cover image The Best Pasta Sauces: Favorite Regional Italian Recipes

The Best Pasta Sauces: Favorite Regional Italian Recipes

Micol Negrin. Ballantine, $28 (256p) ISBN 978-0-345-54714-9

Negrin (Rustico), founder of Manhattan-based Rustico Cooking, explores the wide array of pasta preparation, journeying across Italy's 20 regions to showcase the best each has to offer. With innumerable varieties of sizes and shapes, pasta's a staple that can be served as a side dish or as a main course, and while it may seem like a simple task, Negrin shares ten rules to truly cook it right. She also provides a tutorial on cooking equipment, saucing, wine pairing suggestions, matching pasta shapes with their ideal sauces, and ten must-have ingredients. She groups recipes by region, providing a brief description to the area's approach and specialties along with several recipes for tempting sauces. Negrin highlights key local ingredients from Val D'Aosta's fontina to Ligurian pesto to Calabrese pork. Piedmont's potato, onion, and fontina sauce with pancetta, the Marches' sausage and cabbage sauces, and Abruzzo's sweet pepper and lamb ragu with rosemary show the diversity and appeal of these dishes. Sidebars on salt, cooking with wine, and using canned tuna provide insight into the way Italians incorporate prized ingredients into their cooking. Negrin's recipes will transport back to Italy those lucky enough to have spent time there, and for those who haven't, she offers the opportunity to enjoy authentic Italian pasta and sauce in their own homes. Agent: Judith Riven, Judith Riven Literary Agency (Oct.)