No disrespect to Jamie Oliver and the very attractive jacket on this book, but the first thing I did was remove the jacket as the design on the hardback is truly stunning and would be a welcome design addition in any home.
Turning now to the content of the book, the recipes in Jamie Cooks Italy are truly wonderful and very easy to follow. There is a mixture of familiar classics and new recipes, something for every occasion. Jamie brings his passion to Italian food, and the result is pure joy for cooking for friends and family.
The standout recipes for me were Burrata Bruschetta; Chickpea Fritters; Grilled Apricot Salad; Pistachio Pasta; Bucatini Amatriciana; Sausage and Red Wine Risotto; Potato Gnocchi; Chicken Bastardo; Stuffed Braised Celery; Italian Ham, Eggs and Chips; Stracotto; Forger’s Chicken and Ugly Beautiful Tuna.
The photographs in Jamie Cooks Italy are nicely presented, but what I enjoyed the most was all the nonnas and mammas that Jamie cooked with from all over Italy – wonderful women, many of whom have been cooking for over 50 years. Jamie honours these women and passes on much-treasured recipes and advice, that will keep traditional Italian cooking alive for another generation. Jamie Cooks Italy is a must-have book for anyone interested in Italian cooking.
Reviewer: Iain McKenzie
Penguin Random House, RRP$65.00