EVERYDAY ITALIAN: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes

Giada de Laurentiis, Author . Clarkson Potter $30 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4000-5258-5

With its cover image of the fetching de Laurentiis wearing a low-cut top and its promise of easy, tasty Italian recipes, this cookbook is sure to draw in home cooks who don't know how to make a basic marinara sauce and want to be introduced them to the beauty and simplicity of Italian cuisine. Which is, of course, a good thing, but a shame, too, since this work lacks depth or meaning. Readers seeking a true introduction to the building blocks of Italian cooking would be worlds better off with one of Marcella Hazan's or Lidia Bastianich's early primers. What those who are lured in by the good looks and charm of de Laurentiis (granddaughter of film producer Dino and star of Food Network's Everyday Italian ) will get is an unsophisticated but decent selection of Italian-American classics, from antipasto to pasta, meat dishes to desserts, including Clams Oreganata, Caprese Salad, Salsa all'Amatriciana, Fettucine Alfredo, Veal Marsala, Caponata and Chocolate Tiramisù. De Laurentiis provides an introduction to each dish, and her recipes are generally minimalist (there are no recipes for homemade pastas or stews that take a day to make). Though bursting with glamorous shots of a lovely looking author, this is a rather flat first effort. (Mar.)

Forecast: Possessing a look that's remarkably similar to Nigella Lawson's, de Laurentiis may be poised to be the next hot celebrity chef.

Reviewed on: 01/31/2005
Release date: 03/01/2005
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