Extra Virgin: Recipes & Love from Our Tuscan Kitchen by Gabriele Corcos

Extra Virgin: Recipes & Love from Our Tuscan Kitchen

DEBI MAZAR and GABRIELE CORCOS are ambassadors of contemporary Tuscan cooking. In Extra Virgin, food, family, and style come together in a celebration of the pleasures of the rustic Italian table with 120 recipes for simple yet exquisite meals that are accessible, full of fresh flavor, and easy to prepare. Gabriele is a traditional Italian with a big heart, and Debi is an...

Title:Extra Virgin: Recipes & Love from Our Tuscan Kitchen
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0385346050
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:272 pages

Extra Virgin: Recipes & Love from Our Tuscan Kitchen Reviews

  • Katherine Gypson
    Jun 03, 2014

    I have no prior experience with Extra Virgin, the Cooking Channel show that this book is based upon. When I requested a copy for review, I had no idea that one of the co-authors was actress Debi Mazar. I was simply drawn in by the insanely beautiful cover photograph and the chance to learn more about Tuscan cooking. By and large, I found what I was looking for and much more in this beautifully produced, very personal cookbook.

    At over 250 pages and filled with heart-stopping food photography, Ex

    I have no prior experience with Extra Virgin, the Cooking Channel show that this book is based upon. When I requested a copy for review, I had no idea that one of the co-authors was actress Debi Mazar. I was simply drawn in by the insanely beautiful cover photograph and the chance to learn more about Tuscan cooking. By and large, I found what I was looking for and much more in this beautifully produced, very personal cookbook.

    At over 250 pages and filled with heart-stopping food photography, Extra Virgin aspires to be more than a cookbook and something closer to a guide to a way of life. There is information about Gabriele and Debi's approach to food, their life with their daughters and their visits to Tuscany. This material may be of more interest to viewers of their TV show but I did not find it depleted my enjoyment of the book - it simply did not add much for me.

    I found it much more interesting to read about the Tuscan approach to ingredients. Lately, I have been trying to eat fewer processed foods and more meals that rely on fresh, whole ingredients. Tuscan food - with its emphasis on freshness and simple but bold flavor profiles is perfect for this type of cooking.

    I've already made the Mozarella, Tomato and Farro salad from the Appetizers section and very much enjoyed it - I can see it becoming one of my lunch rotation staples. I was able to find at least 2-3 recipes in each section that I'm eager to try and many more involving ingredients that will be fun to scout around and find!

    There are some more challenging recipes involving lobster, steak and pork that more experienced cooks will find interesting. But there are also plenty of accessible recipes like Breakfast Pizza (with homemade dough); Pecorino and Honey Dip and a Prosciutto Sandwich with Fig Preserves. I was especially interested in the Tiramasu recipe that gets the dessert away from its cloyingly sweet American incarnation and back to its Italian roots.

    The only missteps for me are the Latin and South American recipes for guacamole, tacos and caipairinhas. They seem out of place and dilute the lovely focus on Tuscan cooking. Overall, I am thrilled to be introduced to this type of cooking and look forward to spending many hours in the kitchen with this beautiful book!

    Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review.

  • Laurie
    Jun 30, 2014

    I have to say this is the first formal review I have ever done for a Cookbook! I selected this for review specifically because of it's Tuscan Italian recipes. This is co-written by actress Debi Masr and husband Gabriele Corcos; not exactly Italian sounding names but don't let that fool you! Within four hours I ravaged this book from cover to cover. This book is heavy in a few ways. First- the book is bound beautifully. The quality of the paper is heaven to the touch. What I love most is that whe

    I have to say this is the first formal review I have ever done for a Cookbook! I selected this for review specifically because of it's Tuscan Italian recipes. This is co-written by actress Debi Masr and husband Gabriele Corcos; not exactly Italian sounding names but don't let that fool you! Within four hours I ravaged this book from cover to cover. This book is heavy in a few ways. First- the book is bound beautifully. The quality of the paper is heaven to the touch. What I love most is that when you open to a recipe even in the middle of the book, it lays flat. There is nothing so frustrating than trying to follow a recipe and having to stretch the binding! The illustrations are beautiful and reflect how sometimes a few simple ingredients can yield beautiful food. I hesitate to even refer to this as a "cookbook" to be honest. From the first page, the reader is brought into the early lives of Debi and Gabriele; their associations and memories of cooking with their Italian Nonna's. Their stories resonated with me especially when they mention making fresh pasta and hanging it over chairs to dry (I did this with my Nonno), picking the vegetables for meals from backyard gardens and traveling to the local butcher for your meats. What follows is a brief section on "The Essentials of a Tuscan Kitchen". Then come some recipes, more narrative and then even more glorious recipes. This book has twelve sections: Appetizers, Pasta & Sauces, Risotto, Soups, Salads, Meats, Fish, Vegetables, Pizza, Panini, Desserts and Drinks so there is something for everyone.

    One of the early comments made by Gabriele reads "It's interesting how often making food for someone else may seem routine on the surface, but inside you teem with deeper emotions connected to caring for others." How true. Italians cook from their heart as well as their gardens. In fairness and in keeping with the purpose of a book review to not only mention the great things, my only disappointment is that not all recipes had an illustration. I am a visual cook, so I really "depend" on that. However, I am sure the author/publisher made this decision based on the extra pages and the weight it would have added to the book. It is not light! I can just search the web for an image of the dish :)

    All in all this book provides inspiration and confidence. Tonight I decided to make Salsiccie e Fagioli (Sausage and Beans). Completed in about 20 minutes! Tomorrow? Who knows, maybe something off the Dolci (Dessert) menu! If you choose to purchase one Cookbook this year, consider this one, it is a treasure! Mangia!

    **I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.**

  • Terri Jacobson
    Jul 04, 2014

    The authors of this book host a TV show on The Cooking Channel called "Extra Virgin". This book is very much a reflection of that program. The recipes are Tuscan and sound quite appealing. The book focuses on seasonal cooking using fresh, local ingredients and serving them to a community of family and friends. The authors' close relationship comes out in the narrative, and I like the way the book emphasized cooking with family and getting children interested in the kitchen at an early age. This

    The authors of this book host a TV show on The Cooking Channel called "Extra Virgin". This book is very much a reflection of that program. The recipes are Tuscan and sound quite appealing. The book focuses on seasonal cooking using fresh, local ingredients and serving them to a community of family and friends. The authors' close relationship comes out in the narrative, and I like the way the book emphasized cooking with family and getting children interested in the kitchen at an early age. This book is filled with gorgeous pictures. Most of the recipes are classic Italian, and you can find similar recipes in any good book on Italian food. However, the recipes in this volume can form a basic handbook for simple, fresh Italian food. I'll definitely be adding this book to my collection.

  • Amy
    Jul 15, 2014

    I was pleasantly surprised by this cookbook. I watch the Extra Virgin television show on occasion so I suspected what I might be getting when I opened this cookbook. Overall, I think the cookbook is a nice companion to the show but also serves as a stand alone cookbook for those who haven't seen the show.

    The quality of this cookbook is fantastic. The cover is just stunning - so beautiful! It just begs you to open it! In addition, it is made of high quality material. The binding is fantastic - it

    I was pleasantly surprised by this cookbook. I watch the Extra Virgin television show on occasion so I suspected what I might be getting when I opened this cookbook. Overall, I think the cookbook is a nice companion to the show but also serves as a stand alone cookbook for those who haven't seen the show.

    The quality of this cookbook is fantastic. The cover is just stunning - so beautiful! It just begs you to open it! In addition, it is made of high quality material. The binding is fantastic - it allows you to open to any section of the cookbook without worrying that the pages will fly over. It's perfect for a cookbook and eliminates that annoying flipping that pages can do when you lay a book down. The photography is quite good and there is a good balance of food photography and photos of Debi and Gabriele.

    The stories that are interwoven throughout the cookbook really make this special. It's similar to how they talk about their families and food on their show and it's one of my favorite things about the way they talk about food!

    This cookbook is divided into 12 distinct sections - Appetizers, Pasta & Sauces, Risotto, Soups, Salads, Meats, Fish, Vegetables, Pizza, Panini, Desserts and Drinks. As you can imagine, anyone and everyone can find something here! I think the section on the essentials of the Tuscan kitchen is a fantastic resources for those specifically interested in Tuscan cooking and stocking your own shelves with the basics you need!

    I love how each recipe includes commentary from one (or both) of the authors - giving tips as well as stories that bring that particular recipe to life for the reader! The recipe instructions are clear and detailed (but not too detailed). This cookbook is the perfect balance of traditional Italian dishes as well as new and interesting dishes that don't automatically think of when I think of Tuscan cooking. I love that about this book! And I think the recipes are going to challenge me to try new ingredients and cooking styles!

    Some of the recipes that I'm most excited to try include - Pecorino and Honey Dip, Lasagne Alla Bolognese, Pesto Lasagne, Sausage and Asparagus Rissoto, Lobster and Cannellini Bean Soup, Grilled Tuscan Chicken, Fried Artichokes, Pizza Dough, Heirloom Tomato and Mozzarella Sandwich with Basil Oil, Carnival Fritters, Florentine Orange Cake, and the Lemon Brule Tart.

    I have just two critiques for this cookbook - I wish there were more photos. I prefer to have a photo of EVERY recipe if at all possible and there were many recipes with no photo. Quite disappointing to me. In addition, I was frustrated by the fact that there is NO nutritional information in the book for any of the recipes. Also quite disappointing to me!

    However, this is a great cookbook and I highly recommend it. It's definitely a great addition to any home cook's collection!

    NOTE: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review. However, my feelings about this book are 100% genuine, regardless of receiving it for review.

  • Jean Huber
    Sep 21, 2014

    Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos have taken their amazing recipes as seen on the Cooking Channel and shared them with home cooks to experience sexy tuscan cooking in “Extra Virgin”

    This cook book 272 pages full of vibrant photographs, detailed recipes and wonderful stories. I have been a long time fan of Debi Mazar as an actress and was delighted to she this other side of her. It was hard to pick which recipe we would try out for this review but since it was for my husbands birthday dinner I let hi

    Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos have taken their amazing recipes as seen on the Cooking Channel and shared them with home cooks to experience sexy tuscan cooking in “Extra Virgin”

    This cook book 272 pages full of vibrant photographs, detailed recipes and wonderful stories. I have been a long time fan of Debi Mazar as an actress and was delighted to she this other side of her. It was hard to pick which recipe we would try out for this review but since it was for my husbands birthday dinner I let him choose. We made the Lasagne Alla Bolognese on page 65. In order to complete this mouth watering dish I had to follow three separate recipes in the book, but it was still very easy to follow and the dish came out perfectly! The best review I can give it is the fact that my husband ended up eating half of the lasagne that evening because he couldn’t get enough of it. The small amount of leftovers we had did not make it past the following day.

    This cookbook is wonderful for beginning and experienced cooks alike. With the book sharing 120 recipes everyone is guaranteed to find a dish they will love, and who doesn’t love a hearty italian home cooked meal? Without question five out of five stars!

    I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

  • Tina
    Sep 23, 2014

    by Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar is one of the most beautifully photographed, detailed with passionate backstories and wonderful recipes I have seen a long time. I didn’t know there was a television show called Extra Virgin but we do not have satellite or cable feed. This was the first time I had heard of this couple who are evidently well known in the food industry.

    by both Debi and Gabriele. They talk about their upbringing, how food

    by Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar is one of the most beautifully photographed, detailed with passionate backstories and wonderful recipes I have seen a long time. I didn’t know there was a television show called Extra Virgin but we do not have satellite or cable feed. This was the first time I had heard of this couple who are evidently well known in the food industry.

    by both Debi and Gabriele. They talk about their upbringing, how food and cooking shaped their childhood, how they met and their love affair with all things culinary as well as their marriage and family. I like a cookbook with a story.

    Not just the photos of the delectable food but the ones featuring Debi and Gabriele. Turn to the first page after the table of contents (p.8-9) and then to page 10. Tell me that doesn’t look like a snap from a 1940’s movie. Especially the one with Debi in the kitchen looking at her man. Photos of Gabriele cooking over a grill or the ones with his children are just smoking hot. Not just because he’s nice looking Italian man but it’s the passion with which he is engaged in the cooking process.

    jumps off the page, making you reach for a bite. It’s not only colorful but you can see the textures of the bread, the juicy slices of tomato and the glisten of the sauce. The recipes are well laid out and easy to follow. The photo of Gabriele’s family estate is breathtaking, A dream for anyone who harbors notions of touring Tuscany.

    Appetizers, Pastas and Sauces, Risotto, Soups, Salads, Meats, Seafood, Vegetables, Pizza, Panini, Desserts and Drinks. Yes, drinks!

    What I didn’t care for:

    Only because of personal dietary issues I would have to say the section on Paninis was of no use to me. We have a wheat intolerance and while I can substitute a gluten free pasta for any of those dishes, the breads are straight out for us. If you are not in the minority of folks with wheat or gluten issues, this chapter will make your mouth water.

    Overall, I could offer no criticisms for this book – it’s perfect! In the list of kitchen and pantry essentials they mention we need an immersion blender. Almost any cookbook mentions this but this is the cookbook to sell me on one! I want one now…very much!

    So many recipes to try, perhaps the next risotto I prepare will be the one with squab and mushrooms. For now, I will share a home cooked meal, prepared with love. Grilled pork, potatoes and squash. Liberal use of olive oil, garlic and butter! We didn’t have the Tusvan kale (from the book) but this modification doesn’t take away from the meal at all.

    More at

  • Nora St Laurent
    Sep 29, 2014

    I was pleasantly surprised when I received the review copy of this book. First of all I didn’t realized this was the couple that has a cooking show on T.V. called Extra Virgin. Second, I loved all the color pictures and the recipes. They reminded me of food I had growing up in an Italian family. I was thrilled to learn of these lighter ways of cooking these wonderful meals.

    I enjoyed hearing Gabriele and Debi’s story about growing up and their relationship with food. Debi says, “…New Yorkers tal

    I was pleasantly surprised when I received the review copy of this book. First of all I didn’t realized this was the couple that has a cooking show on T.V. called Extra Virgin. Second, I loved all the color pictures and the recipes. They reminded me of food I had growing up in an Italian family. I was thrilled to learn of these lighter ways of cooking these wonderful meals.

    I enjoyed hearing Gabriele and Debi’s story about growing up and their relationship with food. Debi says, “…New Yorkers talk about where your street could be a meeting place not just for people, but for aromas from seemingly all corners of the earth. There would be friend chicken from one window, spicy island dishes from another, and down the block something garlicky and peppery wafting out of an Italian’s houses. And all that might be in the air while I was thinking about the dinner I was about to have in China Town….

    When Debi turned 8 years old they moved to upstate N.Y….”We had neighbors in Woodstock who were form Northern Italy and it was at their house that I had my first taste of freshly made pasta, which was always hanging over drying racks…I always adored Italian cuisine and it’s well-honed use of ingredients…but meeting and falling for Gabriele, I discovered how much great food also comes from a desire to feed the ones you love.”

    Gabriele says, “The recipes collected here represent my deep, abiding love for how Tuscan’s approach cooking. It’s a region devoted to honoring fresh, natural ingredients using them sparingly but wisely, cooking them with respect they deserve and letting their flavor shine…Tuscan food is a language all to itself, and teaching that language as I was taught it by my family is what I hope to do with this book.”

    I like when Gabriele says, “I don’t believe good food needs to be expensive, or time-consuming. It doesn’t even always have to be one hundred percent handmade, especially when more and more grocery stores offer plenty of quality ingredients and prepared items.”

    They introduce themselves then they talk about the Tuscan Kitchen Essentials. Things that you should include in your pantry and refrigerator. Then they talk about cooking tools/appliances/vessels. In this section Debi says, “We are big believers in spending money on great ingredients over expensive gadgets…”

    The Chapters of this book are as follows Appetizers, Pasta and sauces, Risotto, Soups, Meat, Fish, Vegetables, Pizza, Panini, Desserts, Drinks.

    There are beautiful color pictures throughout the book. There are pictures of food and some of Gabrielle and Debi cooking and times with their family. It’s a fun combination. This book is not for beginners. You don't have to be a Chef to use and enjoy this book but they expect this to not be your first rodeo. Grin!

    They each have something to say before each section for example: Pasta and Sauces. Debi says, “Gabriele and I believe that pasta brings a family together at meal time like no other food. We get so much enjoyment out of the looks on our daughters faces when we dig into their favorite pastas that sometimes it feels like that bow of shells, and pesto, or penne and red sauce, is as Italian a way of saying, “I love you” as blurting out “Ti Amo!” Gabriele says, “Pasta is at the heart of so many of our fondest memories.”

    I liked the variety of dishes in this book. Some meals are for those days you have more time to prepare dinner than others. The dishes I made were Baked Pasta in Eggplant (I love eggplant and the picture of this in the book) Shrimp & Zucchini Risotto, Eggplant Parmesan, Sausage and beans (my family loves sausage) and Carnival Rice Fritters.

    I loved getting to know the personalities behind the show Extra Virgin and I LOVED these dishes. I can’t wait to make more of them. They reminded me of the Italian dishes I ate growing up. I liked that they were made with fresh ingredients and healthier. This is a beautiful hard back book with yummy recipes inside and fun chefs to hang out with. This book is a keeper or can be given as a gift. It’s a win-win for everyone.

    Nora St.Laurent

    TBCN Where Book Fun Begins

    The Book Club Network Blog

    Book Fun Magazine

  • Steven
    Jan 31, 2015

    I cannot get enough of this couple. Deborah and Gabrielle. Their passion for food and their descriptions of it's deliciousness will transport you to not only another world, but another world in another time. I read this book, like a novel. I settled down with a good cup of coffee in the morning, or a deep and rich glass of wine at night. While, I am not the best cook, this book for me was not just about the food. It was about living in their world. Imagining the beauty and priceless joy that mak

    I cannot get enough of this couple. Deborah and Gabrielle. Their passion for food and their descriptions of it's deliciousness will transport you to not only another world, but another world in another time. I read this book, like a novel. I settled down with a good cup of coffee in the morning, or a deep and rich glass of wine at night. While, I am not the best cook, this book for me was not just about the food. It was about living in their world. Imagining the beauty and priceless joy that making such delicious food from scratch, and from the heart, can bring.

    I hope to see more books from this duo. A lifestyle book. Home decor. So many possibilities. I love their show on the Cooking Channel, especially when they visit their family estate in Italy. For those of us chained to the hustle and bustle of a busy life, this book was almost a moment of zen and meditation. It's an escape to be enjoyed and savored. Just like their food.


Top Books is in no way intended to support illegal activity. We uses Search API to find the overview of books over the internet, but we don't host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners, please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them. Read our DMCA Policies and Disclaimer for more details.