It can be hard sometimes knowing where Italian food ends and American food begins.
Italians have made such rich contributions to the national food culture that the best way to separate out the authentic is to spend some time studying Italian cookery.
We think these cookbooks should have a place in every American kitchen to help us all understand the tastes of Italy.
Essentials Of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan
Marcella Hazan was one of the very first chefs to introduce Italian cuisine to the American household and many consider her to be the “Godmother of Italian”.
Her cookbook is a superb reference guide for chefs of all levels of skill. It’s full of incredible techniques, genuine passion for her art and recipes that you’ll remember for weeks after eating them.
Lidia’s Mastering the Art Of Italian Cuisine by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali
You’ve surely seen Lidia on TV and when she’s not telling the world about Italian food, she’s running four Italian restaurants making that food for the world.
This is a hefty book with more than 400 of her own private recipes and it’s packed with tips on how to buy, cook, prepare, store and even clean the ingredients properly.
Mario Batali Simple Italian Food: Recipes From My Two Villages by Mario Batali
You’ll almost certainly have seen Molto Mario, Batali’s show that aims to shine a spotlight on healthy Italian food that is cooked perfectly every time.
There are many recipes in this book but at its heart, it’s a tale of two recipes and the villages that influenced them.
You can’t find more traditional or authentic Italian food than you find in this book.
Never Trust A Skinny Italian Chef: by Massimo Bottura
With three Michelin stars to his name and more than a quarter of a century cooking Italian food for the public Massimo Bottura is a force to be reckoned with.
This neat book contains only 50 recipes but each one is a true delicacy.
It’s also full of tips and tricks as well as plenty of Massimo’s sense of humor.
The Tuscan Sun Cookbook: Recipes From Our Italian Kitchen by Frances and Edward Mayes
This is as much a travelogue imploring the reader to get truly in touch with Tuscany as it is a remarkable cookbook reveling in the region and its food.
The 150 recipes within its pages will wow even the fussiest of palates and their tips on stocking your pantry are worth the price of admission alone.
How To Eataly: A Guide to Buying, Cooking and Eating Italian Food by Eataly and Oscar Farinetti
Eataly, of course, is an international chain of Italian restaurants and this short but beautifully illustrated book is all about teaching others to “eat like a true Italian”.
We think it lives up to its ambitions and one thing we really like is the profiles of local producers of Italian ingredients.
We think it’s important to know as much as possible about the source of your food.
The Sicily Cookbook: Authentic Recipes From A Mediterranean Island by Cettina Vicenzino
There isn’t actually an “Italian cooking method”.
The country has 20 different regions each with their own speciality options and approaches.
This cookbook is a stunning introduction to Sicily and the local brilliance that the region imbues its food with.
The photography is brilliant too.
Vegetariano: 400 Regional Italian Recipes by Slow Food Editore
Italian cuisine lends itself naturally to vegetarian food and this book from “Slow Food”, the movement which encourages people to take more time over their food, is a thorough demonstration of this.
You’ll find dozens of different recipes each of which originates from a different part of Italy and they are all amazing!
The Glorious Pasta Of Italy by Domenica Marchetti and France Ruffenach
The only reason that this didn’t make our picks for the top cookbooks of all time is its narrow focus but there’s no denying that Italian food and pasta are synonymous.
If you’ve ever wondered how to make your own pasta, how to shape it, how to pair it, etc?
This book is the answer to your questions.
The Italian Baker, Revised: The Classic Tastes of the Italian Countryside by Carol Field and Ed Anderson
What would Italian food be without dough and cakes and pastries? Nothing like as good as it is, that’s for sure.
Carol Field’s round up of Italian baking techniques is a kitchen essential, if just for teaching us how to turn hard, leftover bread into tasty desserts.