Skinny Italian: Eat It and Enjoy It—Live La Bella Vita and Look Great, Too!
Giudice, famous for table flipping and gushing over her “juicy” husband, Joe, on Bravo's Real Housewives of New Jersey , offers a simple rundown of Italian standards like pesto and puttanesca sauces, veal piccata, steak pizzaiola, almond biscotti and the classic bellini in her authentic yet dishy look into food and family. Few recipes will surprise the seasoned Italian cook, though Giudice gets points for keeping dishes rather healthy while boosting flavor with fresh herbs, pungent garlic, and hot pepper. Coupled with family photos and sidebar comments about their friends and favorite dishes from Teresa and Joe, the book plays well to a younger, hipper home cook. With a focus on steering clear of reputation-ruining no-nos like jarred sauce and rinsing cooked pasta, Giudice dives into some deeper waters with coaching on making pizza dough and canning tomatoes. Though she tries a little too hard to make everything salacious, gorgeous, and fabulous, useful tips abound (the section on olive oil is titled “OO, VOO, EVOO, WTF?”). Take away the overblown catch phrases and effusive references to her mama, The Sopranos , and the motherland, and you're left with a solid mid-week Italian cookbook. Then again, perhaps it's the chatty Teresa and her feisty yet playful anecdotes that make this an irresistible, guilty pleasure. (May)