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The Italian Slow Cooker Paperback – January 7, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Original edition (January 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 054700303X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547003030
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Product Description
Finally a book that combines the fresh, exuberant flavors of great Italian food with the ease and comfort of a slow cooker. Michele Scicolone, a best-selling author and an authority on Italian cooking, shows how good ingredients and simple techniques can lift the usual "crockpot" fare into the dimension of fine food. Pasta with Meat and Mushroom Ragu, Osso Buco with Red Wine, Chicken with Peppers and Mushrooms: These are dishes that even the most discriminating cook can proudly serve to company, yet all are so carefree that anyone with just five or ten minutes of prep time can make them on a weekday and return to perfection.

Simmered in the slow cooker, soups, stews, beans, grains, pasta sauces, and fish are as healthy as they are delicious. Polenta and risotto, "stir-crazy" dishes that ordinarily need careful timing, are effortless. Meat loaves come out perfectly moist, tough cuts of meat turn succulent, and cheesecakes emerge flawless.

Recipe Excerpts from The Italian Slow Cooker

Chicken Parmesan Heroes

The Butcher's Sauce

Chocolate Truffle Cake

From Publishers Weekly

Scicolone (The Sopranos Family Cookbook) turns her attention to the slow cooker (or crockpot) for preparing homey Italian dishes. In this accessible cookbook, she presents unintimidating recipes (which often suggest the ingredients simmer around 165 degrees for six to eight hours) that serve up hearty dishes with a minimum of fuss. The wide variety of main dishes—seafood, meats, veggies and legumes—and corresponding soups and sauces, capitalize on the flavor that only slow-cooked food can deliver. The sauces are the book's standouts, with recipes for ragus made with chunky pork shoulder or spicy Tuscan sausage, for example. She also includes recipes for a creamy polenta with gorgonzola and mascarpone; risotto-style farro with parmesan; seafood couscous made with halibut, shrimp and scallops; and braised beef with anchovies and rosemary. While her approach is certainly inventive and appealing, some recipes make one wonder whether a slow cooker is actually necessary (the stuffed peppers might be baked just as easily). That said, this cookbook will certainly relieve the time pressure on busy family cooks. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author


Michele Scicolone is an award winning food writer and the author of 20 cookbooks. Her latest book, THE ITALIAN VEGETABLE COOKBOOK was published in March 2014 and is a collection of 200 favorite recipes for antipasti, soups, pasta, main dishes and desserts.

THE MEDITERRANEAN SLOW COOKER, was published in January 2013. It is a collection of 125 recipes inspired by the food of the countries around the Mediterranean including Italy, France, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Morocco and several others.

THE FRENCH SLOW COOKER was published in January 2012. It is a collection of classic French recipes adapted for use in the electric slow cooker (Crock Pot). Dorie Greenspan, author of Around My French Table wrote, "I'd bet that if French cooks could get their hands on Michele Scicolone's FRENCH SLOW COOKER, which is filled with smart, practical and convenient recipes, they'd never let it go."

Michele's previous book THE ITALIAN SLOW COOKER, was published in January 2010 and immediately became a bestseller. She was also one of the editors of the 75th Anniversary edition of the classic Joy of Cooking, and has written about food, wine, and travel for many publications. Previous books include 1,000 ITALIAN RECIPES and The Sopranos Family Cookbook, a #1 New York Times Best Seller that was published in 9 languages and a sequel, Entertaining with the Sopranos, both co-authored with Allen Rucker. She has also written Pizza--Anyway You Slice It!, co-authored with her husband Charles Scicolone, an Italian wine (and pizza) authority.

Michele's television appearances include Emeril Live, The CBS Morning Show, Good Morning America, and Cooking Live with Sara Moulton, as well as many local television and radio programs She has taught cooking at schools around the country including De Gustibus at Macy's, Sur la Table, and the Institute for Culinary Education and has consulted for many restaurants and food companies. Michele has been a spokesperson for the Italian Trade Commission and Williams Sonoma, and lecturer on Italian culture and cuisine at Hofstra and Henderson State Universities, and The Smithsonian Institute.

Visit her website at

Customer Reviews

Recipes are authentic and very easy to follow.
Penelope T. Rongo
So far, we tried one recipe from this book and the result is good to very good.
Helen S. Lam
I happened on Michele Scicolone's French Slow Cooker book.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

141 of 143 people found the following review helpful By datura2002 VINE VOICE on April 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
These long winter months are a great time to use that slow cooker your received as a gift, or to dig it out of a cabinet. Hearty stews and hot soups are delicious, comforting meals for cold evenings.

For my money, this is the most enticing slow cooker cookbook out there right now. The author, Michele Scicolone, is well-known as an Italian cookbook writer. Italian cuisine, with its soups and stews and other braised dishes, is well suited to the low, steady heat of the slow cooker.

Unlike the majority of slow cooker cookbooks out there, this one does not use highly-processed shortcuts of dubious origin like condensed cream of mushroom soup, onion soup mix or pre-mixed spice packets. The results are far more flavorful and authentic.

Hint: For those of you with crockpots that don't have a programmable timer, you can buy a programmable electric outlet timer that will cut off the power to an outlet after a set time, so the food won't be overcooked.
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142 of 149 people found the following review helpful By Michael Strasser on January 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
After spending a mouthwatering hour perusing this wonderful cookbook my wife and I went out and bought a slow cooker. Easy and delicious stocks, soups and a splendid turkey bolognese sauce were our first efforts. We will be soon be on to other sauces, vegetables, stews and desserts.

Michele Scicolone's instructions are always accurate and easy to follow. Her invention and taste sense make this book a total delight.
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208 of 226 people found the following review helpful By Brian M. O'Rourke on January 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have to admit I'm a great fan of Michele Scicolone. I got one of her cookbooks long ago, baked the best cookie I've ever had, and have been addicted to her wonderful recipes, stories and style ever since. This book continues her tradition of crafting perfect cookbooks. Why do I say perfect? Well, I'm not a professional cook, yet I can follow her recipes and create fantastic meals. Many cookbooks have recipes that are tricky or simply don't come out at all. Michele's books are totally trustworthy. Her recipes work flawlessly, deliciously. I just opened my copy of Italian Slow Cooker, found the recipe for Chicken Ragu, and looked at the outside temperature. It's only 10 degrees above zero in the Catskills, but I'm tasting her ragu tonight and the world is warm and comfy.

I recommend this book to everyone.

Brian O'Rourke
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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Rachael A. Warrington on October 19, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book in hopes it would have real recipes with out using canned soup or the dump method of slow cooker cooking. I don't mind a bit of up front work if the dish comes out tasting like I had spent all day on it. This book fills the bill. Great pictures, which I love, great recipes with easy to follow instructions for those first time cooks. I also love any details about a recipe, where it came from, what to serve it with, and such. I have made the Italin Peppery Stew with tons of black pepper and served it over the Italian White Beans and both recipe were wonderful. My family loved how the stew was different and the beans were an unexpected surprise. We loved them. I would place this recipe right up there with Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon which I have made twice now.
People who want to make a recipe and not spend time creating it will always dislike recipes that have details. But the details are the "devel in the details" if you will. Browning the meat before you place it in the crock pot makes a huge flavor and texture difference in the end product. I want my dinner to have depth of flavor and character.
I encourage you to take the time and recreate these recipes and make your family a wonderful sit down meal they will not forget.
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65 of 70 people found the following review helpful By SDP on January 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
I got this book for christmas and just love it! I am a pretty experienced cook and have been looking for a good crockpot cookbook that does not call for a can of cream of mushroom soup and frozen chicken breasts, but that also uses ingredients I would have in house. Had the cauliflower and potato soup tonight and even my "meat and potato" 15 year old son admitted it was pretty good! Also, made the beef barolo over the weekend, one of the best pot roasts I have had in a long time. Looking forward to trying more! Great book!
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118 of 132 people found the following review helpful By E. PALMATEER on January 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a WONDERFUL cookbook! I have made most of the recipes in it and have enjoyed each one. They come out delicious (not the grey mush that most crock pot recipes turn into) and are relatively easy. I also like that they don't all need a million ingredients. A lot of these recipes use things you likely already have on hand. TWO THUMBS UP!
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352 of 406 people found the following review helpful By wogan TOP 100 REVIEWER on January 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
I was given this cookbook because I love Italian food and love the ease of the slow cooker; but I must have other prerequisites for what I consider the main purpose of a slow cooker's easy cooking than what this author does; despite the statement on the back cover;" Plug it in, walk away and cook like an Italian grandmother". I really love to cook but to me a slow cooker is for, yes slow cooking but the wonderful ease of plopping ingredients in and coming back hours later to a satisfying meal, and the front cover says easy - which does not lead my mind to think of multiple preparations. That is not what most of these recipes are, so if your ideal of what a slow cooker's purpose is; just know before you get this book, that out of the total 113 recipes I counted, 53 require you to get out the skillet first and cook or brown food before you put it in. That includes more than chicken, which many say they would rather brown first; or browning-cooking onions. Personally, the chickens I have done in a slow cooker have been fine without the browning first, so I was shocked to see so many recipes say get out the skillet; and that doesn't count the ones that said " in a saucepan cook....".
The book is very tightly bound and I had a hard time getting it to lie flat. I had to weight it with canisters on each side. The recipes are one to a page and there are quite a few pictures.
It contains recipes for: soups, sauces for pasta, risotto, polenta, grains, seafood, eggs, chicken, turkey, beef, veal, pork, lamb, vegetables, dried legumes and desserts.
So, just know that this is not the typical throw it in and let it slow cook book. The food is good and it's nice to have that slow cooker bubbling away keeping things warm; but for most recipes in here you are going to have to do some extra preparation.
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