Monday, May 6, 2013



 I am an Aussie but I married an Italian. He’s the youngest of four brothers.
The day I walked down the aisle was the equivalent of immigrating.  There is an Italian lifestyle and most of it is wonderful. It is the Dolmio ad most of the time. They’re a rowdy lot.  Put all the relatives in a room together celebrating a birthday or a special day and I can barely hear myself think.
My children have a Nonna and a Nonno and I have spent the past thirteen years only half understanding what is said around me.  Besides inheriting masses of relatives, I did inherit one of the greatest benefits of all…the Italian food. 
All the relatives gather at Nonna’s once a year to make the sauce and I assure you very little tastes as good as Nonna’s sauce. There is the sausage making day and there’s even olive picking day and if work needs to be done, the sons and family arrive en masse. The kids love all the get togethers and pitch in with the cousins and Uncles with any of the hard labour.
Before my Father-in-Law passed away a few years ago, our visits to the in-laws would always end with us towing home bagfuls of fresh produce picked straight from the garden.  Jealous yet?
          So, although not a food blogger, I’m the perfect choice to judge The Australian Women’s Weekly Great Italian Cookbook
But this is a trial with a twist here, my husband did the cooking.He fancies himself a chef these days.  (Yes, I am the luckiest girl on Earth; he even makes the school lunches.)  So, when we were designated Easter hosts out came the shiny, brand new Women’s Weekly Great Italian Cookbook.

We began with Antipasto inspired by the picture on the very first page and next came the wonderful ‘tomato and rocket Bruschetta’.  Then we were onto the Chicken Ravioli with Tarragon Sauce.  That’s three courses and by then everyone was complaining, ‘It’s too wonderful and we’re too full.’
 Mains were the most beautiful peppered steak (barbecued) with Grilled Polenta Cakes and a side dish of Garlic Marinated Prawns.  Finally, when there was no room left for anything more, the hubby presents the Sicilian Cheesecake. Everyone dug deep and still managed to devour it.You don’t need a party though or to be Italian to appreciate this book.  The recipes are simple and beautifully presented. There are special sections on how to cook perfect pasta, bread, Italian essentials and Italian classics and a wonderful section containing gourmet pizza ideas plus much more in over 240 pages.

Since Easter we’ve trialled even more recipes and can report every single one turned out beautifully. Thanks to this book, our Italian cooking is more than meatballs and pasta sauce.  Now the downfall of this book, I’m renewing my membership at the local gym but it is worth every gram. Bon Appetito 

P.S. The picture on the right is Nonna's score for her son's Easter meal.  Three judges all awarded a Master Chef 10.

Review copy thanks to my friends at Random House 
Please click here for purchasing info and further details.

More Women’s Weekly Cookbooks to check out HERE

Published: 01/02/2013
Imprint: ACP Miscellaneous
Extent: 248 pages

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