• Top 10 Best Italian Cookbooks in 2021 1
  • Top 10 Best Italian Cookbooks in 2021 2
  • Top 10 Best Italian Cookbooks in 2021 3
  • Top 10 Best Italian Cookbooks in 2021 4
  • Top 10 Best Italian Cookbooks in 2021 5

Top 10 Best Italian Cookbooks in 2021

Many agree that Italian cuisine is the ultimate comfort food, from pizza which we could eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert, to some scrumptious pasta that we could whip up in less than 15 minutes. It's no wonder countless Italian cookbooks have made their way to the market, sharing authentic recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. 


For an Italian cookbook to be Nonna- (grandmother) approved, it must contain simple yet traditional techniques that utilize only the freshest ingredients. Authentic Italian cuisine is all about simplicity, using the fewest ingredients of the highest quality, without elaborate preparation needed. 


We've searched Amazon for the best of the best, ranked the top 10, and compiled a convenient buying guide to choosing and buying the most-fitting Italian cookbook for you.

  • Last updated: 01-26-2021
  • 2,191 views
Table of Contents

Top 10 Best Italian Cookbooks

Below is a list of the most comprehensive Italian cookbooks available online for those of any skill level who want to try different dishes or follow a specific diet. 

1

Marcella HazanEssentials of Classic Italian Cooking

$19.29

eBook price$6.24
Difficulty levelAll levels
Available formatsPaperback, hardcover, eBook
Pages704
Release date1992
Dietary considerationsNone
2

The Italian Academy of CuisineLa Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy

$29.49

eBook priceNone
Difficulty levelExpert
Available formatsHardcover
Pages928
Release date2009
Dietary considerationsNone
3

Vicky BennisonPasta Grannies: The Official Cookbook: The Secrets of Italy's Best Home Cooks

$20.88

eBook price$16.44
Difficulty levelBeginner
Available formatseBook, hardcover
Pages256
Release date2019
Dietary considerationsNone
4

Francesca MontilloThe 5-Ingredient Italian Cookbook: 101 Regional Classics Made Simple

$12.59

eBook price$10.48
Difficulty levelBeginner
Available formatseBook, paperback
Pages186
Release date2019
Dietary considerationsNone
5

Giada De LaurentiisEveryday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes

$9.00

eBook price$10.22
Difficulty levelBeginner
Available formatseBook, hardcover
Pages256
Release date2005
Dietary considerationsNone
6

Jack BishopThe Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook: 350 Essential Recipes for Inspired Everyday Eating

$55.54

eBook priceNone
Difficulty levelIntermediate
Available formatsHardcover
Pages568
Release date1997
Dietary considerationsVegetarian
7

Mark VetriMastering Pizza: The Art and Practice of Handmade Pizza, Focaccia, and Calzone

$18.49

eBook price$14.17
Difficulty levelIntermediate
Available formatseBook, hardcover
Pages272
Release date2018
Dietary considerationsNone
8

Salinas PressThe Italian Cookbook for Beginners: Over 100 Classic Recipes with Everyday Ingredients

$11.99

eBook price$8.00
Difficulty levelBeginner
Available formatseBook, paperback
Pages204
Release date2013
Dietary considerationsNone
9

Carol FieldThe Italian Baker, Revised: The Classic Tastes of the Italian Countryside

$24.94

eBook price$4.44
Difficulty levelIntermediate
Available formatseBook, hardcover, paperback
Pages432
Release date2011
Dietary considerationsNone
10

Chloe CoscarelliChloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen: 150 Pizzas, Pastas, Pestos, Risottos, & Lots of Creamy Italian Classics

$15.78

eBook price$16.97
Difficulty levelBeginner
Available formatsKindle, paperback, spiral-bound
Pages288
Release date2014
Dietary considerationsVegan

Compare the Best Italian Cookbooks

Image
1
Marcella Hazan Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking 1

Marcella Hazan

2
The Italian Academy of Cuisine La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy 1

The Italian Academy of Cuisine

3
Vicky Bennison Pasta Grannies: The Official Cookbook: The Secrets of Italy's Best Home Cooks 1

Vicky Bennison

4
Francesca Montillo The 5-Ingredient Italian Cookbook: 101 Regional Classics Made Simple  1

Francesca Montillo

5
Giada De Laurentiis Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes  1

Giada De Laurentiis

6
Jack Bishop The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook: 350 Essential Recipes for Inspired Everyday Eating 1

Jack Bishop

7
Mark Vetri Mastering Pizza: The Art and Practice of Handmade Pizza, Focaccia, and Calzone 1

Mark Vetri

8
Salinas Press The Italian Cookbook for Beginners: Over 100 Classic Recipes with Everyday Ingredients  1

Salinas Press

9
Carol Field The Italian Baker, Revised: The Classic Tastes of the Italian Countryside 1

Carol Field

10
Chloe Coscarelli Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen: 150 Pizzas, Pastas, Pestos, Risottos, & Lots of Creamy Italian Classics 1

Chloe Coscarelli

Name

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy

Pasta Grannies: The Official Cookbook: The Secrets of Italy's Best Home Cooks

The 5-Ingredient Italian Cookbook: 101 Regional Classics Made Simple

Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes

The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook: 350 Essential Recipes for Inspired Everyday Eating

Mastering Pizza: The Art and Practice of Handmade Pizza, Focaccia, and Calzone

The Italian Cookbook for Beginners: Over 100 Classic Recipes with Everyday Ingredients

The Italian Baker, Revised: The Classic Tastes of the Italian Countryside

Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen: 150 Pizzas, Pastas, Pestos, Risottos, & Lots of Creamy Italian Classics

Features

The Most Enjoyed Italian Cookbook in America

A Compilation of the Classics From Italy's Regions

Discover the Secrets of Those Who've Spent a Lifetime Cooking for Family

Regional Classics That Only Need Five Ingredients

The Fuss-Free Italian Cookbook

An American-Inspired Italian Cookbook for Vegetarians

Discover the World of Pizza and Become a Master

A Simple Cookbook That You'll Turn to Everyday

The Most Comprehensive Book on Italian Baking

An All-Around Italian Cookbook Tailored for Vegans

Price$19.29$29.49$20.88$12.59$9.00$55.54$18.49$11.99$24.94$15.78
eBook price$6.24None$16.44$10.48$10.22None$14.17$8.00$4.44$16.97
Difficulty levelAll levelsExpertBeginnerBeginnerBeginnerIntermediateIntermediateBeginnerIntermediateBeginner
Available formatsPaperback, hardcover, eBookHardcovereBook, hardcovereBook, paperbackeBook, hardcoverHardcovereBook, hardcovereBook, paperbackeBook, hardcover, paperbackKindle, paperback, spiral-bound
Pages704928256186256568272204432288
Release date1992200920192019200519972018201320112014
Dietary considerationsNoneNoneNoneNoneNoneVegetarianNoneNoneNoneVegan
Link

How to Choose an Italian Cookbook - Buying Guide

We've prepared a guide to assist you in selecting the right Italian cookbook for you. It's important to remember that not all cookbooks are created equal and differ in level of experience needed, ingredients, approaches and even style of writing. Hopefully, with this checklist, choosing the most fitting cookbook would be a breeze. 

Select a Cookbook That's Made for Your Region

Italian cookbooks in Italy would greatly differ from those that have been translated into English or were created to cater to the American region. With that said, it's best to go for a cookbook that have been tweaked to your location so you won't have difficulty sourcing ingredients and understanding certain techniques. 

Certain Ingredients Might Not be Available in the U.S.

Certain Ingredients Might Not be Available in the U.S.

Italy boasts of truly authentic ingredients that are only found in Italy such as Lombard buckwheat pasta (pizzoccheri) or certain types of bread flour, cheeses (provola affumicata), and spices. There might not be a market for these items in the US because they have an acquired taste that doesn't suit everyone's palate.  


One might stumble upon such rare items in an Italian deli, but they might be either expensive or not readily available. You can choose to look up appropriate substitutes, or you could go for a more localized book.

Recipes Might be Too Expensive and Complicated to Turn into Reality

Recipes Might be Too Expensive and Complicated to Turn into Reality

It's understandable to presume that Italian recipes are expensive because of the extensive time and effort placed in crafting certain ingredients such as genuine Parmigiano Reggiano which costs over $1,000 per wheel ($11 per pound). 


Not to mention many of these items are produced in only a few regions in Italy, which pushes up the price further. To ensure that you won't be baffled at the intricate names of ingredients or worried about burning a hole in your pocket just for one dish, look out for alternatives and substitutes to a recipe.

Check When the Cookbook was Published to Ensure it's Up-to-Date

Check When the Cookbook was Published to Ensure it's Up-to-Date

Culinary arts are an ever-changing industry, with new processes, techniques and approaches being introduced, replacing old ones that don't work anymore. For example, pasta was made by hand before, but nowadays we have pasta machines that even Italian chefs approve of. 


However, one advantage of cookbooks that were published decades ago are the tried-and-tested recipes passed down within families before the revisions of the modern age. 

Find One That You Need and See Yourself Using

We've all made the mistake of impulse-buying a cookbook we swore we would use, yet left it to gather dust on the shelf. One must have a goal in mind before stepping foot into a bookstore (physically or virtually) and heading for the culinary section. If you get a cookbook that you need, chances are you will use it. 

Italian Pasta Cookbooks to Learn Nonna's Secrets

Italian Pasta Cookbooks to Learn Nonna's Secrets

There are Italian cookbooks that focus on pastas because there is so much more to this cuisine than tomatoes or spaghetti. Aside from the 350 different types of pasta, most of these have a specific sauce that accentuates their shape.


Carbonara, for example, is best made with fettucini or linguini, while pappardelle is commonly paired with thick sauces. Then we have the cooking time for each type of sauce and pasta, which leaves us with a process that's simple yet so easy to mess up.

To Become a Master Pizzaiolo/Pizzaiola, Look for a Detailed Pizza Cookbook

To Become a Master Pizzaiolo/Pizzaiola, Look for a Detailed Pizza Cookbook

Would you believe it only takes 90 seconds or less to cook the perfect pizza in a brick oven? It's the flour preparation and handling that's most important with making an authentic pizza. One should not stress the dough or activate the yeast too much, and the finished product should be sloppy yet absolutely delicious. 


Depending on the region, the thickness of the crust and the toppings of a pizza vary (except no pineapples). Becoming a pizza master (pizzaiolo) takes a lot of practice. Fortunately for us, it's quite difficult to mess up the finished product since all pizzas are yummy. 

Italians Pride Themselves on Pastry Recipes, Too

Italians Pride Themselves on Pastry Recipes, Too

The French might have their baguette and the reputation of producing the best patisseries in the world, but the Italians are more than ready to contest that assumption. 


From breads like foccacia, pagnotta and crostata (pie) to desserts like budino, tiramisu, and cannoli, it's not hard to see why this topic is an ongoing debate between the two countries. 

Some Books Give Advice on Cheese, Cold Cuts and Wine Pairings

Some Books Give Advice on Cheese, Cold Cuts and Wine Pairings

Then we have the separate world of cheese and cold cuts and their respective wine pairings, which could be quite daunting to someone new. The untrained eye (and tongue) might think that there's not much difference between parmigiano and pecorino, but each has its unique taste and purpose. 


The same goes for prosciutto and its many variants. Level up your wine night by following a cookbook with all its tips and tricks for you to try. 

Or Choose a Cookbook That Has a Little Bit of Everything

Or Choose a Cookbook That Has a Little Bit of Everything

If you don't want to specialize in one specific branch of Italian cuisine, there are many cookbooks that give you a little bit of everything. Surprise friends, family and loved ones by whipping up an Italian classic that will leave them saying "Buonissimo!" 

Select an Italian Cookbook Based on Your Experience

Cookbooks are often categorized based on experience or skill such as beginner, intermediate and expert levels. It's advised to go for the correct level to ensure that you fully understand and enjoy each recipe. 

Beginner Cookbooks are for Those in Need of a Step-by-Step Walkthrough

Beginner Cookbooks are for Those in Need of a Step-by-Step Walkthrough

A cookbook for beginners consists of simple steps to follow with detailed explanations of culinary terms and techniques. It's the best option for those who aren't well-acquainted with the kitchen or Italian cuisine in general. 

An Advanced Cookbook is for Those Acquainted with Italian Cooking Lingo

An Advanced Cookbook is for Those Acquainted with Italian Cooking Lingo

For those who know what they are doing and wish to expand their Italian cuisine expertise, a more advanced cookbook is recommended. These types of cookbooks often omit explanations and jump right into precise descriptions of recipes for you to try.

Look Through Some Recipes to Check for Style and Fit

Cookbook authors have different styles and approaches to cooking. You might have been adding some oil when boiling pasta water, then stumble upon a cookbook which greatly discourages that practice. There will be discrepancies from what the recipe calls for with your current practice, thus it takes time to find one that fits. 

Is the Language Style Appealing and Easy to Follow?

Is the Language Style Appealing and Easy to Follow?

If the writing style of a cookbook is difficult to comprehend and follow, then it's not the one for you. One way to test this is to quickly read a recipe and imagine yourself in the kitchen enacting the instructions. 


If you stopped somewhere in the middle because things got confusing, it's time to scroll down for another book. Remember that a cookbook is selling itself to you, so it must meet your expectations

Are There Photos?

Are There Photos?

Illustrations do a great deal in helping you achieve your goals. A cookbook with photos guides you to reach the same results. You can do spot checks if your pastry dough has the same color or consistency or if your pasta creation came close to the actual one. 

Consider Dietary Restrictions

Consider Dietary Restrictions

Dietary restrictions are another consideration when choosing a cookbook. If you're vegan, vegetarian or follow a specific type of diet like keto, a typical cookbook will most likely not have what you're looking for. 


Contrary to the popular belief that Italian cuisine is not vegan or vegetarian-friendly, there are many cookbooks nowadays that have successfully adapted to different dietary restrictions. It is possible to enjoy hearty Italian cuisine regardless of one's diet. 

Read the Biography to See if the Author Fits Your Requirements

Read the Biography to See if the Author Fits Your Requirements

It's also a good idea to check on the author of a cookbook to gauge if his or her approach, experience, background and style suits your expectations.


If you're looking for a modern twist to Italian cooking, then you might find a chef who's traveled all of Italy and compiled the discoveries in a book. If you're after traditional recipes that have been passed down across generations, then perhaps someone who tapped his or her Italian lineage would provide you with the secrets you're searching for. 

Expand Your Cooking Boundaries Even Further!

Perhaps you're in the mood to expand your culinary portfolio into other cuisines and would like to look at other cookbooks. We have lists of the best world cuisine cookbooks available online plus healthy cookbooks you could try.

Summary

It's not hard to get the hang of cooking Italian recipes. Not only do they have concise lists of ingredients, but the process also doesn't take have many steps. This appeal is what pushes many to give pizza, pasta, antipasti, risotto, and so much more, a shot. With the right cookbook, you'd be surprised at how addictive Italian cuisine is.


Author: Hana Otsuka


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