Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pasta: Recipes & Techniques by Julia della Croce

book cover
Pasta: Recipes & Techniques
by Julia della Croce

ISBN-13: 9781581590487
Hardback: 168 pages
Publisher: Cooking Club of America
Released: 1999

Source: Borrowed from my local library.

Book Description:
Pasta-based recipes, and techniques for making fresh egg pasta.

My Review:
Pasta: Recipes & Techniques is a pasta-focused cookbook with some information on making fresh pasta at home. Many of the recipes included full-color pictures of the finished dish, but step-by-step pictures were rare and mainly included when discussing a new pasta-related technique. The recipes took up 102 pages of the 168 page book and covered over 120 recipes for: pasta soups, sauces, fresh pasta dishes, dried pasta dishes, dried pasta with uncooked sauces, stuffed pasta, baked pasta dishes, festive baked pasta dishes, gnocchi and dumplings, regional specialties, and pasta deserts.

The beginning of the book gave a short history of pasta and an overview of the different types of pasta dishes the book had recipes for. Next were pictures of a wide variety of pasta types and descriptions of what types of sauces or foods that they were best with. We're given a recipe for egg pasta dough and told how to roll it out using a roller-type pasta machine. We're also told how to cut pasta by hand or using pasta tools, how to make 9 types of colored/flavored fresh pasta, making stuffed pasta (ravioli, pansotti, caramelle, tortelli, tortellini), and the proper cooking and draining of pasta.

Overall, if you're comfortable with cooking and just want some basics to try for making pasta at home, then this book will provide that. I didn't see many recipes that appealed to me, but this wasn't an American-style pasta book but one more focused on actual Italian recipes. (Though I didn't see recipes for the pasta dishes I tried and liked while briefly visiting Italy.) Anyway, my main goal was to learn more about making fresh and stuffed pastas at home, and this gave me the tips I needed to get started.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

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