian reading list. A writer by trade, and an avid-reader, I focused on books about history, community and creativity in Italian-Canadian life. But my bookshelf has grown considerably with Italian cookbooks over the past year as I’ve been recording my family’s recipes and trying a few more. There’s nothing I get a kick out of more than seeing an old, old recipe from my family in an Italian cookbook in some variation.

Since my desk has a scattering of cookbooks, and I get a lot of requests for recipes, this time around I’m writing an Italian-Canadian reading list for cookbooks. I’ve included the “bibles,” books that those looking to learn about Italian cooking need to have, and also books that focus on Italian desserts, as those are much more rare than regular cookbooks.

Bibles/must-buys:
The Silver Spoon, published by Phaidon. First published in 1950, Il cucchiaio d’argento (the silver spoon) has become the most successful cookbook in Italy. Experts were commissioned to collect hundreds of traditional recipes from throughout the country, including every regional speciality. They now offer a series of books including The Silver Spoon for Children.

La Cucina Italiana Encyclopedia of Italian Cooking by The Editors of La Cucina Italiana

Cook Italy: More Than 400 Authentic Recipes and Techniques from Every Region of Italy by Katie Caldesi and Giancarlo Caldesi

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan

Cooking with Italian Grandmothers: Recipes and Stories from Tuscany to Sicily, by Jessica Theroux

By popular chefs:
Lidia’s Favorite Recipes: 100 Foolproof Italian Dishes, from Basic Sauces to Irresistible Entrees by Lidia Matticchio

Jamie’s Italy by Jamie Oliver

Molto Gusto: Easy Italian Cooking by Mario Batali

Desserts:
Sweet Maria’s Italian Cookie Tray: A Cookbook by Maria Bruscino Sanchez

Solo Dolci: The Italian Dessert Cookbook by Anna Bruni Benson

Great Italian Desserts by Nicholas Malgieri

Cookbooks by Italian-Canadians:
La Dolce Vita Cookbook by David Rocco

Je Cuisine Italien by Stefano Faita

Grace’s Sweet Life: Homemade Italian Desserts from Cannoli, Tiramisu, and Panna Cotta to Torte, Pizzelle, and Struffoli by Grace Massa-Langlois

 

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