The Art of Italian Cooking

by Maria La Pinto

Coming from a strong tradition of grandmothers’ kitchens, The Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Lo Pinto would be a nice addition to any vintage cookbook library. Leafing through the pages, the common ingredients and combination of flavors inspired me to explore the simplicity of a national cuisine. 

Lo Pinto conveys the wistful recollections and unconventional explorations in the semi-autobiographical introduction. Her tone playful and sentimental, she remembers the large family dinners, where sometimes eighteen people would be eating, drinking and generally enjoying each others’ company. The sections and ingredients reflect this tradition of slow food; the chronology of the book follows the order of dinner from small plates to coffee and biscuits. In addition to this, Lo Pinto dedicates the entire book to ‘i nonni,’ the grandmothers and grandfathers who passed down the recipes, those dishes that she finally decided to commemorate in by writing this cookbook. All of these elements— tradition, sentimentality and conventional flavor— form a truly special publication that feels incredibly authentic.

The Art of Italian Cooking cover