“Make It Italian” is my Nonna in the Kitchen!



Nonna's Chicken with Garlic and Rosemary; Parmesan Mashed Potatoes Cooked in Milk. Prepared from "Make It Italian" by Nancy Verde Barr
Nonna’s Chicken with Garlic and Rosemary;
Parmesan Mashed Potatoes Cooked in Milk.
 Prepared from “Make It Italian” by Nancy Verde Barr


Buongiorno miei amata amici!

Garrison Keillor once said, “A book is a gift you can open again and again.” I concur when we are speaking of Make It Italian by Nancy Verde Barr. It is not a new release, first published in 2002. However, out of the mountains of Italian cookbooks I have examined the last few years, this is my easily my favorite. “Why?” Because this is that unique cookbook, to which I always return for learning how to cook Italian.

Want me to get to the nitty gritty?

Cons: It lacks photos of the dishes and explanation of some of the techniques. I wish they would reprint this book with that input and it would rate six stars on a five star scale. May my dream become a reality!!!

Nancy Verde Barr - Author & Chef - My Nonna in the Kitchen!
Nancy Verde Barr –
Author & Chef
My Nonna in the Kitchen!

Pros: Nancy goes through the flavors that say Italian in chapter one. This is an essential chapter for anybody who was not born and raised in Italy. She explains all the various types of cooking fats, as well as how to use them. Then she teaches you about the aromatics, herbs and spices that speak Italian. On she goes through the list teaching you about key ingredients and the techniques to make them articulate Italian! 🙂 

In recipes, Nancy teaches us the main themes and then gives us variations. She encourages one to develop their own alterations of her recipes to make them their very own. She teaches one about flexibility, when one plans to make something and is missing an ingredient…her Nonna and mine never gave up, they found a substitute ingredient. Maybe it was because my Grandmas/Nonnas lived through the Great Depression that they understand how to make do with what you have on hand. It is a skill to desire and acquire.

"Make It Italian" Book Review - My Nonna in the Kitchen!
“Make It Italian” Book Review
My Nonna in the Kitchen!

I have gone from following Italian recipes to creating my own and sharing them on my Italiano Connection blog, in part thanks to this book. Nancy’s warmth spills through on every page and I feel like she is with me in the kitchen, guiding me through my Italian amateur chef endeavors. I owe more to this Italian cookbook than all the others combined.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *