My grandparents came from Sicily and most of the dishes in this book are the dishes I grew up cooking and eating. These are the dishes I just throw together from habit not from a recipe. But there were two recipes in this book that I decided to try and they were both OUTRAGEOUSLY delicious! They were so good that I could not believe that I cooked them. The first one I tried was the pasta with anchovies in tomato sauce. It took 3 different pans but it was simple to prepare and had me almost howling with pleasure. Then I tried the bruschette with eggplant and mint. OMG!!! So simple, so delicious. This will be a recipe that I prepare weekly this summer.
I've only seen Jamie Oliver on television one time so I was not that familar with him or his cooking...but now I am sold, I am a fan. I really like the layout of this book, I like his philosophy on cooking, and I like the simplicity of his style.
Funny story to go along with this review. One day my sister said she didn't understand why anyone would want to go out to eat Italian food, because she said, you eat it so often at home why would you want to eat it at a resturarnt?! She really didn't understand that not everyone eats this food on an almost daily basis. lol
Some family favorites featured in this cookbook are 1. caponata....this is the bread and butter or chips and salsa of the Scilian diet. No family get together is complete without it; 2. pasta alla Norma...I didn't know this dish had a name. It's just always been pasta with eggplant at my house...but a rose is still rose; and 3. my favorite ribollita...again another dish I did not know the name of, I make this without the fennel and use (veggie for me) Italian sausage instead. It's a wonderful dish that really hits the spot on a cold rainy spring day.
If you are looking for a cookbook full of authentic real life recipes, this is it! If you are looking for a cookbook with dishes full of the WOW factor, this is it too. I'm picking up another Jamie Oliver at the library tonight.