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Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes Hardcover – February 22, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 504 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With its cover image of the fetching de Laurentiis wearing a low-cut top and its promise of easy, tasty Italian recipes, this cookbook is sure to draw in home cooks who don't know how to make a basic marinara sauce and want to be introduced them to the beauty and simplicity of Italian cuisine. Which is, of course, a good thing, but a shame, too, since this work lacks depth or meaning. Readers seeking a true introduction to the building blocks of Italian cooking would be worlds better off with one of Marcella Hazan's or Lidia Bastianich's early primers. What those who are lured in by the good looks and charm of de Laurentiis (granddaughter of film producer Dino and star of Food Network's Everyday Italian) will get is an unsophisticated but decent selection of Italian-American classics, from antipasto to pasta, meat dishes to desserts, including Clams Oreganata, Caprese Salad, Salsa all'Amatriciana, Fettucine Alfredo, Veal Marsala, Caponata and Chocolate Tiramisù. De Laurentiis provides an introduction to each dish, and her recipes are generally minimalist (there are no recipes for homemade pastas or stews that take a day to make). Though bursting with glamorous shots of a lovely looking author, this is a rather flat first effort.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Inside Flap

In her hit Food Network show "Everyday Italian, Giada De Laurentiis shows you how to cook delicious, beautiful food in a flash. And here, in her long-awaited first book, she does the same--helps you put a fabulous dinner on the table tonight, for friends or just for the kids, with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of flavor. She makes it all look easy, because it is.
"Everyday Italian is true to its title: the fresh, simple recipes are incredibly quick and accessible, and also utterly mouth-watering--perfect for everyday cooking. And the book is focused on the real-life considerations of what you actually have in your refrigerator and pantry (no mail-order ingredients here) and what you're in the mood for--whether a simply sauced pasta or a hearty family-friendly roast, these great recipes cover every contingency. So, for example, you'll find dishes that you can make solely from pantry ingredients, or those that transform lowly leftovers into exquisite entrees (including brilliant ideas for leftover pasta), and those that satisfy your yearning to have something sweet baking in the oven. There are 7 ways to make red sauce more interesting, 6 different preparations of the classic cutlet, 5 perfect pestos, 4 creative uses for prosciutto, 3 variations on basic polenta, 2 great steaks, and 1 sublime chocolate tiramisu--plus 100 other recipes that turn everyday ingredients into speedy but special dinners.
What's more, "Everyday Italian is organized according to what type of food you want tonight--whether a soul-warming stew for Sunday supper, a quick saute for a weeknight, or a baked pasta for potluck. These categories will help you figure out what to cook in an instant, with suchchoices as fresh-from-the-pantry appetizers, sauceless pastas, everyday roasts, and stuffed vegetables--whatever you're in the mood for, you'll be able to find a simple, delicious recipe for it here. That's the beauty of Italian home cooking, and that's what Giada De Laurentiis offers here--the essential recipes to make a great Italian dinner. Tonight.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1st edition (February 22, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400052580
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400052585
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.7 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (504 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kasia S. VINE VOICE on February 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have been a big fan of the show since the beginning. This book is a blessing. For a long time I would have to hunt down the recopies on the food network website, print them, lose half of them, etc. This way I have it all in a beautiful glossy hard cover book, written with warmth, personal stories and mouth watering pictures of the dishes.

I have made many of the dishes she features in her book, and not one turned out badly. It all comes out exactly as it's supposed to. That's tricky with some cookbooks, when you just can't get it to be what it's meant to be. Giada's book is divided in these sections:

Antipasti, Sauces, Pasta Polenta and Risotto, Entrees, Contorini (Side Dishes) and Dolci (Desserts)

Some of my favorite recipes I've made are:

Stuffed mushrooms: thank goodness they are so simple to make, because I am being hounded by my boyfriend to make them. Simply amazing.

Simple Bolognese- meaty, fresh, and satisfying, plus you don't have to wonder what was in it. You made it and you know it's clean. Classic recipe that's easy to follow.

Brown Butter sauce - I can still close my eyes and taste the sage and butter, over any meat. Instant dress up to any meal.

Chicken piccata - light, lemony, olivey, simply fantastic.

I can just go on and on, but I don't want to bore anyone. This book is simply super. I don't mind the pictures of her, and if she changed her clothes for every single photo in the book, I would have mistaken it for a Vogue shoot, instead of a cookbook.

Hope you can enjoy it as much as I am. This book is in constant use at my house.
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Format: Hardcover
To put this review into perspective for you, it is written by a serious student of cooking that has been actively studying food on their own for 25 years. I have been focusing on Italian food for the last 10 years. My favorite cookbook is "The Professional Chef" by the Culinary Institute of America.

Giada is such an engaging personality on the Food Network that she is hard not to watch if you love Italian food. I bought this book and wanted to love it.

However, the recipes are not written for someone that knows Italian cooking. Her book is marketed to the crowd that wants to cook Italian American not authentic Italian. Giada avoids Italian ingredients that are only readily available in the major metropolitan areas. Her recipes are extremely simple, with few ingredients and take no time to prepare. Given her target audience for the book I feel the book is good. With Giada's cooking education and family background I expected the book to go into more depth than her television show, it does not. If you are looking for a book that is a compendium of her show, you will love this book.

However, if you are serious about Italian food buy "Molto Italiano" by Mario Batali instead. He isn't as stunning to look at, but his recipes are vastly superior. You might also consider "The Silver Spoon" it contains a vast number of Italian recipes but is lacking glossy photos that are present in Mario's book. You should also consider "Harry's Bar Cookbook" written by the owner of Harry's Bar in Venice. It is a fantastic authentic Italian Cookbook.
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Format: Hardcover
Giada De Laurentiis' first cookbook was exactly what I expected from watching her show. True it does not greatly differ from her TV show, but I did not expect it to, they share the same name for a good reason. Just like her wonderfull show, the recipes are pretty classic Italian but recipes you can make from your own pantry or your local store. No hunting down speciality ingrediants. I personally liked the section on what you need in your pantry to make the majority of the dishes included.

I am one of those people who reads a cookbook cover to cover and I enjoyed Mario Battali's intro about Giada very much. Especially the part about how she is the kind of girl his mother told him to marry. The book also describes how Giada ended up with her own show.

The recipes center around those found on her show, with some I do not recall from the show. If you are already familure with her food network show then you know that Giada focuses on achievable Italian cooking, you do not need a degree from culinary school or a week to make her food. There are more traditional Italian cookbooks out there, but if like me, you are unlikley to make a marinera sauce that requires a minimum of three days, this cookbook is more your style.

The book also tells you how and how long many of the dishes can be stored. Something I really appreciate. And being that it is Giada, there is a good dessert section. A nice touch is that there are some simple, light fruit desserts along with the more decadent fare. Also there are intros to the recipes with facts or explinations on variations.

Some people have said there are not enough recipes included.
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Format: Hardcover
While I enjoy the cooking Giada does, I'd have enjoyed the cookbook more if a good portion of the 50 plus snapshots of her would have been dedicated to the prepared recipes. One or two of the author, perhaps front and back covers holding a dish! with more of the food photos in the book,would have been a plus. In future books save the personal snapshots for friends and family and give the purchaser recipes and prepared food snapshots.
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