NOTE: Colleen Turner previously reviewed Ciao Italia Family Classics by Mary Ann Esposito based the 3-recipe pamphlet that we received from St. Martin’s Press (see the review here). The publisher has since sent Colleen the finished book and she changed her rating from a 2/5 to a 4/5. Here is her update:

The publishers of Ciao Italia Family Classics by Mary Ann Esposito were kind enough to send me a finished copy of the cookbook to compare against the pamphlet I originally received for review. There is absolutely no comparison between the two as the finished copy is beautiful! There are lots of full page pictures to go along with the recipes, all the recipes appear to be complete and the author even gives helpful hints for stocking your pantry with basic Italian necessities.

The recipes are divided into eleven different categories – antipasti, soup, pizza and break, pasta, sauces rice, fish, meat, vegetables, salads and desserts – and it is easy to find something to satisfy every tastebud.

So far I have made two of the recipes: Mom’s Summer Tomato Salad and Baked Ziti Casserole with Meatballs. The tomato salad is so simple to put together but was absolutely delicious. The Ziti Casserole, which included a homemade pork sausage ragu sauce, tasty little meatballs and fresh mozzarella, was a hit in my house and will be something I am sure I will be asked to make again and again.

The only downsides I can find to this cookbook is that every recipe doesn’t have a photo of the finished product (I like to compare what I make to the ideal to see how close I get) and that some of the ingredients are quite pricey and are not things I typically have. All in all, this is definitely a cookbook I will use in the future and I am glad I got the opportunity to see the finished product.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Colleen lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband, son, their dog Oliver and their fish Finn. When not working or taking care of her family she has her nose stuck in a book (and, let’s face it, often when she is working or taking care of her family as well). Nothing excites her more than discovering a new author to obsess over or a hidden jewel of a book to worship.

This book was provided free of any obligation by St. Martin’s Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.