My favorite of all of Jamie's books. We get to ride along with him on a road trip through Italy, to some of my favorite and lesser-known regions. Great recipes, inspiring photography, printed on beautiful matte paper. Jamie at Home was released after Jamie's Italy, and it is also pretty great - fun design, lots of great ideas to explore and build on.
There is a nice range of quick to time-intensive recipes in this book. Some are so simple, they're more like suggestions, but I think it's in line with Oliver's egalitarian approach toward cooking. Someone who is time-pressed or not terribly confidant in their kitchen skills wouldn't feel like they were on the outside looking in on some club they couldn't be part of and very well might be inspired to take the plunge. A first-time baker would have a lot of success with the Torta (sorry no page # handy!) with the pine nuts scattered on the top. Super easy, keeps well, and subtly flavored. Also, I agree about the praise for the photography. It's some of the best I've seen in any book and the butchering photos are unambiguous but respectful.
This book exudes exuberance and enthusiasm and it’s infectious. You look at a photo and you really want to cook the dish. And when you do, it looks exactly like the photo. Great happy food! I loved the rotolo of spinach and squash (and the spiced squash from that recipe is also wonderful on its own or with the braised lentils from his first Naked Chef book). I think the comment about first time cooks being inspired to have a go is spot on - a couple of my friends have tried recipes and were blown away by how good the results were.
This is one of my favorite cookbooks, hands down. The photographs are beautiful, the recipes are easy to follow, and you can feel Jamie's passion for this food emanating from every page. This is also one of my toddler's favorite cookbooks - she will thumb through and gaze at each page slowly, taking great care to pick just the right recipe for that evening's meal.
Jamie taught me how to make risotto in one of his earlier cook books and this one has some great ideas to build from the basic version. Love it! His spaghetti with prawns and rocket (p116) is another favourite - really easy and quick to make when feeding friends after work, and they think you're a genius in the kitchen!
I have given this book to friends on numerous occasions before I actually bought it for myself, just based on the beautiful looking photos and recipes alone. I finally broke down and bought it when we were in London for a month and I needed inspiration to cook at night! It is my favorite cookbook of the moment. everything I have made has been delicious and not terribly time consuming.
I don't find eating pasta in the american way (as a full meal) to be very healthy, nor am I into bruschetta and pizza...I eat plenty of white carbs without seeking them out special-like, so there are big sections of this book that I don't delve into. Yet, I still adore it for the fish dishes and the soups, and have bought copies for friends several times. The tuna meatballs in here are one of my all-time favorite dishes, they are light, citrusy and perfect, and I quite like his minestrone. Also, I'm sure it's been said before (x10,000) but Jamie has a really great offhand, casual approach to food that has helped me develop as a cook. I don't think I felt comfortable throwing around a 'glug' of olive oil or a 'handful' of herb before he suggested it. And yeah, love the photos.