Written by Laura Santtini
Learn the rules of Italian cooking and then break them to create magical dishes, with this unique and empowering book from Laura Santtini.
Laura Santtini’s passion for food comes from her Italian grandmother and her parents who launched the Italian restaurant Santini’s in Belgravia, (which was famed for being Frank Sinatra’s all-time favourite eatery). As an avid cook she has mastered the skills required in transforming every day Italian dishes into unforgettable and simply magical food. Here in this book, she divulges all her secrets and demystifies all the elemental cooking methods – from boiling and poaching to grilling, roasting and slow cooking.
In section one of the book, Laura reveals the secrets of her larder and how to make the most of the powers of umami, the recently identified fifth taste. She then delves into the potential of basic procedures and preparations such as whipping, chopping and pounding, in order to create ‘flavour bombs’ – intense combinations of ingredients that lift simple recipes to new heights of deliciousness. For example she covers a simple recipes such as a red wine marinade before revealing seven spectacular transformations of the original, including mocha chilli barbeque or orange anchovy and cinnamon marinade. Her basic recipes for salsa rossa evolves into pink grapefruit, fennel and pomegranate relish whilst a basil pesto is altered to create a more refreshing rocket, mint and pistachio pesto.
This form of laying out recipes continues into the second section, which covers cooking methods described as Air (antipasti, carpaccio, ceviche and dips), Water (soups, pastas and sauces, risotto and poaching), Fire (grilling, frying, baking and roasting) and Earth (slow cooking and vegetable dishes). Recipe highlights include beef tagliata with radicchio and black chocolate elixir, salmon and rose carpaccio and sweet lavender parsnips. In the ’12 quick and easy desserts’ section, parmesan ice cream with balsamic strawberries and black pepper is more than enough to get your juices running.
Laura Santtini’s honest and encouraging voice is present from start to finish alongside a distinctive layout and plenty of quirky imagery. Easy, Tasty Italian is certainly more than just your average Italian cookery book. It’s a truly original book that will equip you with not only the fundamentals of Italian cooking but also an inspirational wave of fantastical recipes and ideas.
Priced at £20, published by Quadrille.
Written by: Leila Sarraf