13 Best Italian Cookbooks

In addition to being known for its rich culture, heritage, and unbeatable hospitality – seriously, Italians are some of the sweetest, kindest people you will ever have the pleasure of meeting – the other thing that comes to mind when picturing Italy is the amazingly tasty food! After all, we are talking about the home of pasta and pizza! No kitchen, regardless of where it may be located, is complete without some good old fashioned Italian recipes. Here are 13 of the Best Italian Cookbooks available today:

13. Everyday Italian – 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes

This book is written by Giada De Laurentiis, with recipes based on Food Networks hit show, Everyday Italian (she’s also the host). Each and every recipe is yummy, uncomplicated, and quick, ideal for, you guessed it, everyday Italian cooking. Make speedy but hearty, special, meals that use mainly pantry items that you likely already have on hand. 

Must-Try

  • Prosciutto – Wrapped Breadsticks: I mean, the name really says it all. These breadsticks are mouth-wateringly delicious and super simple to make. Perfectly paired with a flavorful pasta dish and a glass of red wine.

12. Tasting Italy – A Culinary Journey

Although this is a more commercialized option than others on the list of best Italian cookbooks, it is still a great addition to any chef’s kitchen. The recipes are innovative, comprehensive, and kitchen-tested. Beautifully illustrated with 100 authentic recipes of standout dishes, and renowned for its dedication to Italian culture and cuisine –

Many also use this as a coffee table book.

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  • Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup: Excellent, delightful – perfectly seasoned – soup – all you need is a side of wine and imagination to feel like you are basking under the Tuscan sun.

11. Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef

Anyone that has heard the name Mossimo Bottura, knows that he is a man that understands, and loves to cook, Italian food. His highly celebrated restaurant in Italy, Osteria Francescana, serves some of the best and most innovative dishes you will ever taste. Since many of us are unable to visit his hotspot, this amazing cookbook will have to do. With four chapters and more than 50 recipes that are both delicious and satisfying, this is one of the more expensive options on the list but it is so totally worth it. 

Must-Try

  • Spaghetti Cetarese: Tasty and not quite like any other recipe as when it comes to Mossimo Bottura, he always adds a unique twist.

10. My Kitchen in Rome

From the creator of Rachel Eat’s blog, this cookbook provides a more personal touch than the others on our list. Not only does the author, Rachel Roddy, give her interpretations of her favorite recipes, but she also adds a personal touch in sharing her worldly experiences. 379 pages of beautiful photographs, insightful tips, and, of course, recipes, this is another Italian cookbook that should be on all shelves. 

Must-Try

  • Fave e Pecorino: This traditional dish is bellisimo and the recipe is fairly simple to make not to mention versatile. 

9. La Cucina – Regional Cooking of Italy

This much loved Italian cookbook was compiled by the founders of the Italian Academy of Cuisine and it offers plenty of classic recipes from every region of the country. With over 2000 recipes, this specific cookbook works well as the only one in your kitchen but also makes a fabulous addition to any existing collection. La Cucina is definitely one of the fundamental cookbooks for every chef, professional, or otherwise. 

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  • Maccheroncini con la Rughetta: In a sea of impressive recipes this one stands out. Not only perfect on its own, but you can also dress it up any way you choose. 

8. The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

Written by Marcella Hazan, The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking is readily accepted as a culinary bible. The recipes are excellent as well as timeless and are quite easy to follow, no matter your level of expertise. This one is unique in that it really focuses on the taste and texture of the dishes rather than the specific ingredients. This is unquestionably a top choice if you want to master the art of Italian cooking. This is most definitely one of the best Italian cookbooks at your disposal.

Must-Try

  • Baked Crespelle with Bolognese Meat Sauce: The ultimate Italian dish, this might seem complicated, however, with Ms. Hazan’s hassle-free recipe, you can make a meal that will have the whole family saying ‘Gustoso e delizioso!’

7. The Easy Italian Cookbook – 100 Quick and Authentic Recipes

With more than 100 classic Italian recipes, this is definitely one of the best Italian cookbooks available on the market. With lots of wholly uncomplicated, easy to make recipes made with fresh, everyday ingredients. Written by Chef Paulette Licitra, this particular cookbook offers old world cooking methods but with a modern twist. Take your tastebuds on Italian voyage with these tried and true Italian recipes. This book also provides the added bonuses of pairing recommendations, time-saving tips, and Italian essentials.

Must-Try

  • Pasta with Vodka Sauce: Umm, pasta? Check. Vodka? Check. Seriously, already sold. The great thing about this recipe is how flexible it truly is, you could add chicken, Italian sausage, or even leave it simple and beautiful.

6. Italian Cookbook for Beginners

This cookbook is an absolute necessity for all newbies to the art of cooking scrumptious Italian food. All of the recipes are quite simple with clear, straightforward instructions and can be made with affordable, everyday ingredients. Written by the food experts at Salinas Press this book can help any cook provide hearty, healthy, everyday meals, with authentic Italian flavor, for the whole family. 

Must-Try

  • Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe: This super simple recipe makes a great foundation, although delicious on its own as well. The versatility is great for those just learning the craft. Get creative, make an edible masterpiece!

5. Bugialli on Pasta

This cookbook is positively essential to any pasta lovers’ arsenal. Although mostly made up of pasta related recipes, Bugialli on Pasta is a total must-have for any aspiring Italian chef. Learn how to make both pasta and a variety of sauces from scratch while still producing an outstanding flavor that even Nonna would appreciate!

Must-Try

  • Pasta Alla Campidanese: Deliziosa! This fairly simple recipe is actually quite scrumptious – who knew that pasta with sausage could taste so good?

4. Molto Italiano – 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home

“The trick to cooking is that there is no trick” – Mario Batali. This simple seasonal cookbook provides more than 300 healthy Italian recipes written by the master chef himself. Straightforward and easy to use, this particular option offers complex traditional dishes in an uncomplicated way. You will see plenty of the classics but also some not so well known Italiano creations. Learn Italian cooking from the master chef himself who is also a well-known author and host of several hit television shows. 

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3. Cooking with Nonna

Italian Grandmothers and cooking go together, well, like pasta and sauce, and really the best recipes are those that are passed down from generation to generation. With more than 100 classic recipes (put together with the help of true Italian nonna’s of course) this cookbook is a great addition to any kitchen. Written by the creator and host of ‘Cooking with Nonna’, a popular web tv series. The recipes are delicious as well as easy to follow with clear step by step instructions. 

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2. The Silver Spoon

An oldie but most certainly still a goodie, The Silver Spoon cookbook was first published back in the 1950s under the name ‘Il Cucchiaio d’Argento’. Most would agree that it has definitely withstood the test of time. With more than 2000 authentic recipes this beloved Italian cookbook has more than lived up to its reputation as the encyclopedia of Italian food. If you must have just one Italiano style cookbook – it should be this one. 

Must-Try

  • The Silver Spoon’s Neapolitan Pizza recipe: This classic Italian dish has never tasted so good. Simple done right.

1. Autentico – Cooking Italian the Authentic Way

120 authentic recipes, written by the founder of Manicaretti, Rolando Beramundi, who lives by the philosophy – “Start with the very best pantry items, buy what is fresh and in season. Make dishes the way they are meant to be – simple and delicious”. This cookbook stays true to tradition helping you make meals that are made simply, and with great ingredients. Full of hearty, warm, feel-good recipes, this is one of the must-have Italian cookbooks on the market.

Must-Try

While learning to cook from the best Italian cookbooks is never a bad thing, Italian cooking also calls for your own personal touch (ask any nonna). Italian food is much like Italy’s people and their way of life. It must be warm, fulfilling, and done with love. That being said, you most definitely cannot go wrong with any of the fantastic Italian cookbooks on our list, and some, if not all, should be readily available in any aspiring chef’s kitchen. Remember, the food from Italy is so much more than just cooking and ingredients – it is created from the heart. After all, that’s the Italian way. Buon Appetito!