Who doesn’t love Italian food? If you want the pleasure of eating this delicious cuisine often, start with the lovely little volume, Let’s Cook Italian, A Family Cookbook by Anna Prandoni. Italian food is all about family, and author Prandoni here shares her family’s favorite recipes, with many of her memories from her childhood. Although there are fewer than fifty recipes, these are the recipes for family comfort food; for everyday, weeknight dinners, snacks, and desserts that are the ones you will return to again and again for the homestyle Italian taste you crave.

“For years, I envied my friends who cooked with their mothers, who had those worn and slightly greasy notebooks, full of recipes and notes handwritten in pencil by who knows who, who knows when.”

Let’s Cook Italian has many interesting elements, that, along with the well-written recipes, recommend it. Every page and recipe is written in both English and Italian; the English pages include boxes to learn a few Italian words; this format, along with the colorful illustrations, is engaging and interesting to children, who will enjoy trying to figure out the foreign phrases while they are cooking.

Recipes are included for several courses, from starters to desserts and snacks, and are easy to follow for cooks with moderate cooking experience. This book is written for families to enjoy — not just the fruits of the labors, but the cooking experience itself. While most of the recipes are medium to high difficulty, they also include tips for ways children can participate in the process, such as mixing the dough, or placing cookies, or rolling up beef rolls with toothpicks. The author’s point is to get children involved while they are young; both to encourage them to try (and learn to love) new foods, and also to become comfortable and happy in the kitchen from a young age. This book will be fun – and delicious! – for families wanting to explore this cuisine together.