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The Silver Spoon

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  9,397 ratings  ·  175 reviews
The Silver Spoon is the most influential and successful cookbook in Italy. Originally published in 1950, it became an instant classic. Considered to be essential in every household, it is still one of the most popular wedding presents today.

The Silver Spoon was conceived and published by Domus, the design and architectural magazine famously directed by Giò Ponti from the

Hardcover, 1264 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Phaidon Press (first published 1950)
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Nounce Next you'll want to know which of my children I love most. It's a great cookbook.
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Rating details
 ·  9,397 ratings  ·  175 reviews

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Sandra Lassiter
Jun 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
First of all, I want to be clear that this review is for the new, 2011 edition. This book has been updated and includes 400 new photographs. I was blown away by the size of this cookbook, and things just kept getting better from there. The quality of the book is outstanding with nice quality paper, sewn binding and a ribbon bookmark. I was a little surprised that there was only one bookmark as another cookbook from the same publisher that is much thinner has two bookmarks. This book could really ...more
Dec 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
Good. Italian. Food. Most recipes have only a few ingredients but produce wonderful results. Beware of funny Italian -> English translations. For example "black cabbage" is not cabbage, it's kale!

My favorite recipe involves baking eggs in custard dishes in with leeks sauteed in butter and nutmeg. The swiss chard ravioli with walnut pesto is also amazing. We consider opening our own restaurant each time we crack open this huge volume of authentic Italian dishes.
Sep 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cooking
If you like to cook, and you like to cook authentic Italian home-style food, then this is the book for you. You might not find the ingredients to some dishes, but don't let that stop you from buying this massive tome of Italian cookery. What makes this book so special was its tradition of a gift from mother-in-law to daughter-in-law. Another way of saying, "your cooking sucks, learn how now?"

Anyway, some of the dishes are obvious, others are eh, okay. But some are splendorous. There is no other
Brick ONeil
Jan 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Long desiring the $70 cloth-hard bound version, Phaidon finally came out with this American Glossy hardback version for $15. As a collector of bargain cookbooks, this was too good to pass up. Although this numbers #70 or so in my collection, I can foresee it quickly ranking in the top 10, possibly top 5. I have perused the cookbook over the past week, leafing through the 1200 or so pages of 2000 or so recipes, gained a new respect for Italian and Mediterranean cooking, cooks and food afficianado ...more
Jul 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: any aspiring chef
This book is F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C!!! (And I'm the sort of girl who usually avoids cooking from recipes...)

The directions are just detailed enough, without being absurd; everything I've tried (Strawberry Risotto, Glazed Radishes, Brased Beef with Barolo, Carrots with Rosemary, and the Penne Rigate in Vodka) has all been wonderful. The only difficulty is that there's no "Pasta" section (rather odd, for an Italian cookbook), and most recipes make no mention of the prep/cook time (apparently "time" is
Feb 05, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
The Italian version of this is often given to brides and is considered the "The Joy of Cooking" of Italy. So, the English language translation was eagerly awaited. This is one big book and I suppose you must have it. I use it more as a reference. The recipes are about three to a page, evidently assuming you know a lot by osmosis. It gives me an idea of what an authentic version would be, as opposed to the American restaurant-ization of a dish. Looks great on the coffee table.
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
I didn't know that Cantonese Fried Rice and Indonesian Fried rice are authentic Italian recipes in this 'bible of authentic Italian recipes' (to quote the cover). Now I'm off to check my Chinese cookbook for instructions on making a good risotto.
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: grihastha, italia
I was meditating on adding and reviewing this on Goodreads yesterday at dinner, while I was cooking some chicken legs in red wine (and enjoying it very much!). This is the magisterial Bible of Italian cooking: my nonna, my zie (aunts), and mamma mia (!) all have it. It's giant. It covers everything. It's "authentic" - i.e. it's recognized as the Bible of cooking in Italy, so you won't find abominations like "spaghetti with meatballs" or "alfredo sauce" in it. FALSE GODS.

It's served me very well
Apr 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: cooking types
It was called the Joy of Cooking for Italy, just got translated into English, and has a rad/disgusting description of the 30-hour process for getting snails ready to eat. Lots of real simple stuff that tastes really damn good, and measurements are few and far between, because hell you know how much stuff you want in there, right? Like a handful. Or maybe a little more.

Seriously, bigass awesome italian cookbook.
Jun 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
Absolutely one of the best "how to cook" almost anything. A great gift for a young person moving to their own place or a shower gift for a couple. Great photos, well-written, easy to follow. Bought it for my son for his new apartment.
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of my all time favorite cookbooks! This makes a great gift. Full of recipes but also quick bits of information. I use it often.
Oct 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I own this book and if you want the “Joy of Cooking” for Italians, this is the book.
Ash Ponders
Jan 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 50's housewifes
Recommended to Ash by: Daniel Welsch
Shelves: cooking
As a vegetarian this tome is of slightly less use to me and mine, still country folk don't eat meat all the time so vegetables are treated at length. And regardless of my dietary proclivities, I read the whole book, picking out recipes here and there to slavishly reproduce for my friends. Many were delicious, but none were overwhelmingly delightful. Perhaps it's a defect of my palate, but once I started behaving a bit more liberal with the conceits of the recipes, things got a lot better. Overal ...more
Mar 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
If you want the definitive Italian cookbook this is it. However, if you are someone who insists on photos of finished dishes alongside each recipe then this is not for you. There are lighthearted line drawings throughout but this book, although a treat to read, does assume the user has at least a basic knowledge of cooking. Recipes are not dumbed down; they are mostly easy to prepare and authentic. This is not an Italian American cookbook and pastas make up only a small portion. Everything I hav ...more
Elle Belle
Aug 19, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: culinary
Extremely basic; more like a dictionary of recipes rather than something one would make over and over again. If you look into the history of this book, The Silver Spoon is more of a snapshot of what Italians were making in that decade rather than a compilation of authentic, purely Italian dishes. Thus, curry and brioche recipes. I have many other Italian cookbooks that are a million times better and more inspiring than this doorstopper. The only good thing about it is the beautiful red binding.
Sep 26, 2007 rated it really liked it
My sister gave this to me for Christmas, and it's become a favorite. Too much of my understanding of Italian cuisine is seen through an American lens; I love having access to an authentic Italian resource. So far my favorite hint from the Silver Spoon is to cook pasta in the sauce thinned with some broth. It's a bit tricky to get the pasta-to-liquid ratio and the cooking time correct, but the result is an amazingly savory pasta, infused with the flavors of the sauce. A real winner.
Jan 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food-cooking
This is such a great cook book! It's like the Joy of Cooking for Italy, but translated into English.

The recipes are so simple, and there's a lifetime of different things to try. I really get turned off by fancy-schmancy froo-frau cookbooks with 50 ingredients, with half from specialty stores that end up costing you more than dinner at a 5-star restaurant!

Anyone can use this book, and everyone will love what you make from it.
Leslie Shank
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is one of my favourite go to cookbooks. As the source for Chicken Marbella you gotta love this collection of well crafted recipes.
Aug 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
It’s a mystery to me why this book is so well regarded. To be fair there are some excellent recipes in it, but what caught my eye were the bizarre combinations that just sound disgusting. Grapefruit crostini, anyone? I don't think so. There is a recipe for pesto, naturally, but many of the recipes that use pesto say just spoon it from a jar. Cooking cauliflower for 20 minutes? Really? And the Irish stew. I grew up in Ireland and it's never, ever made with beef

I trained as a cook and I have many
Lena Davie
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks-food
What a cookbook! A staple in Italian kitchens and I can see why. It is MASSIVE and has 2,000+ recipes. You have to have some knowledge of food and cooking as this book does not hold your hand and you have to infer some things (like rinse leeks before using...this book does not tell you to do that) etc. BUT this is a winner! We will use this book often in our kitchen and when we are not cooking from it we can do bicep curls, it weighs a ton!
Michele Suria
Oct 01, 2020 rated it did not like it
A bit of a disappointment. I'm Italian and some of the fondamental recipes are wrong. To name few mistakes
1) Pesto: pine nuts missing (disgrace)
2) Carbonara: is made with guanciale not pancetta and u must not use butter and garlic!!
3)Amatriciana: there is no onion in the real recipe.

I'll carry on the reading with less enthusiasm..

Alison Ivey
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is my Italian cooking bible. It is comprehensive, easy to cook from, and the recipes work. It’s not so much a book to read as it has no photos of food or introductions or anecdotes about dishes, just good, reliable recipes.
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food
An incredibly comprehensive book of all things Italian Food. It's formatting is elegant and simple, the recipes easy to follow. I can see why this is a best-seller in Italy. If you're a fan of Italian Food, I would definitely recommend picking this one up!
Apr 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
An extremely dense book, with clear and concise recipes throughout. It covers every aspect of Italian cuisine thoroughly. For a book of such repute I would have hoped that the indexing would be better in translated versions, though.
Gioia G
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love this cookbook. I also have a older (very old) copy of the book in Italian. I’ve used both to whip up family favorites. The truth about Italian cooking, you don’t need a lot of ingredients to make a delicious meal, just good ingredients.
John Correll
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
The most used cookbook I own.
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Greatest cooking book that I ever touched. Every single recipe that I tried out provide delicious! Easy and acceptable! Everyone should have one in the house.
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
I love this book! It’s like La Gastronomie for Italian cuisine. My go-to Italian cheat sheet.
Hope L. Justice
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-cookbook
This cookbook is huge, and fantastic. I personally prefer more photos with every single recipe. I want to be enticed to cook that recipe. I would have liked more photos.
May 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is like an Iceberg, in almost eight years of owning it I have barely touched the surface of its fine Italian cuisine.
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