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Jamie's Italy - Jamie Oliver

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Author: Jamie Oliver / Format: Hardback / Date of publication: 03 October 2005 / Genre: National & Regional Cuisine / Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd / Title: Jamie's Italy / ISBN 13: 9780718147709 / ISBN 10: 0718147709

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      14.04.2012 09:27
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      Jamie does Italian with his own little touches!

      Jamie's Italy is a book made to accompany the television series he made a few years back where he travelled across all of Italy gathering both modern and traditional recipes from authentic Italian cooks. The series saw him staying with Italian families, cooking with local villagers and towns people and, at one point, even staying with an order of rural monks! It was a very good show with plenty of humourous moments as many of the Italians featured looked upon him in amusement as he attempted to update some of their more traditional recipes with little touches of his own; often with mixed results!

      This book features a selection of the best recipes he picked up and is a very beautiful looking book! It may not have as many recipes in it as some of his other books but the anecdotes and pictures that accompany them really make this a book you are going to want to look after and keep. Even as a Professional Chef I have found things in here that I have found useful and, as a lover of all things Italian, it truly is a beautiful looking piece with lots of warm and inviting pictures that make you want to rush off and fly over to Italy immediately!

      It's not just all pasta like some people seem to think all Italian coking consists of. Instead we get recipes for an alternative Italian take on a traditional roast, ideas for stews, risottos and easy-to-make puddings that are simply scrummy. All of the recipes are easy to follow with clear instruction meaning that you can readily adapt them for doing them at home. The one thing I have always liked about Jamie is that he never makes things over-complicated but still manages to not talk down to you if you are less than experienced in the kitchen!

      The one thing I will warn you though for those not familiar with Italian cooking. Italian food is RICH and very filling so these are the kind of recipes that you may want to save for a dinner party or social gathering rather than using for everyday meals! Apart from that though, this is a beautiful book that is really inspiring and a real joy just to browse through looking at the pictures and thoughg can be a little expensive from Amazon, can often still be picked up a lot cheaper at one of the big Supermarkets!

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      24.02.2012 20:16
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      A great, easy to follow recipe book!

      I have many of Jamies books and they are all so different. I love the fact that Jamie did a solely Italian themed book. It almost seems as though he had to given he was trained in some part by the renowned italian chef Gennaro Cantoldo.

      Firstly, with this book I can really say that Jamie 'gets' the whole Italian thing. I'm sure that there are many Italians out there that would say that this book isn't authentic and not true Italian food...but thats the point. Every city and region has it's own way of preparing food. Jamie totally acknowledges this and doesn't pretend otherwise. These recipes are his take on the country and it's food as he travelled it whilst writing this book.

      You might be interested in the chapters and the sorts of things you might be expected to see, well these are as follows -
      Antipasti:starters
      Street food and pizza
      Primi: first courses (soups, pasta,risotto)
      Insalate (salads)
      Secondi: main courses (fish and meat)
      Cantorni: side dishes
      Dolci: desserts

      If pictures in a recipe book are important to you, then this book will please you! There are lots of pictures of the food itself as well as some of the people Jamie met on his travels around Italy (yes, they do tend to also feature Jamie...but it is his book!).

      The recipes in this book do tend to be quite sophisticated sounding, not least because the recipes are titled in Italian - though they do have an English translation underneath. It might seem daunting for the less than accomplished chef, but i'm guessing if you pick up this book it's because you have an interest in Italian food. There are probably better Jamie Oliver books out there for the beginner cook.

      Although the recipes might seem slightly pretentious on the first glance, they really aren't difficult. I suggest the very tasty 'pasta al forno con pomodori e mozzarella' (baked pasta with tomatoes and mozzarella), papa al pomodoro (bread and tomator soup) and there are some great home made pizza ideas.

      All in all this is a really nice Italian cookery book written by someone who essentially really seems to want to get people cooking and so never comes across as patronising like some celebrity chefs can. I'd really recommend the tv series that goes with this book if you happen to ever catch it on re-runs!

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      27.11.2011 00:37

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      Brilliant book with great classics. TRY THE FROZEN GRAPES!

      I grew up in the South Wales valleys and didn't have much to do with Italian cuisine.when I got into cooking and most particularly cookery books I became obsessed with italian and read my way through Elizabeth David and the like. I had this book for Christmas a few years ago and it has become one of my key books for italian food. It's so nice to see very local and specific recipes such as the game ragu and the street foods.

      Staples such as pizza and lasagne are tackled when and address stereotypes to highlight the importance of focussing on the origins of the dishes.The most groundbreaking part of the book for me was the frozen grapes! This idea has some a staple for dinner parties in our house and are such a refreshing and exciting talking point!

      Visually the book is stunning. I have the hardback version and the Matt paper and stunning pictures from across Italy really bring the recipes to life. Photos of locals and their families bring an element from the tv series which I most specifically enjoy.

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      24.10.2011 14:39
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      An essential modern cookbook for tasty, simple Italian food

      About...

      Jamie's Italy is a detailed and colourful cookbook from Jamie Oliver, featuring a wide range of traditional and interesting Italian recipes. It contains a massive range of tasty recipes, all of which look and sound great. I've tried many of them now myself, particular highlights being the stuffed leg of lamb, aubergine and basil pasta, and several of the risotto dishes. On each occasion the recipe was simple to follow and returned great results.

      Price...

      At around £20 to £25, this is quite a pricey book, but it does contain a good number of tasty and easy to follow recipes. I was lucky enough to be given it as a present, as I don't think I would have bought it for myself at this price.

      Highlights...

      VARIETY - There should be recipes for everyone in this book. Jamie includes a good collection of starters, mains, desserts, and covers vegetarian recipes, pasta dishes, red meat, white meat, game, and fish.

      FLEXIBLE RECIPES AND IDEAS - Most of the recipes which I have tried from this book have involved a bit of artistic license and interpretation. For example, I am not really a fussy eater, but I'm not very fond of anchovies, and they crop up quite regularly in some of Jamie Oliver's recipes, so I just leave them out. Lots of these recipes serve as good ideas or starting points which you can adapt and add to yourself.

      RISOTTO - I really love a good risotto, and Jamie's recipes are very good on this front. He walks you through the basics of how to make the essential Risotto Bianco, and there are several great examples of how to use this as the base for more adventurous and interesting dishes. This has encouraged me to experiment more when making my own risottos and to change my technique slightly.

      PRESENTATION - I really like the rustic feel of the book. The cover artwork and some of the pictures inside do occasionally feel like clichés of Italian life, but they fit well and are a lovely addition. The pictures of the dishes are simple - they look traditional and realistically achievable, unlike many cookbooks which look like there have been hours spent individually placing the elements on each plate.

      Drawbacks...

      Although most of the recipes here are pretty accessible and easy to follow, there are always some which will seem out of reach to the majority of amateur cooks. With some ingredients which are more expensive or harder to come by, such as rabbit or artichokes for example, several recipes will have to be 'saved for a special occasion'.

      At some points during the accompanying TV series, I think Jamie looked a little out of his depth, and his attempts at traditional Italian cooking were often met with quizzical looks from locals. However, this is a well-structured collection of delicious and accessible recipes which should give everyone some food for thought. He clearly has great respect and love for Italian food, so good on him!

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      28.01.2011 10:39
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      A very handy and helpful cookbook that is easy to follow

      As my new found passion for cooking has developed the cook book collection we have seems to also be increasing incredibly rapidly. One of the newer additions to our collection in Jamie's Italy, a book written to coincide with a TV series he was making in 2005 called Jamie's Great Italian Escape. Up until just recently I'd never taken much interest in Jamie Oliver but when I received this cook book as a present and started to flick through it I was intrigued to not only try the recipes within but it also piqued an interest in his other books and work, which previously I couldn't have been less interested in.

      Who Is Jamie Oliver

      Well unless you have been living under a stone for the past 10 years then chances are you are probably aware of the presence of Jamie Oliver. He is one of the long line of current celebrity chefs and he first came to prominence as the Naked Chef in 1999. Since then he has made it a personal mission to try and get the country eating healthier and promote the use of natural ingredients. I have to admit that I'd never really paid much attention to him, often referring to him as that bloke that says Pukka a lot.

      With a chance to browse, attempt and generally get a feel for his style of cooking, first through the Sainsbury's recipe cards and then from books such as this one my opinion of him has changed dramatically. Gone are the days I would dismiss any notion of cooking one of his recipe's, but then perhaps that is more a sign of a change in my attitude to cooking and my discovery of how much better food seems to taste when you prepare it yourself. For that reason upon receiving this book I launched into giving it a try.

      Jamie's Italy

      Originally released in 2005 it took me a little time before I received a copy of Jamie's Italy, almost 5 years to be exact. This is one of just 22 Jamie Oliver cook books that have been released and for me it is the first time I've tried to follow one of his books. There are just over 120 new recipes within the book including different takes on classic dishes such as Risotto and Pizza to recipes for mains, side dishes, starters and puddings I would never have thought of let alone tried. Each recipe is set out on its own two page spread with an image of how it should look, a simple ingredients list and a very easy to follow list of instructions.

      The book is very well set out with a very clear contents page that highlights which course each segment of the book represents starting with antipasti at the start and working through to the deserts and a thank you from Jamie at the end. The book contains recipes for fish and meat and all of these are clearly indicated and referenced from a very helpful index at the back of the book as well. All of the ingredients for the recipes contained within the book can be purchased from your local supermarket and we've so far not had a problem getting hold of anything.

      Perhaps my only criticism of Jamie's Italy would be his choice of ingredients on the listings. They all call for fair-trade and organic products but living on a budget as we are we have found that these need to be substituted and whilst that doesn't affect our enjoyment of the meal the price of these recipes if done to his ingredients list can be quite pricey.

      As the book was written to coincide with his travelogue around Italy for the series there is a nice blend of recipes and stories behind the different styles of Italian cooking. From the stories and history he picks up along the way to the sights and scenes he sees along the way. It gives a very different spin on the classic concept of both cook books and travelogues. The stories behind the different styles of food are almost as interesting as the recipes themselves and lend the book to not only be a cooking aid but an interesting background as well.

      Is It Easy To Follow

      We've now tried a number of recipes from this book and on the whole they have been very easy to follow. Most of the meals within the book are stated to serve either 4 or 6 and although there are only 2 of us we have found that all of the ingredients seem to be in whole numbers that are easily reduced down for 2. Once this is done the portion sizes are exactly what you require and as always with Italian food it may not look like a huge amount on the plate but it certainly fills you up quickly.

      Like the Hairy Bikers book I've been using the timings for the meals are spot on and everything seems to be cooked exactly as it should be. When we tried the Risotto we did find the fact that the same ingredient was to be used twice but in different quantities wasn't exactly clear as to which was to be used when but this was really only a minor inconvenience and it all tasted fine so we obviously got it right. The recipes are very easy to follow otherwise and make for a very simple step by step guide that results in some very tasty dishes.

      Does It Taste Good

      I wasn't really sure what to expect from the first recipe we tried from the book but as I love Italian food it was probably a no brainer that as long as I'd followed the recipe and got the cooking times right I would enjoy it. For me there have been two recipes we have tried that really have stood out as my favourites. The first is a white wine Risotto my wife made for the first time last night, which had a really nice constancy and blended the onion, celery, white wine and chicken together perfectly.

      The other is a Sausage Carbonara, which is not only quick to make but also incredibly delicious. The carbonara sauce really brings out the flavour of the sausages and with the addition of the linguine pasta it is not only tasty but incredibly filling. Both of these dishes are the perfect example of my earlier comment about it perhaps not looking like a lot but being very filling.

      Where To Get It

      I received my copy of Jamie's Italy as a birthday present from my parents who picked it up on offer in WH Smiths. At present it seems to be retailing for close to its original price of £25. It can be bought on Amazon for £21.25 at present and whilst it is a very good cook book I would recommend shopping around and trying to get it cheaper.

      Overall

      I have to admit that this has surpassed the Hairy Bikers Twelve Days of Christmas as my favourite cook book but that is perhaps more to do with its year round potential. Like the aforementioned book the recipes seem to look like the pictures and that is an added bonus. All of the recipes we have tried have been delicious and with a very easy to follow guide it makes Jamie's Italy a joy to cook from. If you are a fan of Italian food then I would, without any hesitation, be more than happy to recommend this book to you.

      Amazon: £21.25
      Amazon Marketplace: £4.43
      ISBN: 978-0718147709
      336 Pages
      Hardcover

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        18.03.2010 14:47
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        Great for someone with a keen interest in Italian cooking

        I'm a big cooking fan and a big cookery book fan but I'm not the greatest chef in the world (I'm not awful either -so people tell me!). I received this book for my birthday from my workmates as they know I like looking at new recipes.

        There is lots to like about this book. Firstly, I think it looks absolutely gorgeous. From the front cover, right the way through the book the photography is beautiful - I like looking through it just to gaze at the pictures.

        Also, I like Jamie's style of writing because just like when he's on the television you can really feel his passion for the food coming through. I also think his love of the Italian region, its food and its people, is clear in this book.

        I have made a few of the recipes in the book including the bruschetta and the prawn and rocket linguini. These dishes were particularly lovely and my very fussy husband enjoyed both dishes! The explanations in the recipes are clear so it's easy for anyone to follow.

        Although the recipes are easy to follow, I think it's fair to say this book is really aimed at people who are pretty keen cooks. It's not that they're difficult more that some of the ingredients are either slightly difficult to get hold of or not ingredients everyone would enjoy - for example rabbit.
        The book has certainly encouraged me to try new things such as making my own pasta. It's also given me a new outlook on Italian cooking, using really good ingredients to make simple, yet gorgeous dishes.

        I will definitely look to purchase more of Jamie's titles in the future.

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        10.03.2010 19:27
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        great exporation of typical italian food matched with Oliver's passion for wholesome food

        I have always appreciated Jamie Oliver's approach to cooking and his recipes are always based around the pleasure of cooking and eating food. This is a trait of his which is particularly noticeable in this book, charting the chef's travels around Italy.
        There is an unmistakable Mediterranean feel to this book, and Oliver has stuck to traditional Italian ways of cooking, without anglicizing the food which I really admire. The book is divided into several sections such as 'street food' and 'pizza', which Oliver encourages us to make from scratch, dough and all! I have tried this myself and although I misread the recipe and mixed the ingredients for the dough in the wrong order, the dough was still perfect and I think this demonstrates the resilience of these recipes.
        The book is easy to use and there are lots of pictures to show you what the food looks like. With its detailed, step by step instructions it is almost impossible to go wrong but my only criticism would be that the ingredients are often expensive or hard to get, and to achieve the optimum result you really do need to buy the best quality ingredients.

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          21.04.2008 19:05
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          amazing

          Wanting to experiance Italy? Wanting to do so without the expensive cost of travelling?

          Well this is the best way to do so with out having to even leave your front door and with out the expensive price tag of a holiday.

          I was given this book for a present and so far it has lead me through the whole of italy and given me an insight into the different ways and styles of cooking that I have never seen or tasted before. Jamie Oliver simplistic yet incerdibly tasty dishes can be made by anyone - even beginners!

          You can make anything from street spaghetti to the amazing seafood dishes. You will almost certainly look like a marvelous cook to your friends and family.

          Its full of luscious food for different tastes and all the food has pictures that almost force you to cook it as the food looks so good. I simply love this book!

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            16.11.2006 21:04
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            "you'll never want to leave Jamie's Italy" :-)

            ...this is Italy - hidden in a colourful book about delicious food ! ! ! I've got mine today as I was going home from work and the lovely book cover caught my eye... I ran out of the store with the book in my bag to catch the bus, seated myself comfortably and opened the book....As I've started going through the pages, I could feel my mouth going all watery,my tummy rumbling....after a few minutes, I've raised my head to look around - the people sitting near me had their eyes stuck onto the beautiful, huge pictures of the dishes :-) :-) :-) haha I thought to myself : "This must be a proper torment for you guys but I'm gonna be cooking myself some real nice food tonight,yay!" I found "my" dish straight away - Aubergine Parmigana! A lovely lasagne-type dish based on layered grilled aubergines with lots of garlic,parmesan and tomato salsa ,sprinkled with lots of mozarella and oregano :-) .........did this make your mouth go watery too? then buy the book - it's an absolute gem! especially if you're into Italian cuisine....OMG,this is a treasure box full of authentic recepies that Jamie's been collecting and putting together into a book with so much love,it is so evident it'll make you smile every time you turn the page! There's something I liked in particular about this book, which is typical for all Jamie's books - a non formal way of writting...it felt as if Jamie was there talking about cooking not really me reading the cooking procedure - awesome! Secondly - I loved the people in the book - their pictures, reflecting the true Italian spirit; simple, passionate, artistic, food-loving, traditional....it's all there when you look at those old wrinkled Sicilian women's faces, the old grannies sharing their life-long knowledge of preparing delicious dishes yet simple,mostly prepared with basic ingredients - you'll find no fancy stuff here, just pure organic richness from the earth and sea.

            "This is a cookbook by the people, for the people...from Sicily to Tuscany, it's about the local fishermen, family bakers, and of course the 'mamas' sharing their recipes and the tips that have gone into the cooking for generations"

            For Italians, cooking is just as making love - do it with a lot of passion :-)

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              21.01.2006 09:44
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              Attractive and easy to follow recipes. Inspiration to prepare great food.

              I am a fan of Italy but I'm not Jamie's biggest fan - he's a bit too blokey for me, and too often on telly, but I was very impressed by his school food campaign so think it swayed me to check this book out before adding it to my Christmas wish-list.

              The book cleary shows that Jamie loves Italy too, and his flair for robust, easy-going cooking ideally shows the Italian atttiutde too.

              Much of the introduction editorial before each section is interesting and makes you want to read on... though some is a little partonising.

              Jamie's really cooked up the flavour of Italian cuisine and obviously spent many happy hours with the 'natives' and learned a great deal from them.

              The book is attractive and even the paper is pleasant to touch. The photographs are inspring and make you want to a) cook the food and b) go to Italy - NOW!

              I like to read cookery books in general - but quite a lot of mine haven't been used for actual cooking. However, Jamie's Italy is about robust food and I can vouch for the recipes - having tried several since I got it for Christmas.

              This is about cooking for pleasure as well the end result. It's about cooking being part of the enjoyment of food. And you needn't be afraid of a bit of improvisation when cooking with Jamie - there's room for imagination and alteration within most of the recipes.

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            • Product Details

              Ever since working at the River Cafe for Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray, Jamie Oliver has had a serious passion for Italian food. Now, ten years later, Italy and its wonderful flavours continue to have a major influence on his food and cooking. In Jamie's Italy, Jamie travels this famously gastronomic country paying homage to the classic dishes of each region and searching for new ideas to bring home. The result is a sensational collection of Italian recipes, old and new, that will ensure Italy's influence reaches us all. On the menu is an array of magical ingredients and Mediterranean flavours all combined in Jamie's inimitable way. From Parma ham to Parmesan, from pannetone to panzanella, Jamie's new book will transport you to Italy or at least bring Italy home to you.