cover image Pasta by Hand: A Collection of Italy’s Regional Hand-Shaped Pasta

Pasta by Hand: A Collection of Italy’s Regional Hand-Shaped Pasta

Jenn Louis, photos by Ed Anderson. Chronicle, $25 (200p) ISBN 978-1-4521-2188-8

Louis, Food and Wine’s Best New Chef 2012 and a successful Pacific northwest restaurateur, offers a comprehensive, meticulously researched catalogue of authentic regional recipes for hand-shaped pasta. Louis outlines basic components of flour types, breadcrumbs, cheese, eggs, greens, and potatoes for various types of gnocchi and instructs cooks on how to hand-craft these “nubs of dough” at home to be simmered, baked, poached, or sautéed. From Abruzzo come saffron potato gnocchi in a ricotta garlic butter sauce; from Tuscany, gnocchi verdi; from Umbria, farro-based gnocchi. Along with photographs of Louis’s skillful hands at work sculpting pastas, there are discussions on technique, must-have ingredients, and tools such as scales, paddles, and ricers. Recipes give measurements in both grams and cups, and suggest sauce pairings. The luxurious sauce recipes in the last chapter are worth the price of admission alone and feature traditional ragús of lamb, rabbit, porcini, tomato, beef, and wild boar. This single-focus cookbook is written with both authority and a passion for “some of the most soulful Italian food we can eat.” (Apr.)