Cooking Up an Italian Life


Ranked in Top Ten Italian Cooking and Wine Books by Italian Cooking

Cooking Up an Italian Life is the ultimate celebration of the marvelous courtship between Italian food and life. It brings la vita bella home with complete meals at a glance, cooking lessons, wine pairings, and a happy narrative of cooking, loving, and marrying in Italy.

With “I Brake for Italians,” “Taking Time to Smell the Pasta,” “What I Learned About Life from the Risotto King of Milan,” and other spirited essays, author Sharon Sanders escorts readers into the Italy that is in everyone’s kitchen.

Keenly aware of how sharing food enhances daily living, and in tune with the simplicity people crave today, she shares nearly 200 recipes made from seasonal produce, imported basics, and ingredients found in any supermarket. Most recipes are designed as complete meals at a glance. For special times, dozens of appetizer and dessert recipes are included, as add-ons to the core dinners.

Cooks who are ready for more ambitious Italian kitchen projects may turn to the chapter “Capturing Summer Flavors for All Meals” or to cooking lessons such as “Making Rustic Bread” and “Making Fresh Egg Pasta.” The affordable wine recommendations enable everyone to raise a glass and offer a hearty salute to the spirit of Italy that resides in all of us.

More Praise for Cooking Up an Italian Life

“Sharon’s passion and affection for the people, customs, and foods of Italy are so delightfully infectious they’ll make you want to cook up an Italian life for yourself.”

  • Dorie Greenspan, award-winning author Baking with Julia

“[Sanders] emphasis is on freshness and purity of flavor. . . .The formulas are straightforward and wholesome. And, ohhhh, so good tasting.”

  • Marilynn Marter, The Philadelphia Inquirer

“If Italophile ever made it inot Webster’s Dictionary — defined as one who is not Italian yet possesses an unabashed passion for all things Italian — you can be you’d find Sanders’ picture next to it.”

  • Janet Rausa Fuller, The Chicago Sun-Times

“The book is an attractive, easy-to-use-and-read compilation of recipes, tips and food lore interspersed with anecdotes. . . .In addition to being useful and entertaining, the book is timely.”

  • Joanna Poncavage, The Morning Call

“This is a book one can read from cover to cover as though it were a novel. It is well-written and gives us a new perspective on Italian food. . .I highly recommend this book and I am happy to have it as a part of my culinary library.”

  •’s pick of the month

“I love Sharon Sanders’ no-nonsense approach to Italian cooking. Her recipes are clear and easy to follow. The food reminds me of all that is best about Italian cooking—simplicity, freshness, and great seasoning. The stories of the author’s trips to Italy and excellent wine notes complete what will become a real classic of Italian cooking literature.”

  • Nick Malgieri CCP, award-winning author Cookies Unlimited and Chocolate

“. . .Homecooks in particular will find this book smart and kitchen friendly. The uncomplicated recipes come paired to make a meal.
Sanders does a good job of guidance with constant cooking tips, creative substitutions, and wine suggetinos. Most recipes probably can be on the table in under an hour.”

  • Nancy K. Allen, Foreword magazine