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Chef Vetri, winner of multiple James Beard awards, presents "the ins and outs of rustic Italian food the way I cook it." This is Italian home cooking for the serious home cook: those who are willing to devote time and technique in order to create quality Italian dishes. Clearly, the author wants us to learn. He is passionate about bread and pasta, to which he devotes lengthy chapters that are tutorials for the serious home cook on sourcing and using ingredients as well as instruction (with numerous photos) on technique. For example, to get the most out of Chef's bread recipes, you're going to want to make and nourish your own starter, and he tells us how to do so.
The Kindle formatting is excellent: clickable TOC, index, embedded recipes, sourcing websites. There are many gorgeous color photos, often including ingredients and technique.
The books ingredients are accessible to anyone who has a good grocery store, knows how to amazon such ingredients as 00 and durum flour, and has access to a good butcher. The author almost always provides not only sourcing suggestions, including specific brand names, but also real-life substitutions. No pasta extruder attachment? Store-bought boxed pasta is fine. Although he loves the Farmers' Market, he calls for canned tomatoes on occasion, and he's adamant that store-bought Forno Bonomi ladyfingers are better than homemade for tiramisu. In addition to abundant information about ingredients provided with the recipes themselves, the book also contains an excellent "Sources" chapter clickable to purveyors' websites.
As for the recipes, Chef Vetri is passionate about salumi, about which an entire chapter becomes a tutorial on ingredients, preparation, and storage, with many photos demonstrating technique in sausage-making. If you love to experiment with meat cookery, you'll want to try the brining technique he outlines in his meat chapter--not to mention spit-roasting a suckling pig (he tells you where to find a spit, a pig, and then provides several pages of instructions for both).
I own six Italian cookbooks, have read dozens of others from my public library, and this is, in my opinion, one of the very best for the serious home cook.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I lived in Italy for 17 years, and I recognize in it the sure touch of someone who cooks all"Italiana. I would not recommend this as a first Italian cookbook, but anyone experienced in cooking Italian food will likely treasure it.