Saturday, December 5, 2009

Book Review-Ciao Italia by Mary Ann Esposito

Ciao Italia: Five Ingredient Favorites by Mary Ann Esposito
St. Martin's Press, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-312-37769-4

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher to do a review for the blog.

Mary Ann Esposito has written an Italian cookbook where all of the recipes use five ingredients. Ms. Esposito's philosophy is that five ingredients can create a delicious meal and be economical for a family. The book contains 75 recipes to include every course of a meal. The book starts off with the five ingredients every kitchen should have in the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer at all times. I think this was a good starting point for the book to prepare a cook's kitchen.

I particularly like how the recipes are laid out in the book. The ingredients are all listed as a side bar on the page to separate them from the actual recipe on the page. I think this gives easier access as I know many times when I have used cookbooks, the ingredients and recipe seem to run together and it isn't always easy to scan what you need without continually reading through all of it. Ms. Esposito also includes handy "Chefs Secrets" with recipes to give helpful hints on storage or small extras you can do to make the recipe work better for you.

At the end of the book, a five course seasonal menu is given for each season. I love this part of the book as it is an easy guide for giving dinner parties and knowing exactly what to serve for the time of year. I think it allows the average cook to become a gourmet chef for that special occassion.

There is such a good variety of dishes in this book that a family will never be bored eating Italian food. I know that I can't wait to try more recipes from this book and use it as a guide for entertaining.

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