Summer is the perfect season to explore new flavors and recipes, and we’re thrilled to introduce our special summer reading list featuring some of our all time favorites! Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a home cook, these books will inspire you to bring the authentic taste of Italy to your kitchen.

Our curated selection includes a variety of cookbooks that celebrate the rich and diverse culinary traditions of Italy. From classic pasta dishes to innovative takes on Mediterranean cuisine, you’ll find plenty of delicious ideas to try this summer.

Buon appetito and happy cooking!

1. Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan

Far before DiAnoia’s Eatery was born this book was on our home kitchen shelf. Arguably one of the best cookbooks ever written and it just happens to focus on classic Italian cooking. A Bon Appetite best book of the year and also celebrating is 30th anniversary. The book has almost 500 recipes from the fundamentals and classics to specialty items you’ve never cooked before. If you are looking to add just one cookbook to your library and you don’t already have it, this is the one.

2. La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy by The Italian Academy of Cuisine

Think of this cookbook as more of a research project and a historic documentation than just a book of recipes. The Italian Academy of Cuisine was founded in 1953 in Milan to preserve the gastronomical heritage of Italy and this book is a culmination of their extensive research. Not only will you get the recipe, but you’ll learn about the region its from and the origin of the recipe. A true masterpiece on Italian cooking. Not to mention, its also quite large and impressive on a coffee table!

3. Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef by Massimo Bottura

In 2015, on our honeymoon, we visited the world renowned Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy from Chef, Massimo Bottura. The meal was an experience we will never forget. Osteria Francescana is Italy’s most celebrated restaurant. We picked up a copy of Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef, which is a tribute to Bottura’s twenty-five year career and the evolution of Osteria Francescana. The book features 50 recipes and accompanying texts explaining Bottura’s inspiration, ingredients and techniques. We recommended it as a gift for dad on our Father’s Day gift guide, but really its a terrific gift for anyone! Be sure to also check out Bottura’s Bread is Gold, a cookbook that takes a holistic look at the subject of food waste.

4. Food of the Italian Islands by Katie Parla

A few years ago, we hosted Rome-based food and beverage writer, culinary guide, and cookbook author, Katie Parla, for a dinner, cook book signing for her book, Food of the Italian South. We had such a blast and honestly can’t get enough of her authentic Italian recipes. Her newest book, Food of the Italian Islands, has not only an amazing collection of recipes, it also makes a gorgeous coffee table book with its bright blue, hot pink and yellow cover. Don’t forget about Tasting Rome, which is the first of her cookbooks that got us hooked.

5. Mastering Pasta: The Art and Practice of Handmade Pasta, Gnocchi, and Risotto by Marc Vetri & David Joachim

If you have ever had the opportunity to dine at Vetri in Philadelphia, you already know why this book is on our list. A cookbook from the award winning chef and restauranteur, Marc Vetri, about mastering the art of making pasta. Chef Marc Vetri shares his own personal stories alongside his coveted pasta recipes. We are still dreaming about the phenomenal dinner we had at Vetri, and until we can go back, this book tides us over. Another wonderful chef-driven pasta focused book is American Sfoglino: A Master Class in Handmade Pasta by Evan Funke & Katie Parla (see above!).

6. Spaghetti!: An Interactive Recipe Book by Lotta Nieminen

This one is for the young aspiring chef in your life! This adorable children’s book is interactive and encourages participation while teaching them step by step on how to make spaghetti. This book lets them pretend they are in the kitchen without all the mess and no doubt makes them more excited when they can help make the real thing for dinner along side you. Our daughter loves “twisting” the spaghetti with the pop out cardboard fork.

7. Lidia’s Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Great Italian Cook: A Cookbook by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich & Tanya Bastianich Manuali

We had the amazing pleasure of meeting THE Lidia and getting her to sign a copy of this book for us just before we opened DiAnoia’s Eatery. She wished us luck on our new restaurant venture and we couldn’t have asked for a better blessing! Lidia is an award-winning TV host, has written over a dozen cookbooks and has many successful restaurants. While Lidia’s cookbooks are all wonderful, this one, especially with her signature, has a special place in our hearts. Fast-forward several years, we have the honor of now cooking in the former Lidia’s kitchen space in Pittsburgh, which is the new home to our catering and events team.

8. Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes by Giada De Laurentiis

An Italian Cookbook list wouldn’t be complete without a book from our beloved Giada! Everyday Italian was Giada’s first book from her early days on the Food Network. This cookbooks keeps it simple and is perfect for when you want to make a meal for the whole family. She also teaches you variety throughout the book, showing that there are several different ways to prepare the same items. We love any of Giada’s books or shows, but this one is classic Giada.


This list could keep going and going, but we all have some cooking to do. Listed below are some of our other favorites that we hope to elaborate more on in future posts, so keep reading. Also, some of the links above and below are amazon affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

10. The Italian Baker, Revised: The Classic Tastes of the Italian Countryside–Its Breads, Pizza, Focaccia, Cakes, Pastries, and Cookies by Carol Field
11. The Pasta Queen: A Just Gorgeous Cookbook: 100+ Recipes and Stories by Nadia Caterina Munno
12. Sweet Sicily: Sugar and Spice, and All Things Nice by Alessandra Dammone
13. Panetteria: Gennaro’s Italian Bakery (Gennaro’s Italian Cooking) by Gennaro Contaldo
14. Tortellini at Midnight: And Other Heirloom Family Recipes from Taranto to Turin to Tuscany by Emiko Davies
15. Made in Italy: Food and Stories by Giorgio Locatelli
16. Acquacotta: Recipes and Stories from Tuscany’s Secret Silver Coast by Emiko Davies
17. Sharing Puglia: Simple, Delicious Food from Italy’s Undiscovered Coast by Luca Lorusso & Vivienne Polak
18. Dolci Di Casa: Authentic Italian Recipes for Pastries, Cakes, Cookies, Gateaux, Regional Breads and More by Pino Locantro