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Cookbook 13: Silver Spoon

The Silver Spoon came on the market about 7 years ago. It claimed to be the Italian “Joy of Cooking,” a basic in every Italian cucina for 100 years. However, I later learned that this was not true, in fact there were many other go to classic cookbooks before this one in Italy for the new bride. The claim that The Silver Spoon was the translated version of the only classic was merely a clever marketing ploy. Pretty genius idea, huh? Everyone had to own this Italian classic. With all that said it really is a great cookbook, it even teaches you how to butcher meat ” Italian ” style. I also think it’s kind of cool that the illustrations are typical of Italian style preparation. This is a great go to Italian cookbook, well priced and chocked full of useful information, even if it was highly marketed, it deserves the hype.

Here’s a lovely classic recipe from the cookbook:

Milanese Minestrone


  • 40g / 11/2 oz lardoons or pancetta, diced
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 sprig fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 celery stick
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled, de-seeded and diced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 potatoes, chopped
  • 2 courgettes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 200g / 7 oz (1 ¾ cups) shelled peas
  • 1/2 Savoy cabbage, shredded
  • 100g / 31/2 oz (3/4 cup) fresh shelled borlotti beans
  • 100g / 31/2 oz (1/2 cup) long-grain rice
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Salt
  • Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, to serve


  • Finely chop the lardons with the garlic and onion. When the mixture is quite fine, add the parsley and celery and chop.
  • Put the mixture into a saucepan, add the tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, courgettes and oil and pour in 2 litres / 3 ½ pints water.
  • Season with salt and bring to the boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat and cook for at least 2 hours.
  • Add the peas, beans and cabbage, simmer for 15 minutes, then add the rice and simmer, stirring occasionally, for a further 18 minutes until it is tender.
  • Stir in the herbs, ladle into a soup tureen and serve with plenty of Parmesan.

    *note: This minestrone should be fairly thick. It is excellent hot, but it is also good served warm or cold in the summer.

    buy the silver spoon here

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