Every year there are countless new Italian cookbooks published, and often with very little to set them apart from the others already lining crowded bookshelves. After all, how many recipes for basic marinara sauce, tomato and mozzarella salad, or meatballs does a person need?
But if you are a more experienced home cook looking to elevate your repertoire of Italian dishes, then “Rustic Italian Food” by Marc Vetri is one title you need to add to your ccookbook collection. Marc is one of the most acclaimed chefs in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the owner of several highly regarded Italian restaurants in the city including Amis, Osteria and of course his namesake, Vetri. In his 2011 cookbook, he not only shares versions of some of the most popular recipes from his restaurants but truly educates the reader on the art of authentic rustic Italian cooking.
Yes, there are recipes for pizza—but we’re talking the fine details as to making them Neapolitan versus Roman style, including how to prepare your own bread starter for frequent baking at home. And yes, there are pasta recipes but they too are intriguingly different, such as Rigatoni with Chicken Livers, Cipollini Onions and Sage and Veal Cannelloni with Porcini Bechamel. There is a lengthy section on preparing your own dry-cured salami and sausages, and another chapter on preserves and mostarda, just like a home cook in Italy would prepare for family and friends.
All in all there are 120 recipes in this cookbook to challenge and inspire the home cook who wants to learn more about Italian food and push their skills in the kitchen to new heights. Beautiful photographs will tempt you to want to try even the most complicated dishes, and Marc’s stories throughout are funny and enlightening, covering not just his trips to Italy to learn about food but what it was like to compete on Iron Chef America (which Vetri won, by the way!) I give this cookbook a hearty thumbs up and encourage all lovers of Italian cooking and food to check it out.Buy Now