Lidia's Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Great Italian Cook


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Recommended by

Fred Plotkin

Authority on Italian food and opera

Lidia Bastianich is an adored and renowned chef, restaurateur and television personality whose appeal is her sincerity and undeniable gifts as a cook and communicator. All of her books are treasurable collections of recipes and photographs. This one, however, has different aims and they are brilliantly realized. This is a book that contains a lifetime of chef’s wisdom delivered in clear and cogent ways. The book’s lack of illustrations is, in fact, a virtue in that one reads it to learn from a master rather than be entertained by a friend. Bastianich achieves the rare feat of getting the reader to think like an Italian home cook.

Erin Jeanne McDowell

Cook, food writer and food stylist

Lidia has a restaurant in Kansas City, and when I was growing up, it was the place we'd go for special occasions. I "blame" Lidia for my deep love of all things carb-based - I devoured her foccacia soaked in buttery olive oil, stuffed myself with mounds of steaming pasta of every variety, and adored her simple vanilla bean flecked panna cotta. Her food comes from such an honest place, full of love - and her recipes are clear and never over-complicated. Many years into dating, my now-fiance told me that he'll never forget the first dish I ever cooked for him: it was pasta, and I everything I know about that, I learned from Lidia.