“Made in Italy” is the Italian Food Bible. Locatelli is the Stephanie Alexander of Italy. His book was recommended by my friend Rob who is co-owner of The Bunyip Scenic Rim Resort and an excellent cook. I bought the 600+ page hardcover version and I’m glad that I did.
Locatelli’s book is part biography, part food history, part food science, and a lot about the art of preparing and cooking Italian food. For me it was worth it to really learn about risotto, pasts and gnocchi for starters! The section introductions in themselves are terrific insights into the nature of Italian food in relation to culture and geography, and how to do the basics really well.
So what do you get?
Starters – about 100 pages covering sleds, vegetables, seafood, fruit and meats
Soup – about 50 pages including types of minestrone, pulses, fish, chilled, tortellini in broth, and veg soup with cheese dumplings…
Risotto – 60 pages including how to actually get it right, and recipes with various vegetables, truffle, seafood, quail etc
Pasta – about 100 pages – loads about making pasta well, then all kinds of recipes for a range of pasta types -from simple (pesto with potato and beans) to fancy stuff
Fish – 40 pages – you have to translate into some local varieties but there’s great use of herbs, crusts and sauces
Meat – 50 pages – chargrilled lamb, beef and chicken; a range of poultry types, and a few offal recipes for those who really must…
Desserts – 80 pages – poached fruits, tarts, ice cream and gelati and sorbet, pannetone, fondant, pannacotta.
So far I’ve mainly used it to improve my pasta and risotto skills, so stay tuned for details about some of the recipes. It’s the kind of book whose pages I’m happy reading just to learn about the place of food within a culture. 5 stars (out of 5…)