When Mario Batali calls your restaurant "the best meal of true Italian deliciousness" eaten outside of the boot, you know you've got something good going on. Marc Vetri, the chef behind an expanding empire of Philadelphia restaurants, turns out the kinds of meals that warrant such a compliment, not to mention a visit to Philly.
In his latest cookbook, Rustic Italian Food, Vetri shares his take on hands-on Italian fare: crusty loaves of bread, pizzas with perfectly charred crusts, recipes for homemade salumi, and so many glorious pastas.
Batali files Rustic Italian Food in the reference category and we're going to agree. Vetri's chapters on pasta-making, preserving, and meat-curing are thorough, informative, and approachable which is something that's indispensable when tackling high level kitchen projects.