Cover Image: Big Love Cooking

Big Love Cooking

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Member Reviews

I don't often recommend cookbooks for Reader's Advisory or Library Reads lists because, well, they're cookbooks and usually not all that interesting to fully read. 

Big Love Cooking is different.

Joey Campanaro has produced a cookbook that is fun to read as well as full of delicious recipes. Reading this is like being invited to the warmth, noise, and chaotic love of the Campanaro Sunday table. I married into a family much like Campanaro's where food traditions reign supreme. The family has changed in the 35 years I've been with my husband, but the food remains the same. 

There is a great balance of story and instruction here, with many of the recipes containing little asides from Campanaro regarding how to prepare the food. It makes you feel as though he's right there next to you and encouraging you to try a little of this, or taste a little of that. This approach is entertaining for the experienced cook, but also very helpful for the new cook who may not have the confidence to deviate from the recipe. Campanaro "Big Love" approach just might help that new cook become more confident.

The personal stories of Campanaro's family are entertaining and endearing. I think every Italian family has a set of "Uncle Frankie's wine glasses" (and an Uncle Frankie!). For my family, they were individual hourglass-shaped glasses that originally held little shrimp cocktails. My father-in-law would fill them with his homemade wine and pass them out every holiday. And the "Old-School Salit" is my mother-in-law 100% - I *still* haven't mastered the ratio of oil and vinegar poured directly on the "salit."

The recipes, though, are the stars here. The "Little Owl Gravy Meatball Sliders" and "Sesame Seed Breadsticks" are amazing, and the directions for the "Sunday Gravy" are authentic and easy to follow. What really makes this book shine, though, are the recipes from Campanaro's Little Owl restaurant. Horseradish Crusted Cod, Asparagus Homefries, Crab Cakes with Beefsteak Tomatoes, Little Owl Pork Chop, and so many more. 

This will make a lovely gift for the cook in your life. Highly recommended.
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Oh my I spent a lazy 3 hours on the sofa reading this delicious cookbook, Joey Campanaro’s life story is also included in the book. He describes beautifully his childhood in NYC, his Mona’s (grandmother) influence and inspiration on his life and how it shaped him to become an amazing chef.  I have an hearing to visit Little Owl even though I live in I adored this book so much that I have pre-order the hard copy and I just can’t wait to be able to sit and reread the hard copy form... this book has inspired me to finally take the step and make my own pasta something I have wanted to do for a long time but didn’t  have the confidence.
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This book is just full of wonderful food to share.  There are chapters on Brunch, Soups and Salads, Vegetables, Pasta, Meat and Poultry, Fish and Seafood, Sunday Supper, and Desserts. 

There are many photos inside that provide a sense of the origins of the recipes for this author. There are also photos of the food that will make readers hungry.   The author is inspired by his New York City based, West Village, restaurant Little Owl.  His story is told in the introduction. 

The book opens with a chapter that suggests the things that one might want to have in a pantry.  And then, come the recipes.  Fontina Sausage Biscuits, anyone?  How about a Warm Radicchio, Pancetta and Gorgonzola Salad or one with Spinach, Avocado and Strawberries with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing? There are so many other recipes in this book as well, seventy-five in all.  Just to name a few; Baked Eggplant Parmesan, Baked Ricotta Crespelle and My Mother's Ziti in the pasta section.  Keep paging through until you get to desserts like Birthday Rum Cake and Philly Cheesecake with Blueberry Agave Sauce.

This is a very personal feeling cookbook that will leave readers hungry!  Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title in exchange for an honest review.
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Big Love Cooking by Joey Campanaro is a lovely collection of comfort food dishes from Joey's  Little Owl restaurant in Greenwich Village.    A lot of the dishes originated in his mother's Italian kitchen in south Philadelphia others are Joey's own creations of savory dishes .  There are 75 recipes  covering breakfast, lunch and dinner. and lovely pictures of many of the dishes.    

I was blown away by the number of appetizing  recipes included in this book and I intend to try many of them. starting with Italian Wedding Soup,      I also am excited to try Joey's special Farfalle with Broccoli Rabe Pesto, ((a dish Joey created in honor of his father)  or  the warm Radicchio with Pancetta and Gorgonzola,.   And how could one not try the Little Owl Pork Chop,    

Although I am an experienced cook, myself, I learned a lot from Joey about how to make food more savory and delicious starting with his Harrison Spice Mix, but also his pickled red onion and pickled fennel.   I don't know Joey Campanaro, but I sure would like to meet him some day.  His love of cooking is contagious.

Mike Potashnik
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If anything, the title says it all: these recipes are full of love, and all the food is satisfying, shareable, and the definition of comfort food. I adore all of these recipes and am SO excited to try these out!
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A lovely cookbook with a nice variety of recipes, including many that are vegetarian friendly. It is also a pleasure to sit and read on it's own. Underneath all the food is a love letter to the author's childhood and family, and to South Philadelphia where he was raised. Each recipe is preceded by a short history of the food or a story of it's relevance to the author. The recipes themselves are written in a conversational style, with steps broken down into short paragraphs, but not numbered or bulleted, which might be a challenge for some readers. As an Italian-American, many of the dishes are familiar to me, but with alterations that I hadn't considered or are not the way my family makes it. I'm excited to continue to try these and see how they match up to my family's traditions. Just don't tell my nonna.
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This is a well written, thought out cookbook. All the recipes are amazing and very easy to follow. I cook mostly vegetarian meals but after looking at some of these dishes I think I'll be changing it up! 

Caution: Don't read while hungry, you may leave drool marks on the pages! 

Thank you so much for the advanced copy.
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Fabulous!  Full of recipes that I can actually attempt to make! I also love the humerus bits in between some of the recipes, and also the fact that the ingredients are listed on the left and the recipe and it’s entirety is included on the right… Very helpful when I am cooking. 

Thanks to NetGalley, the author and publisher for an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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If you ever visit my house you may notice that I have a big bookshelf full of cookbooks in my kitchen.  I love browsing through cookbooks and bookmarking recipes that I want to try.  And occasionally, I even get around to trying them.   I love cookbooks with easy to follow recipes and great photography. 

Big Love Cooking by Joey Campanaro definitely fits the bill.  This cook book contains 75 recipes inspired by the cuisine at his popular NYC restaurant Little Owl.   There are many Italian recipes in this book for anything from brunch fare to soup and salad, veggies, main courses and desserts.   I probably bookmarked around 20 recipes on my first go through the book and added a few ingredients to my online shopping cart so I can try out some of them.  Up first we will try the snickerdoodles with salted caramel and the halibut with pesto.   

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for approachable yet elevated Italian fare inspiration.
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Big Love Cooking by Joey Campanaro is an amazing cookbook by the owner of Little Owl Restaurant in New York City.  The book provides 75 recipes, including the pork chop and parmesan butter beans, one of Little Owl's most popular dishes.  There is a recipe for the spice mix Campanaro uses in many of Little Owl's dishes, as well as brunch, lunch, dinner, and dessert recipes.  What I loved most are the stories that accompany the recipes.  Campanaro tells us all about his family, life, and restaurant as he teaches us how to make delicious food.

Many of the recipes are complicated, but I feel will be worth the effort and will make me a more experienced cook.  I will definitely buy a hard copy of this one.  

I received a digital copy from the publishers via NetGalley.  My review is voluntary.
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I can't cook most of these recipes (Campanaro loves his meat and I cook mostly vegetarian, and I also cook gluten free, which this book is definitely not) but that doesn't stop me from appreciating everything about it. The author is a celebrated chef with several restaurants (The Tiny Owl is the one most often mentioned in this book, which happens to be downstairs from the famous apartment from Friends). He talks often of his Italian American upbringing in Philadelphia and the book is filled with stories, memories, cooking lessons, and amazing food that will take you hours to cook but will be worth it. Color photos accompany about half the recipes. A fantastic resource.

I read a temporary digital ARC of this book for review.
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Wow! What a well-written cook book with so many different options. I absolutely love the variety in this cook book and that it incorporates comfort food with health! I cannot wait to put some of these recipes to the test.
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Caution: Do not read while hungry. Everything sounds delicious!

This cookbook is for serious eaters. And serious chefs! 

I love the format - with straight talk about ingredients and cooking essentials. I love the stories behind the chef and his recipes.  I love the photography - of the food and of the Little Owl restaurant. And I love the range of categories and recipes within each. 

What I do not love is the amount of cooking required for each recipe. Ha! I would love to eat at Little Owl. And I would love to have Joey Campanaro cook for me any day of the week. I’m just not sure that I am up for cooking any of these recipes myself. The nuances and details are all perfect ... it just seems like a lot of work for the average home cook. Still, the cookbook would be a wonderful addition to any collection.
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Beautiful, well-organized cookbook with mouth-watering pictures. I can't wait to try out some of these recipes!!
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Nice book! Very well organized and the photos are mouth-watering! It looks like a grandma cookbook! There are some recipes that I would try to recreate but honestly I would prefer going to their restaurant to eat it there. The recipes seems a little hard for everyday cooking, I would make them for special occasions. The instructions are long but well explained. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review
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I wasn’t familiar with the Little Owl restaurant before hearing about this book. I’m now absolutely sure that I’d love to eat there.

I wanted to check out this cookbook because the Pork Chop with Parmesan Butter Beans sounded amazing. And wait till you see the picture.

Speaking of pictures, I sound like a broken record but I always think cookbooks could benefit from more pictures. That’s the case here too.

I thought many of the recipes sounded delicious but some of then sounded like a major time investment. So, this cookbook is geared more towards people willing to put extra time into making a really nice dinner. I love to cook, and I respect that time investment, but I’d like to just go to his restaurant and eat the amazing Looking dish with manicotti style crepes. 

I liked the way the recipes included little stories. They had a little paragraph or so of a back story, it was interesting without being too much.

The way the chef “talks” makes me feel like I can trust him to explain the recipes’ steps to me.

There’s a green bean recipe called Sesame Green Beans that I may try tonight .

I got to read an early ebook edition from NetGalley. Thank you!
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Let’s just say I hope this tiny little restaurant made it through this pandemic because I can’t say enough about this cookbook. I would love to sit at a table and order some of these mouth watering recipes. I am so absolutely amazed and hungry after making it through this cookbook not to mention humbled. 

What did I like? I’m Italian food lover at heart and the combination of, and stories just make this a wonderful book. There is all sorts of tidbits and founts of information in this book that just make me want it, not to mention the mouth watering pictures. The author also includes stories of his child hood and how the Little Owl restaurant came to be. How to butcher a chicken, and a cute song playlist. I just fell in love with this cookbook and added to my wish list on amazon! It doesn’t come out until September but I can’t wait to try the recipes.

Would I recommend or buy? YES...YES...YES. It’s on my buy list and I’m definitely getting a copy. All the recipes look delicious and it’s a five star recommendation too. The stories pull me in, the recipes look amazing, and given the fact that you could potentially visit the restaurant just makes this a winning combo. I just fangirl it... looks positively divine.

Thoughts for the author? I would love a signed copy! I rarely get an author to respond to my reviews but it does occasionally occur ...but this is one author I would love a copy from. Five amazing cookbook stars. Loved everything about it. Thanks so much for a sneak peek! Thanks to the publisher for an ARC to read and give my honest opinion!
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This cookbook was more than just a "cookbook." In addition to crisp/clean photography and being well-organized, I loved the shoutouts to mom/mom-mom, the photos from the past/present, and the anecdotes. Campanaro celebrates big love cooking...and bringing people together for a delicious meal-- because that's what eating and living well are all about. I'm looking forward to trying out more than a few recipes. In fact...I'm hungry now.
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When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is closed and you are in #COVID19 #socialisolation,  superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. (I have played a "zillion games" of scrabble, done a "zillion crosswords" and I AM BORED!!!)

I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.  

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.

What is Big Love Cooking?

Big love is the ritual of gathering around a communal table to share a delicious meal.

For Joey Campanaro, big love cooking is his mother and grandmother hovering over the stove every Sunday, nursing a bubbling pot of red sauce, and filling the house with the familiar, irresistible scent of garlic, tomatoes, and carne.

Warm and inviting, Joey's first cookbook Big Love Cooking is an ode to the generous, comforting dishes found at his renowned restaurant Little Owl in New York City. With helpful, conversational advice and crowd-pleasing recipes, this cookbook is a return to hearty platters and comfort food. Welcome home.

I love this book - if nothing else, a #selfisolation #COVID19 panic makes home and cooking ... once we can find ingredients! The recipes are scrumptious and I can see this book sitting on the top of my stove exhaust vent for a long long time as I cook my way through it. (Why the vent? It is eye-level as I have an apartment size stove and fridge ... regular-sized baking sheets do not fit in it - no wonder I cook mostly in my Instantpot. And these recipes can easily be adapted and made in said pot.) Loved that the photos were beautiful despite the 
copyright marks throughout book .. do people really try and pass these off as their own?

A great book for every cook to have on their shelves...or exhaust vent. 

As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube  Millionaires/etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🥘🥘🥘🥘🥘
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I really liked this cookbook, especially due to all the yummy recipes and great photos. It's a bit pasta oriented, but as a pasta lover, I didn't mind at all. One of the recipes I'd love to try is the Spaghetti and Clams, and I'm really tempted to purchase a physical copy of this book.
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