cover image Simple Pasta: Pasta Made Easy. Life Made Better.

Simple Pasta: Pasta Made Easy. Life Made Better.

Odette Williams. Ten Speed, $28.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-984859-92-1

“There’s nothing a home cook can’t successfully pull off, and, yes, I’m going to convince you to make your own pasta,” promises Australian cook Williams (Simple Cake) in this stellar outing. She starts with a primer on staple pasta dough recipes, modern and traditional ways to roll out pasta dough, and even tips for gluten-free pasta making. An in-depth section, with helpful photographs, teaches readers how to shape their pasta, whether smaller varieties, like farfalle and orecchiette, or larger ones such as strozzapreti. Once readers have mastered the basics, Williams offers up the recipes, serving a healthy balance of pasta classics like carbonara alongside inventive fare including sweet corn and jalapeño ravioli, or skirt steak with olive gremolata and fried gnocchi. Supplementing pasta dishes are “supporting acts” that range from appetizers and salads (among them a colorful mix of heirloom tomato, basil, and olive croutons) to mixed drinks and desserts (pro tip: pair the prosecco tower with the gianduja crème brûlée). Williams’s chatty anecdotes (“My daughter Opal once made a recipe for pasta vodka sauce... it was so strong that it ripped our heads off ”) are just as delightful as the recipes and handy tips (“Cook the potatoes whole, in their skins, so they don’t absorb too much water”). This is a must-have for pasta enthusiasts. (Aug.)