cover image The Complete Book of Pasta and Noodles

The Complete Book of Pasta and Noodles

. Clarkson N Potter Publishers, $32.5 (496pp) ISBN 978-0-609-60064-1

Hot on the heels of a James Beard Award for The Cook's Illustrated Complete Book of Poultry comes this encyclopedic guide to pasta and noodles. While not quite as inspired as the poultry book, this effort is nevertheless a most welcome entry--even a daring one in these days when carbs are the bad boys of the food world. The recipes are for the most part simplicity itself and, although many of the dishes are familiar Italian classics, are varied enough to merit an enthusiastic response. Such fare as Linguine with Lemon-Dill Pesto and Penne with Ricotta Salata and Black Olives are suitable for side dishes. Fettuccine with Bolognese Sauce with Beef, Pancetta and Red Wine appealingly enriches an already flavorful sauce. There are 15 sauces made with raw tomatoes, eight with cooked fresh tomatoes and 16 with canned tomatoes. Macaroni and Pinto Bean Soup with Mussels and Rosemary is certain to please, and undertaking a variety of fresh pasta with or without eggs is less intimidating when guided by the team's customary step-by-step methods. The book truly distinguishes itself with its attention to foods not always found in pasta roundups, such as crespelle (the Italian version of the French crepe) and spatzle. Even better are recipes for Chinese wheat noodles (Stir-Fried Chinese Noodles with Chicken in Szechwan Chile Sauce), Japanese wheat noodles (Ramen Noodles with Roast Pork and Spinach), Asian rice noodles (Rice Paper Spring Rolls with Rice Noodles and Shrimp) and cellophane noodles (Cellophane Noodle Salad with Charred Beef and Snow Peas). These are splendid additions to any pasta repertoire. (Aug.)