Saturday, November 27, 2010

Review: The Geometry of Pasta

The Geometry of Pasta
By: Caz Hildebrand & Jacob Kenedy
ISBN: 9781594744952

Summary from the back of the book:
Wheels and tubes, twists and folds and grooves - pasta comes in hundreds of shapes, each with its own unique history, beauty, and place on the dinner table. For centuries these shapes have evolved alongside Italy's cornucopia of local ingredients; if you know how the flavours relate to the forms, you hold the secret formula to good taste. 

THE GEOMETRY OF PASTA pairs over 100 authentic recipes from acclaimed chef Jacob Kenedy with award-winning designer Caz Hildebrand's stunning black-and-white designs to reveal the science, culture, and philosophy behind spectacular pasta dishes from throughout Italian history.

A triumphant fusion of food and design, THE GEOMETRY OF PASTA invites us to unlock the hidden properties of Italy's most mathematically perfect deliciousness.

Little known fact about your favorite reviewer: I love to cook and I adore pasta. When I found that Quirk Books had put this up for review I couldn't be more excited. I always wondered why there were so many types of pasta and what each one was used for technically. This book did not disappoint at all.

For every type of pasta I knew and even some I didn't the authors included a history of it's creation and how you would prepare it. This isn't just the case of which pasta you use with which sauce but actually how to make the pasta! Learning how to make pasta has been on my bucket list for eons and now I have the tools to actually do it! The recipes are clear and precise unlike many which are a pinch of this or that. Included in the history was also an explanation of its name which was really fun.

The recipes are also paired with really neat designs which is cute and pretty but I would have liked a couple of color pictures as well. The reason for this is that although I knew some of the pastas I didn't know them all and some of the designs weren't clear enough for me to be able to pick out the pasta in a store. My only other negative criticism about this book is the inclusion of stelline (stars) in broth and alfabeto (alphabets) with ketchup in the recipes. The reason I am not thrilled about these additions is because the space they used could have been used for other not so common uses of these pastas which I would have liked.

All in all, great cookbook with many new and classic recipes. I rate this book at a high three for it was entirely enjoyable and fun addition to my cookbook library. And since it is the season of gifts this is a great pre-holiday gift (that way the cook you give this to might make one of these yummy recipes for their holiday party!).

Reason I Read This Book: The publisher requested a review and I was interested in the idea of the shape of pasta affecting recipes. What a curious notion!

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