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on March 11, 2015
This is a fabulous little cookbook! Some of the recipes are variations of dishes my nonna used to make. One such dish is the "tuna sauce", and one of my favorite ways to make pasta. I loved Ms. Esposito's lemon version and is on my list to try. She has dishes with rabe (a favorite green I use on sandwiches) as well as dishes with another Italian favorite--cauliflower. I agree with another reviewer that as long as you stock basic Italian goods in your pantry and fridge, these recipes are quick to prepare. There are a few that do take some prep time, but she gives you time saving tips with each recipe. Yes, there is one dish that needs to sit for the day, but total amount of time is not hours of prepping. If you are not familiar with basic Italian cooking like making polenta, pesto, basic yeast dough, or pizza margherita, she has included those recipes as well. I checked out this book from the library when I spotted a recipe for a stuffed rabe roll I just had to try. It was soooo yummy and so easy to make. Great soups, sandwich ideas (I believe I had one of those grilled melted cheesy things in Venice), salads, and pasta frittatas (I still love left-over pasta and eggs for breakfast)--all with typical Italian flair--oh, and did I mention the quick desserts? It's always a yummy thing to have variations on recipes I already have, and I think this book would be an even yummier treat for those who would like to learn basic Italian cooking. As with all of Ms. Esposito's cookbooks, they are so authentically Italian--it's like you had your own little nonna cooking with you!
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on December 30, 2015
LOVE LOVE LOVE this book! I have always said that Italian cuisine does not have to take tons of time, and can afford us a way of eating that should make fast food drive- throughs obsolete. Simple, delicious and healthful recipes from the host of Ciao Italia, a show I have loved for years. Mary Ann Esposito starts with the premise that we should ORGANIZE our pantries (which includes cupboards, refrigerator, and freezer). Having some basic ingredients at hand will insure we have a potential great meal at the drop of a hat. Mille grazie, chef Esposito!
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on October 22, 2016
The recipes are simple and easy to follow but you may have alter some of the ingredients.
Some ingredients called for are a little hard to find. Still a good book
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on June 23, 2013
This is a book, unlike a magazine which has pictures and mostly brief recipes. This is a very well written book to help organize a kitchen so that meal preparation is "Pronto!" Mary Ann advises on the ingredients to stock the pantry, fridge and freezer. My supermarket carries all of the ingredients she suggests, except for some cheeses which can be substituted. Bagging tomato sauce to store in the freezer is brilliant, but a jarred sauce would do in a pinch!I love that she uses fresh ingredients, and is hip enough to use no cook lasagna noodles and bake pears in the microwave! She is THE authority in Italian cooking.
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on October 21, 2010
I have seen many Ciao Italia shows with Mary Ann and her love of food and easy steps can make anyone an Italian cook. All her books are well written and easy to follow, so enjoy!
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on November 14, 2017
the item came on time! I love this cookbook! I am thrilled to read her recipes and cook the food !
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on December 30, 2016
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on September 30, 2007
"Ciao Italia Pronto!" is a better cookbook in theory than in practice.

Italian food? Check! Thirty minute meals? Check! Sounds like just the thing to make a nice meal and still have some time between getting home from work and bedtime. That would be a false assumption.

American kitchens are certainly more sophisticated since the days when Chef-Boy-Ar-Dee owned the Italian cooking franchise. However, many of the ingredients called for in these recipes are still on the exotic side in my corner grocery. Sure, we have farmers markets, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, even an Italian specialty market or two but, if I have to fight traffic gridlock after work to go destination shopping for ingredients, it defeats the purpose of the Thirty Minute meal. The author recognizes this problem and provides a four page directory of mail order houses to obtain some of the required ingredients. This immediately makes about 40 percent of these recipes more trouble than they're worth.

If you do manage to find the ingredients, know that these recipes are neither simple, nor fast.

The recipe for "Lazy Lasagne" requires eight ingredients, and bakes for 30-35 minutes. That's cooking time only, and does NOT include prep time. Oh, and the tomato sauce for the lasagne is a recipe on a separate page. The sauce requires an additional eight ingredients and 20 minutes of cooking time.

Another main dish, "Fresh Tuna with Artichoke, Capers and Chickpeas," requires 12 ingredient and we're advised to make it early in the day, or a day ahead.

Some of the dishes are unfamiliar and pictures of the prepared food would have been a big help. There are only eight full page color pictures located in the center of the book, one appetizer, one soup, two main dishes, two salads, and two desserts.

If you're interested in this book for quick, convenient recipes, look elsewhere. This is far more complicated and time consuming than the advertised "....30 Minute Recipes from an Italian Kitchen." Not recommended.
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on May 7, 2008
I subscribe to a few cooking magazines...and very much look forward to curling up on the couch and browsing for new recipe ideas. I have a dear friend who is an accomplished cook and loves authentic Italian food. After her husband was in a tragic accident, I purchsed this book in hopes of finding ideas for easy italian meals that I could bring to her family. But, I guess I just took for granted that this cookbook would live up to its name. I saw the television show, and they made it look so easy! It would help a lot if there were pictures in the book to give you some idea of what the final product should look like. The meals are neither quick, nor easy. I was very disappointed in this purchase. This book will not last long in my kitchen. Sorry!
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on March 2, 2011
I'm really surprised by the bad reviews. There is nothing wrong with this book. It's full of simple, delicious recipes that work and I don't find that the ingredients are too difficult to find. Granted, I have an extensive pantry full of Italian products so I don't have to work as hard as some because I already have most of the ingredients on hand already. That's the point though, isn't it? If you have a well-stocked pantry, you'll probably only have to get your proteins and produce. If you grow fresh herbs like I do in the summer, you'll have to work even less. She has a whole section in the beginning of the book that discusses what types of products to have on hand, and if you do, it's rather easy to whip up a meal. Maybe the book is not for people unwilling to hunt down and keep good Italian products around. I cook Italian food most of the time so for me, this book works. I find the recipes to be rather easy as well.
4 people found this helpful
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