Antonio Carluccio is the greedy Italian who launched the popular restaurant chain and has graced cooking programs for as long as I can remember.
He encapsulates everything that's synonymous with Italian cooking, big, colourful and a stickler for tradition.
They are three words which could just as easily be applied to his newest recipe book, The Collection, a hefty volume which documents 300 of his favourite recipes.
From the spinach balls he invented himself 25 years ago, the panzanella his mother cooked him as a child because it was cheap, to traditional Sicilian recipes that have been around for hundreds of years, it almost serves a history of his own journey through Italian food.
Whilst the expected traditional dishes are present the vast majority of recipes in the book try to bring the reader a new selection of Italian food that you won't find in the typical Italian restaurants on the high street.
An extensive and imaginative section on Antipasti provides many unusual suggestions, such as buttered chestnuts and the pages on Italian pickling give the serious foodie a good project for a rainy weekend.
This extensive book could easily feel impersonal as it covers so much ground, however, splattered with quotes from Carluccio's own experiences it becomes a warm, colourful guide.
There are serving suggestions, introductions to the origins of particular dishes but ultimately you get the impression this is simply a collection of the foods he likes to eat, as unedited, larger-than-life and big (on flavour) as he is.
His meticulous eye for detail and love of food pours from the pages as he suggests the best ingredients, some of which, Alpine butter, Ceps and Cardoon (artichoke thistle), will be tricky to find in the local Tesco.
Carluccio himself doesn't have this problem of course, as we see him in the forest foraging for mushrooms then happily rushing home to cook and eat them with all the glee of a child whose just raided the local sweetshop.
Recipes that caught my eye were Black Angel Hair with Scallops, Rice Bomb with Truffle, Ricotta Dumplings with Porcini Sauce and the majestic looking 'Polenta on the table'. Importantly, all of which felt achievable, no-one wants a book full of intimidating dishes they wouldn't dare try to replicate.
The highest praise for this book is that it made my stomach rumble, my mouth water and me want to get straight into the kitchen and start cooking.
Whilst The Silver Spoon has long been regarded as the bible for Italian cooking, The Collection is like being handed down a true Italian Nonna's own kitchen notes. Simple, uncomplicated cooking and you just know every recipe is going to be delicious.
Buy this book here