Book Review – Autentico by Rolando Beramendi

I collect cookbooks, especially Italian cookbooks, and I honestly have lost count of how many Italian cookbooks I now have written both in Italian and English. I read cookbooks like other folks read novels, and when I receive a new cookbook in the mail, it will sit on my coffee table for at least a week as I read, reread, and then decide which recipes I want to try out in my kitchen. Of course, out of the hundreds of cookbooks on my shelves, I have a handful of favorite Italian cookbooks that I seem to turn to often for inspiration. When Autentico arrived, and I started to browse through it, I knew instantly that it would be on my shelf of favorites. Being an Italian food lover, nothing inspires me more than someone also passionate about Italian cuisine, which is experienced on every page of this cookbook. If you love Italian cuisine, want to learn more about Italian food, or merely enjoy rustic, delicious recipes, than I can highly recommend this book!

I usually sit with a package of post-it type of book markers to mark all the recipes I want to try from each book as I read through it. When Autentico arrived in the mail, I was excited to delve into it and got out my package of post-it markers to keep track of interesting recipes, but I soon realized that the markers were going to be useless to me as I was marking page after page of amazing sounding recipes to try. The recipes in Autentico are rustic, simple Italian recipes, made with seasonal ingredients. These are recipes that everyone will enjoy, and are the kind of Italian recipes I have grown to embrace over the years. This cookbook is also interesting to read, as Mr. Beramendi takes you on a journey throughout Italy with dishes originating from many different regions. The chapters on ingredients are very in depth, and explain precisely what ingredients every good Italian cook should have in their pantry and what to look for when buying them. This makes a lot of sense since Mr. Beramendi has traveled Italy sourcing out the very best ingredients for his company.

Table of Contents

There is an introduction by Ina Garten who states that Rolando Beramendi exudes enthusiasm, and his passion for food is truly seen on every page of this cookbook. Mr. Beramendi also explains how his palette for the best Italian ingredients developed and how he collected these recipes through his travels across Italy. The chapters are categorized into easy to follow sections including;

The Pantry
Ready To Use
To Begin With
Now, For A First Course
As A Main Course
To Accompany
To Finish

The recipes are well organized and easy to follow, and many recipes have a story which is something I love to read. For me, nothing makes a recipe more real than to learn where it originated from. The ingredients are for the most part common ingredients available to everyone and are clearly listed at the left of each recipe. Instructions are divided into paragraphs and follow an orderly progression and are written concisely. The photos in Autentico accompany almost every recipe and are truly drool-worthy.

Samples of unique, inspiring recipes include:

Tuscan Ragu, My Way
Pizza Without A Crust
Fennel Braised In Chianti
Fregola Sarda with Shrimp, Peas, and Asparagus
Neapolitan Meat and Mashed Potato Pie
Fish Stew From Abruzzo
Peached in Chianti with Black Pepper and Basil
Panettone Bread Pudding

Tested Recipes

Stewed Sweet Red Peppers (Peperonata)
I love sweet bell peppers and use them often in my cooking. This recipe is similar to my Sweet & Sour Peppers but I wanted to give it a try. The recipe was easy to follow and turned out delicious, and we enjoyed it as a starter with some creamy goat cheese and crusty Italian bread. These peppers are addictive though, so if cooking for a bunch of people, you’ll want to double the recipe!

Mixed Winter Greens and Beans (Misticanza Abruzzese)
This type of dish is the kind my husband loves, and we enjoyed it as a main course one evening with a loaf of crusty Italian bread. It is rustic Italian cooking at its finest, and one I’ll often be making in the future.

The Greenest Pasta
As soon as I saw this recipe I knew I had to make it for my husband who loves greens so much he could eat them daily. It includes a variety of greens mixed with pasta and seasoned with garlic, lemon, and parmesan cheese. If you love greens as much as we do, this recipe is a must to try. Hearty, robust flavors made of ingredients to nourish the body!

Autentico: Cooking Italian The Authentic Way
Author: Rolando Beramendi
Hardcover: 361 Pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 978-1-250-12497-5

To Order, Click On The Image Below!

Autentico: Cooking Italian, the Authentic Way

Deborah Mele 2017