I love cookery books. I like to sit and read them, planning parties, salivating over supper ideas and ogling pictures of gorgeous, gorgeous food. Some books are better than others - and I think I might have just found the best of all!
I was given a copy of "Mama's Family Cookbook" (subtitled "family recipes from the Italian kitchen") at Britmums Live.
It weighed me down all day and as I trudged towards the railway station on my way home I confess I cursed ever accepting the darn thing which was now creating painful creases in my shoulder.
I didn't get home til after midnight so dumped the offending book in my hallway and fell gratefully into bed.
The next morning with the scars healing I regained my enthusiasm and decided to have a quick look at my new book.
Even though it was not even 7am I drooled over the beautiful pages which are styled in my favourite vintage-esque style looking for all the world like an Italian Mama's recipe scrapbook complete with sketches and creases.
It turns out by the way that it doesn't seem to be recipes from an actual Mama. It's just a collection of fairly traditional simple family meals ranging from pizzas, salads and pasta dishes (complete with instructions on how to make home made pasta easily) to fancier dishes including two yummy looking lobster recipes.
I was particularly taken with the section with traditional Italian Christmas recipes including a Christmas loaf, a Christmas morning Aubergine bake (really?) and a fab recipe called Christmas Broccoli Rabe which includes anchovies, 4 large cloves of garlic, chilli and shallots as well as broccoli of course. I actually love sprouts but this would really make a change on Christmas day whilst giving your family a dose of greens!
I love the book so much I have dragged it out several times already to show to equally admiring foodie friends and cannot wait to actually try out the recipes. I class myself as a fairly good cook so the recipes look straightforward to me. I am confident some of them are simple enough to be achievable even for complete beginners while some seem interesting and challenging enough to excite a more seasoned cook (haha- no pun intended!)
The book is published by www.parragon.com/lovefood priced £16. I was given a free copy to review but all views are entirely honest and my own.