It’s the Little Things that Count
Autentico: Cooking Italian, the Authentic Way
By Rolando Beramendi
St. Martin’s Press, 2017
Rolando Beramendi, enthusiastic cook and founder of Oakland-based Italian food importer Manicaretti, has published a very good cookbook that’s about much more than pasta. Drawing on his experience as a trusted purveyor of Italian foods, he focuses on the ingredients and preparations that can make Italian food so special and distinctive.
The 364 pages include a forward by Ina Garten, one of many chefs Beramendi has taken to Italy to meet the families and farmers from whom he buys his inventory. San Francisco photographer Laurie Frankel supplies colorful images of Italian landscapes, food, friends, and family. Extensive sections on what to include in your pantry are particularly helpful. Learn about the differences in canned tomatoes, the special taste of Sicilian pistachios, and the seven basic tools a cook should have on hand for preparing these recipes (Beramendi is a minimalist).
Among the 120 recipes, you’ll find Tellicherry Black Pepper Beef Stew, Pork Belly with Wild Fennel (includes more of those Tellicherry peppercorns found in many of Beramendi’s dishes), Risotto with Radicchio, and a lamb stew redolent with a rich mix of spices.… Read More