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A fresh approach to Italian cuisine through its most iconic ingredients, presented by Italian-born cooking instructor Viola Buitoni.
From glossy drops of balsamic vinegar to flakes of parmigiano reggiano and spoonfuls of fresh ricotta to creamy grains of risotto—the ingredients of Italian cuisine are beloved staples known the world over, available in specialty stores and served in restaurants across the globe. As a native Roman raised in the Umbrian countryside, Viola Buitoni grew up with these artisanal foods, learning about how they developed from centuries-old wisdom, tight-knit communities, and sustainable production. Now a US-based cooking instructor, Buitoni’s passion is sharing the beloved flavors of her homeland with home cooks.
In this debut cookbook, she presents the history and geography of Italy’s most iconic ingredients, showing modern home chefs how to incorporate robust flavors and techniques into their kitchens. With recipes organized according to a single ingredient, each chapter bursts with taste: learn how to make a traditional ragù sauce with conserved tomatoes; layer a plate of prosciutto and buffalo mozzarella; or bake a polenta custard tart. Practical guidelines for seasonal eating, easy substitutes for hard-to-find items, and valuable shopping tips complement the approachable recipes.
About the Author
Viola Buitoni is an Italian-born, California-based food expert, cooking instructor, and food writer. In 2020, the President of the Italian Republic honored her with the title Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia for her work furthering the culture and business of Italian food. Molly DeCoudreaux is a San Francisco–based food photographer whose work has been featured in the books Sharp, Feed Your People, and Serious New Cook (Rizzoli, 2022).
“Passionate cooks who envision themselves in remote Umbrian farmhouse kitchens, chopping vegetables and sprinkling fresh oregano into pots, will have fun with the high-quality ingredients featured in Buitoni’s recipes.” —BOOKLIST
“I love it, brava Viola! … this is a must-have Italian cookbook to have in your culinary library.” —Lidia Bastianich, Host of Emmy-winning PBS series, Lidia’s Kitchen
"In this digital age, cookbooks remain one of the few categories that don’t translate to your phone, tablet or computer. These are books you want to hold in your hands, take into your kitchen, cover in melted butter and splatter with tomato sauce. Over the years I’ve collected thousands of cookbooks and I certainly don’t need any more. Still, I keep buying them. Italy by Ingredient by Viola Buitoni, coming in the Fall from Rizzoli. I am utterly charmed by this book by Viola Buitoni (yes, of that family), who teaches cooking in San Francisco. I’ve never met her, but reading her book certainly made me want to. The recipes go far beyond the usual range of Italian dishes. Mortadella and ricotta mousse topped with pistachios. Guancialle and tagliolini pasta cooked right in the fat. Pork tenderloin stuffed inside a baguette before going into the oven. A ragu alla bolagnese that doesn’t take hours. The directions are precise. And the writing is…. wonderful." —Ruth Reichl