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The Silver Spoon by Phaidon Press Editors

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Notes about this book

  • Breadcrumbs on June 04, 2011

    Purchased this book at Costco when it first came out based on an article I'd read saying this was THE book that Italians handed down through generations and, it was now being translated into English so we could all partake in these treasured dishes . . . or something like that! That said, this book has underwhelmed. When given the choice of making a dish from this book or another Italian book on my shelf, the other books have won, time and time again. Not sure if its the book's heft, its pictureless format or whether the recipes just don't appeal. I'm keen to see what others think. I probably cook Italian more than any other cuisine and was also disappointed to know that none of my Italian friends or co-workers had ever heard of this book.

  • IvyManning on September 03, 2010

    Pretty dated

  • Alifar on December 31, 2009

    Italy's best selling cookbook

  • crjoburke on December 26, 2009

    Classic and historically authentic recipes.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Roman crescents

    • Delys77 on July 17, 2012

      Pg 179 Conceptually I like these, practically speaking I didn't. The instructions for the dough have you start with 1 tsp of water for over 2 cups of flour, and then states to add more if necessary. In my case the tsp, not surprisingly, barely made a dent in the flour so I ended up going with about 4 tb. Once the dough came together I happily set about making the filling and then popped the lot in the oven instead of deep frying. The results weren't bad, dough wise, but the flavour of the sage totally overpowered everything for me. I would make it again but would swap out some softer herb, like maybe a tiny touch of thyme.

  • Mushroom puffs

    • Delys77 on August 27, 2012

      Pg. 184 These were so simple yet so tasty. It is a relatively rich little hors d'oeuvre but eaten in small quantities that is fine. I did modify the approach a little bit as the suggested assembly seemed unecessarily fussy. I simply diced the cheese and ham and mixed in with the very well browned mushrooms. Makes a bit too much stuffing for a regular sized piece of puff pastry.

  • Ricotta dumplings in broth

    • Pilar81790 on November 09, 2016

      In the Silver Spoon book, it uses a homemade broth but since I was in a bit of a hurry I just used the bouillon cubes. The fried ricotta balls tasted great but be sure when you make them that you don't make them too big otherwise they become flat and a little mushy. Easy recipe and good on a cold winter day.

  • Chicken stock

    • Delys77 on April 02, 2012

      I generally make notes on all the recipes I try but in this case this isn't much of a recipe as it is essentially a barebones variation. I had to add something to up the flavour so I tossed in some bay and parsley during the simmer. The results were fine, just nothing special

  • Swiss chard and lentil soup

    • Delys77 on October 15, 2012

      Pg. 273 The recipe calls for soaking the lentils, which I skipped since I was using Puy lentils which cook up quite quickly. I simmered the lentils for an additional 10 minutes or so before adding the rice and they were just right. I also added a bit of balsamic as it seemed the soup was calling for some acidity. Overall pretty good, with a nutritious mix of legumes and veggies, but not spectacular in terms of flavour. Just ok really.

  • Rice and peas

    • amoule on March 12, 2014

      The first four ingredients listed here are not for the risotto itself but for the meat stock used in making the risotto.

  • Tuscan minestrone

    • cgal on April 02, 2014

      I added spinach instead of endives and a spoon of tomato paste.

  • Savoy cabbage and rice minestrone

    • Delys77 on March 21, 2013

      Very filling and not a bad flavour but I found the rosemary a little overpowering. I wouldn't likely repeat.

    • PinchOfSalt on November 11, 2014

      Delicious, fill-you-up comforting, inexpensive and easy. I needed to add warm water several times during the cooking process. Some thoughts: Keep a kettle of water going over a very low flame in case you need to add water. Do remove the rosemary stem before serving. Do not try to make this vegetarian by skipping the prosciutto. It really makes the dish sing. (Maybe try a variation with pancetta instead of the prosciutto and the 1 TBS olive oil in the first step, browning the pancetta before adding the other items?) Canned diced tomatoes work fine and are undoubtedly better than any fresh tomato during the winter months (unless you live in a warm climate and can get good local tomatoes).

  • Rigatoni with meatballs

    • Applepie24 on June 15, 2015

      Passata, not tinned tomatoes. The recipe says that the sauce and meatballs need to cook for 40 min's, which seems too long but isn't. The result is worth it, and it feeds more people than the quantity of ingredients would suggest.

  • Spaghetti with bread crumbs

  • Spaghetti with zucchini

  • Rice with spinach

    • Delys77 on July 14, 2012

      Pg 380 Sometimes the simplest things are the best. I was tempted to add shallots or garlic to the sautéed spinach but I decided to simply proceed as the recipe states and it was great. Just some simple seasoned and buttered rice with sautéed spinach all garnished with good sprinkling of Parmesan, very nice!

  • Asparagus risotto

    • Delys77 on May 23, 2012

      This risotto makes a great primi, or even a light vegetarian meal with a side salad. The only modification I made was to add a little white wine after the rice goes in, and also I added the Parmesan to the pan and incorporated it there instead of using it as a garnish. The flavours were nice and the asparagus definitely stands out in a good way. You can also lightly salt with fleur de sel if it is a little underseasoned from just the parm.

  • Filled frittata

    • Delys77 on August 27, 2012

      Pg. 462 Ham, cheese, mushroom, and eggs! I suppose you can't really go wrong with that combination whether it be breakast, lunch, or dinner. I dind't fold it as suggested, I simply went with the more classic firttata approach of starting ont the stove top and then popping it into the oven, with a little broiling at the end to brown. Delicious, but serves closer to two than 4.

  • Marinated carrots

    • Rutabaga on May 04, 2014

      This was the first recipe I made from the Silver Spoon, and my husband and my parents were immediately sold. None of us had never imagined a simple salad of cold marinated carrots, but it is perfect. A good, flavorful olive oil really makes the dish.

  • Baked savoy cabbage

    • Rutabaga on October 21, 2016

      We ate this as an entrée; I used a full pound of sausage to turn it into a substantial main dish. It's a little like deconstructed cabbage rolls. You could easily make the dish in advance up until pouring over the cream and topping with Parmesan prior to baking.

  • Potatoes baked in foil with yogurt

    • Rutabaga on May 18, 2014

      The sauce in this recipe makes for a wonderful (although deceptively fattening, considering that the lemon juice and chives cut the richness of the cream in a way that hides the fact that you really are eating a cream-based sauce) accompaniment to potatoes bakes with a little butter. But beware - if you, like I, do not frequently bake potatoes, you may not anticipate how long the baking will actually take. The recipe calls for 8 potatoes cooked for about 40 minutes at 450F, but does not specify the size or type of potato. I used medium sized Yukon golds, cutting the larger ones in half. After 40 minutes, we broke them open on our plates to discover that they were still hard in the middle. I ended up baking them for a further 20 minutes.

  • New potatoes with rosemary

    • Rutabaga on January 30, 2017

      This dish was fine. My potatoes ended up softer than I would have liked, but that was really my own doing. Had I taken them off the heat about five minutes earlier, they would probably have been just right. However, the recipe uses a lot of oil and I couldn't taste the garlic or rosemary in the final product, so I don't think I will make it again.

  • Sea bass baked in a packet

    • Delys77 on June 13, 2012

      Pg 709 Not great to be honest. I suppose it is unfair to score the dish harshly because I think I simply don't like sea bass. I simply found that the herbs and lemon were overpowered bu the fish and the skin was just unpleasant given the steam cooking.

  • Roman spring lamb

    • amoule on March 04, 2014

      I made the variation of this that has no potatoes and adds anchovies; it was outstanding.

  • Lamb meatballs with eggplant

    • vitapano on May 06, 2014

      Nice flavour, although I added sweet marjoram in place of oregano. Did one batch in the oven instead of frying and I think I prefer that. Aubergines weren't completely soft after 30min. in the oven in foil and so next time I'll make sure I chop them a bit smaller as the meatballs weren't holding their shape very well with bigger pieces. I liked the texture and the fact that aubergine was noticeable. Would be nice very hot with some yoghurt dip and pitta I think.

  • Sweet-and-sour pork stew

    • Kellyco on April 18, 2013

      Family favourite, also delicious with chicken.

  • Roast beef with carrots

    • Delys77 on February 12, 2013

      This was not a winner. As written the recipe would yield a dry roast if you actually left it in for the full two hours. Also, while tha carrots are very tasty the beef itself is flavourless amd has no sauce to speak of.

  • Veal scallops with herbs

    • saladdays on March 23, 2014

      A good recipe for using small escalopes of veal as the simple flavours in the wine sauce do not overwhelm the delicate meat.

  • Chicken with pomegranate

    • debwfrank on October 08, 2010

      great roast chicken method & gravy

  • Soused chicken

    • Rutabaga on May 07, 2014

      In a rather unusual twist, this dish is meant to be served cold, after the breaded chicken cutlets have been "soused". The chicken turns out quite flavorful, and because it's made in advance and served cold, it's a great option if you want to bring something a little different to a picnic.

  • Turkey leg with herbs

    • Rutabaga on January 30, 2017

      Stuffing the turkey legs with herb butter is a great idea. I used a combination of parsley, oregano, rosemary, and thyme. But this is one of those Silver Spoon recipes that doesn't provide much direction when it comes to the actual cooking. As someone unfamiliar with cooking turkey legs on the stove, I was worried about them being underdone, so I wound up overcooking them, making the meat somewhat dry and tough. I also discovered that it can be very challenging pulling the meat off of turkey drumsticks - there are so many little bones and ligaments! The pan drippings did make for a pretty tasty gravy, however. I added flour, water, and whole milk to create a rich sauce. Since it was so hard to remove all the meat from the bones, I decided to make it easy and just threw the meaty bones into a pot with some water and herbs to make some stock for later use. While I probably wouldn't make this again, it might work well for someone more adept at cooking turkey legs.

  • Plum and pear charlotte

    • Charlotte_vandenberg on March 03, 2017

      Zelfs met extra gelatine nog te zacht en zakte in. Misschien volgende keer nog langer in de koelkast laten zodat lange vingers verzadigd raken en meer vocht onttrekken? Smaak was heerlijk, misschien wat zoet.

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Reviews about this book

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Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • Mussels marinara

    • Leite's Culinaria

      Uh, we can think of nothing else we need for this mussels marinara recipe aside from a generous pour of a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or, when we’re in the mood to go all Belgian, a white ale...

      Full review
  • ISBN 10 0714845310
  • ISBN 13 9780714845319
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Oct 01 2005
  • Format Hardcover
  • Language English
  • Edition US ed
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Phaidon Press

Publishers Text

Once in a great while, a cookbook appears that deserves to find a place on the shelf of every serious cook. - Gourmet, July 2006

The Silver Spoon is the most influential and successful cookbook in Italy. Originally published in 1950, it became an instant classic. Considered to be essential in every household, it is still one of the most popular wedding presents today.

The Silver Spoon was conceived and published by Domus, the design and architectural magazine famously directed by Gio Ponti from the 1920s to the 1970s. A group of chefs were commissioned to collect hundreds of traditional recipes from the different Italian regions and make them available for the first time to a wider audience. In the process, they updated ingredients, quantities and methods to suit contemporary tastes and customs, at the same time preserving the memory of ancient recipes for future generations. They also included modern recipes from some of the most famous Italian chefs, resulting in a style of cooking that appeals to the gourmet as well as the occasional cook.


A comprehensive and lively book, its simple and user-friendly format makes it both accessible and a pleasure to read. It provides an introduction to every course, and an explanation of the main type of ingredients. Never translated before, The Silver Spoon has now been adapted to an international market, with every recipe checked for suitability, measurements converted and methods rewritten to accommodate cultural difference, yet maintaining the authenticity of real Italian cooking.

The new layout emphasizes its contemporary appeal and the colour coding of each section simplifies the process of cross-referencing ingredients and methods. A section with original menus from the 15 most famous Italian chefs of the last 50 years has been expanded to include original menus from Italian celebrity chefs working outside Italy. This is a substantial and prestigious cookbook that will share the bookshelves with other titles such as The Joy of Cooking, and Larousse Gastronomique, another classic of national cuisine. With over 2,000 recipes illustrated with specially commissioned artwork and photography, the book is destined to become a classic in the Italian cooking booklist for the international market.



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