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To start your own Italian cookbook library, consider books such as Elizabeth DavidÕs ÒItalian Food,Ó a comprehensive guide to the foods of various regions, including Tuscany, Sicily, Lombardy, and Umbria. Other good choices include Lidia BastianichÕs ÒLa Cucina di Lidia: Distinctive Regional Cuisine from the North of Italy,Ó which offers both authentic recipes and a history of LidiaÕs family and background; and ÒBibaÕs Taste of Italy,Ó which emphasizes the northern Italian cuisine on which chef Biba Caggiano was raised. Marcella HazanÕs ÒEssentials of Classic Italian CookingÓ and ÒMarcellaÕs Italian KitchenÓ both offer recipes for simple foods prepared with authentic techniques, while ÒGiuliano BugialliÕs Foods of ItalyÓ provides a survey of more than 125 classic recipes. Finally, ÒThe Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink,Ó a comprehensive tome by John Mariani, offers more than 2,300 definitions of terms, ingredients, and techniques, as well as 50 traditional Italian recipes.
ÒEssentials of Classic Italian CookingÓ (Alfred Knopf, 1992; $30)
ÒMarcellaÕs Italian KitchenÓ (Alfred Knopf, 1986, $23)
ÒGiuliano BugialliÕs Foods of ItalyÓ (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1994; $30)
Lidia Bastianich and Jay Jacobs
ÒLa Cucina di Lidia: Distinctive Regional Cuisine from the North of ItalyÓ (Doubleday, 1990; $36.50)
ÒBibaÕs Taste of Italy: Recipes from the Homes, Trattorie, and Restaurants of Emilia-RomagnaÓ (William Morrow, 2001; $38)
ÒItalian FoodÓ (Viking Penguin, 1999; $13.95)
ÒThe Dictionary of Italian Food and DrinkÓ (Broadway, 1998; $17)