Nigel Slater is always my go-to food writer - Appetite, Real Food, Real Cooking. Real Food was the book that really got me into cooking once my wife and I started dating and I realised I'd have to cook for her! Hugh F-W's Meat book is fantastic and always seems to have the advice I'm looking for. Delia's How To Cook is handy for basic stuff, and Gary Rhodes' New British Classics one is full of textbook stuff on soups/stocks/roasts etc Also Locatelli's Made In Italy has huge sections (almost too much!) on Italian classics. I think the risotto section is about 60 pages long!