Favorite Italian dishes updated for the home cook. What's the best way to prevent ricotta cheesecake from becoming watery? Is there a trick for coaxing more flavor from basil when making pesto? Does bread flour self-raising flour make better pizza dough? In an exhaustive effort to answer these questions and hundreds more, the editors of "Cook's Illustrated" magazine have conducted hundreds of kitchen tests. The result is "Italian Classics", a 496-page award-winning cookbook packed with recipes, food tastings, equipment testings, and cooking tips straight from the Cook's Illustrated test kitchen. Designed with the home cook in mind, this collection of classic Italian recipes has been stripped to the bone and then reworked, updated, and improved so that each recipe is as close to foolproof as we can make it. More than 300 recipes cover the wide range of Italian home cooking, from Tuscan pork roast, and risotto, to tomato and bread soup, vegetable lasagne, and strawberries with balsamic vinegar. Learn to cook less well-known regional recipes such as steak Fiorentina, baked peaches stuffed with amaretti, and stracotto, an Italian pot roast. "Italian Classics" also contains more than 225 illustrations that will show you techniques such as how to peel garlic cloves quickly, how to roll out pasta dough, and how to assemble tiramisu. The book also includes dozens of no-nonsense equipment ratings and taste tests of supermarket ingredients. Find out why American pastas are every bit as good as Italian brands, which grater makes quick work of Parmesan cheese, and which electronic scale is our "best buy". You will also learn which type of pork chop - centre-cut or rib - is best for cooking and what the difference is between pancetta and bacon.