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A Taste of Italy at Home

Updated on December 4, 2013

Italy Today : The Beautiful Cookbook

I can't remember exactly when I got this cookbook but it was many birthdays ago. At first sight,I thought the book was a photo book on Italy because the beautiful photograph on the front cover looked more like a travelogue than a cookbook. As I started flipping through the pages, I was pleasantly surprised to see that is was indeed a cookbook, and what a beautiful cookbook it was!


Although I've always planned on making something from the book, I never did for the longest time. The book was just so beautiful with interesting information on the various places in Italy, it was hard to tear myself away from reading it once I started. The stunning pictures allowed me to escape my living room if only for an hour or two. The recipes tempted me with the promise of real and authentic Italian dishes ranging from a simple pasta and peas dish to a deliciously rustic pineapple cake. Just flipping through the pages made me feel like I was there.

Putting the Recipes to the Test

Last weekend I finally promised myself to make at least two dishes out of the book. I chose to make Trota Salmonata Alle Olive ( Baked Salmon Trout with Olives) for the main dish and Ananas Alle Noci In Forno ( Baked Pineapple with Walnuts) for dessert. Both of these looked easy to make and I had most of the ingredients on hand.


How did they turn out? Well, the salmon was surprisingly delicate and delicious in its simplicity with the olives adding the right amount of briny saltiness. The pineapple cake tasted nothing like how I expected but in a good way. I expected it to taste like the pineapple upside down cakes I had when I lived in the America but it was nothing like it. This rustic dessert uses only 1/2 cup of sugar for the entire dish and relied on the sweetness of fresh pineapples that resulted in a light and fresh-tasting dessert. I served it with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and it was perfect! I am happy to say that both dishes turned out better than I expected and they were surprisingly simple to make.

The Bottom Line

Italy Today: The Beautiful Cookbook uses familiar ingredients with clear and simple instructions along with the beautiful pictures that the book promises. You can find most of the ingredients in your local supermarket and if I found the recipes easy to make, I'm sure they'll be easy for any amateur cooks out there. So far I have three books from The Beautiful Cookbook series so it's quite obvious how much I love owning these. These books are so beautiful that it's almost a sin to call them cookbooks. They truly are the most beautiful cookbooks I've ever had the pleasure of owning and they are definitely one of the best gifts any cook or foodie could ever receive.

Photo Gallery

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Today's dinner consisted of this beautiful salmon dish. I chose it for it's simplicity as well as having all the ingredients on hand.I had to cut the recipe to a quarter as my salmon was very small. It was one of the best salmon dishes I've ever eaten!For dessert, I chose this rustic pineapple and walnut cake.I only had a square pan big enough but it tasted really good. This is my square cake and although not as pretty as the picture, it tasted good.
Today's dinner consisted of this beautiful salmon dish. I chose it for it's simplicity as well as having all the ingredients on hand.
Today's dinner consisted of this beautiful salmon dish. I chose it for it's simplicity as well as having all the ingredients on hand.
I had to cut the recipe to a quarter as my salmon was very small. It was one of the best salmon dishes I've ever eaten!
I had to cut the recipe to a quarter as my salmon was very small. It was one of the best salmon dishes I've ever eaten!
For dessert, I chose this rustic pineapple and walnut cake.
For dessert, I chose this rustic pineapple and walnut cake.
I only had a square pan big enough but it tasted really good. This is my square cake and although not as pretty as the picture, it tasted good.
I only had a square pan big enough but it tasted really good. This is my square cake and although not as pretty as the picture, it tasted good.
Thailand: The Beautiful Cookbook
Thailand: The Beautiful Cookbook

I love Thai food and this is the second book I purchased in the series. Once again, this book is used more for flipping through enjoying the beautiful pictures and reading about the interesting culture of this fascinating country. I will make it a point to actually make something from one of the recipes in this book very soon.

 
Mediterranean the Beautiful Cookbook: Authentic Recipes from the Mediterranean Lands
Mediterranean the Beautiful Cookbook: Authentic Recipes from the Mediterranean Lands

I also have this book standing on my bookshelf right next to my Thailand and Italy Cookbooks. After finished it from cover to cover, it greatly intensified my desire to travel to places such as Spain, Turkey and North Africa.

 
Mexico The Beautiful Cookbook: Authentic Recipes from the Regions of Mexico
Mexico The Beautiful Cookbook: Authentic Recipes from the Regions of Mexico

I love Mexican food and have found that truly authentic Mexican food is hard to find outside of Mexico and this book is probably one of the few books with truly authentic recipes. This is the book that's now currently on my Must-Have list.

 

Do you enjoy Italian food?

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Do you own any of the cookbooks from The Beautiful Cookbook series? Have you ever tried any of the recipes from this book? Please let me know.

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    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @sousababy: Ohhh, man servants making you Italian food....doesn't sound bad at all!

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @flinnie lm: These recipes were wonderfully easy to make.

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @VinnWong: I hope you try them out someday.

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 3 years ago

      I have the fondest memories of man-servants (there's been a few ;D) making me italian food. Thank you for this wonderful cookbook review (I don't own any of these - yet).

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 4 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi I enjoyed reading you review of this wonderful cook book. I have not tried any of these recipes but would like too.

    • VinnWong profile image

      VinnWong 4 years ago

      I've never tried any but would love to!

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @VinnWong: Haha. thanks Vinn.

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Hansoph: It's my pleasure. This book is definitely recommended.

    • Hansoph profile image

      Hansoph 4 years ago

      I love cooking & italian food. Think this might be a book for me! Thanks for posting.

    • VinnWong profile image

      VinnWong 4 years ago

      I loooveeeee this lens! From the background to the links and all... it's so perfect. I've tried some of these recipes before cause my partner makes them sometimes. Very lovely.

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @takkhisa: Yay! It's a great book isn't it? I love these books as they are just so beautiful to look at.

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      Wonderful review smine27! You will be happy to know that I have the book "Thailand: The Beautiful Cookbook", it is a nice cookbook :)

    • smine27 profile image
      Author

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @newyorkdude: Oh yes I completely forgot about the wine! I actually had a nice glass of white wine with the salmon. I can't remember the name of it but it was Australian. :) Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

    • newyorkdude profile image

      newyorkdude 4 years ago

      Looks very, very tempting. You forgot to tell us the wines you had with each dish. I'll bet you had fun making and eating.