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Pasta. It’s one of those things that I would bet most of us don’t even consider making from scratch. Why would we? There is a plethora of ready-made pasta available at the super market; or even online. With the ease of purchasing groceries in today’s world, just about any food is a click away. The pursuit of time-saving and convenient measures has certainly come a long way.
But at what cost? Sure, there is a lot to be said for any conveniences that save time. But there is something so enjoyable and relaxing about these activities that are typically thought of as time consuming and difficult. Bread-baking tops this list for me along with making pasta.
I grew up making bread and still do it often; but making homemade pasta? I must confess that this is a first for me! I am guilty as charged for being one of those people who thought that it surely must be too time consuming and difficult. Well, I stand corrected. Hopefully, I can convince you to follow in my footsteps and give homemade pasta a try. With the assistance of this delightful cookbook, I assure you that you too will be converted to the ease of making pasta-not to mention the far superior taste to the pre-made kind from the supermarket.
One of the greatest things, as the author Manuela points out, is that you likely already have everything you need to make a delicious pasta in your kitchen.
This cookbook is organized much more than just a recipe book; it is a comprehensive pasta education split into sections: ingredients and equipment, the dough, the skills/techniques, and the recipes for pasta and sauces. Manuela walks the reader through everything in a way that dismantles the intimidation that even the most overwhelmed cook may feel when faced with the prospect of making pasta from scratch.
In addition to the directions you would expect to find for making fresh pasta, Manuela also includes useful information like how to dry, freeze, and cook the pasta that you will be making. She does an excellent job of explaining the “why” behind her method; deepening the level of understanding and increasing each pasta-making novice’s chance of success.
In terms of design, this cookbook is set up beautifully. The recipes, tips, and information are all accompanied by beautiful photographs and lovely illustrations. The end of the cookbook is full of useful information: a glossary or terms, additional resources, measurements, and an excellent index.
As far as cookbooks go, this one is a winner for me. Even speaking as a vegetarian, I would recommend this book. The few recipes that do contain meat are easily adaptable to vegetarian versions. It is definitely a cookbook that I would add to my shelf. As someone who had never before made my own pasta, this was the perfect launching point.
Here is a favorite recipe of mine from the book. “Aglio, Olio, e Pepperoncino Sauce with Tagliatelle”.