cover image Sauces & Shapes: Pasta the Italian Way

Sauces & Shapes: Pasta the Italian Way

Oretta Zanini De Vita and Maureen B. Fant. Norton, $39.95 (400p) ISBN 978-0-3930-8243-2

Picking up where the Encyclopedia of Pasta (2009) left off, this manifesto on Italian noodles is meant to provide recipes for home cooks preparing dishes in modern kitchens. While the previous work focused on cataloguing and describing Italian pasta, this book is meant to help those out outside of Italy cook like Italians. With sections on every step of making pasta dishes—e.g., the types of wheat employed, the various forms and how to create them, how to cook the noodles properly, when and how to add sauce, which ingredients to have in the pantry, and which equipment is necessary to get the best results—every aspect of making one of the world’s favorite comfort foods is covered. Of course, no noodle would be complete without the right condimento (anything that goes on a noodle), and this cookbook covers those in great detail as well. From “last-minute sauces,” made primarily with ingredients one has lying around, to fresh vegetable, herb, and mushroom sauces, selected based on which ingredients are in season; fish and seafood sauces; and meat sauces, you can go months without ever repeating a dish. The book also contains helpful hints, like which sauces taste better when prepared a day before serving and which wines pair well with each dish. (Oct.)