All the essential techniques, profusely illustrated with step-by-step photographs. How do you recognize a San Marzano tomato? How do you shape tortellini? How do you cut scallopine? Everyone loves Italian food, but the ingredients and techniques can be new territory and plain recipes can take you only so far. To make sense of it all, you need La Cucina Italiana. With more than 3,000 step-by-step photographs, this veritable encyclopedia guides you through all the essential building blocks of this cuisine. The images remove the guesswork from the more than 500 recipes included, allowing you to truly master the art of Italian cooking. Reflecting the philosophy of the cuisine itself, La Cucina Italiana puts ingredients first, explaining the different types and the best use of each. Then it supplies you with multiple methods for preparing those ingredients, ranging from simple to complex. Thus the book is suitable both for beginners and more advanced chefs who want to perfect their techniques. Sprinkled throughout are sidebars such as "The Right Tool," "Chef’s Secrets," and "Advice and Tips." Perhaps the most user-friendly publication ever on Italian cooking, La Cucina Italiana is like a compact cooking school you can keep on your shelf.