In keeping with his philosophy that cooking should be about minimal preparation of the freshest seasonally available ingredients Jamie Oliver has given us a treatment of Italian cuisine that shows the reader how easy it is to create delicious authentic Italian dishes. His writing style is relaxed and funny, (if you've ever seen Jamie on television you'll hear his charming voice as you read), and the photographs are gorgeous. Most importantly, the reader comes away not only with a catalog of wonderful recipies, but an understanding of the basic principles of Italian cooking that will let the reader create his or her own Italian dishes using whatever is seasonally available at his or her own local market. I was able to do just that a few days after finishing the book. I took one of the book recipes for silk handkerchiefs with pesto and used fava beans, (which had just come into season), fresh thyme, and parmigiano reggiano instead of pesto. The result was one of the best meals I have ever cooked. Jamie Oliver gives you the confidence to modify his recipes according to the principles of Italian regional cooking, (or simply invent you own!), with wonderful results.