I recently wrote about Healthy Cooking, a volume in the Culinary Institute of America’s at Home series of cookbooks. I was impressed with that edition since the focus was on cooking, not on forcing dishes to be healthy. Of course, as home chefs know, just by cooking something from scratch it’s almost always going to be more wholesome and healthful than a comparable store-bought item.

Italian Cooking at Home with The Culinary Institute of America makes no claim to being a "healthy" cookbook, but then again it certainly isn’t unhealthy. In fact, one thing that struck me as I dug through the book was how downright healthy Italian food is. This edition has a wonderful selection of regional dishes spanning the length of the boot of Italy. The vast majority of the dishes were inspired by the classic cucina povera: that cuisine inspired by poverty, seasonality and thrift. Sometimes the simplest recipes can be amongst the best, and that goes for virtually every one in Italian Cooking. Heck, even the title has that wonderfully direct austerity!