Amazon.com link for Ciao Italia Five-Ingredient Favorites
About the Book: Preparing delicious Italian cuisine at home does not have to be difficult. Quick, easy, economical, and tasty - it's all possible with the help of Mary Ann Esposito, celebrity chef and host of Ciao Italia with Mary Ann Esposito television's longest running cooking show. With 75 recipes, accompanied by 16 color photos of heavenly dishes, Esposito makes authentic, traditional Italian cuisine accessible and easy.
About the Author: Mary Ann Esposito is the creator and host of the long-running PBS series Ciao Italia, celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2010. She is the author of eleven successful cookbooks, including Ciao Italia Slow and Easy and Ciao Italia Pronto! She lives in Durham, New Hampshire. For information about all of her books visit Ciao Italia.
My Review: I only enjoy cooking a meal if it is easy enough that I can enjoy the process and the end results. Ciao Italia Five-Ingredient Favorites has recipes for hearty Italian cusine that are inexpensive and easy to prepare. She begins the cookbook with a wonderful introduction to the basic ingredients to keep on hand. Of course, five ingredients for the pantry, five for the refrigerator, and five for the freezer. Each recipe section begins with a clever introduction and five tips for that food type. For example, the Pasta section begins with her introduction, "Pasta Police", an amusing comment on incorporating pasta in your diet in a healthy way.
My first-to-try recipes include Zuppa di Paradiso (Paradise Soup), Cheesy Stuffed Meatballs, Coal Miners’ – Style Spaghetti and Tortine di Gianduja e Banana (Chocolate, Hazelnut, and Banana Tartlets). Mmmm- Nutella is one of the ingredients!
As in my other cookbook reviews, I always consider the ingredients needed and whether I will be able to easily find them in my small-town area. There were a few cheeses that I am not familiar with, but even in the two small towns around here, there is a good cheese selection. I don't think I will have any problem finding them. One of the towns has a large Italian heritage population, and the local grocery store reflects that in its selection of products.
This is definitely a great gift for a bridal shower gift, Christmas gift, or an addition to your own cookbook collection. A great everyday book!