This work features a full-colour visual guide to Italian ingredients, packed with information about their history and uses, and essential preparation and cooking techniques. It includes step-by-step instructions on how to make your own home-made pasta. It features classic dishes, such as bruschetta, pizza alla margherita, baked lasagne, fritto misto and minestrone soup. It includes authentic recipes for risottos and polenta; fabulous fish and shellfish dishes, such as pan-fried prawns; a wide variety of poultry and meat dishes, including the classic osso buco; a variety of fresh vegetable dishes and salads; desserts, such as tiramisu and zabaglione; and, home-baked treats, such as herb or olive-flavoured focaccia and Italian bread sticks. This book opens with a fascinating introduction to the background of Italian cooking. This is followed by a full-colour, illustrated reference guide, with information about all the common and less well-known Italian ingredients. Each section includes facts about how and where the ingredient is made or grown, its history and culinary uses, and essential information on buying and storing, along with detailed cooking and preparation instructions and basic recipes where appropriate. The second part of the book is a beautifully photographed recipe section, with over 320 recipes presented in an illustrated step-by-step format. The recipes are a combination of authentic regional favourites and contemporary classics.