Award-winning chef Marc Vetri wanted to write his first book about pasta. Instead, he wrote two other acclaimed cookbooks and continued researching pasta for ten more years. Now, the respected master of Italian cuisine finally shares his vast knowledge of pasta, gnocchi, and risotto in this inspiring, informative primer featuring expert tips and techniques, and more than 100 recipes.
Vetri’s personal stories of travel and culinary discovery in Italy appear alongside his easy-to-follow, detailed explanations of how to make and enjoy fresh handmade pasta. Whether you’re a home cook or a professional, you’ll learn how to make more than thirty different types of pasta dough, from versatile egg yolk dough, to extruded semolina dough, to a variety of flavored pastas—and form them into shapes both familiar and unique. In dishes ranging from classic to innovative, Vetri shares his coveted recipes for stuffed pastas, baked pastas, and pasta sauces. He also shows you how to make light-as-air gnocchi and the perfect dish of risotto.
Loaded with useful information, including the best way to cook and sauce pasta, suggestions for substituting pasta shapes, and advance preparation and storage notes, Mastering Pasta offers you all of the wisdom of a pro. For cooks who want to take their knowledge to the next level, Vetri delves deep into the science of various types of flour to explain pasta’s uniquely satisfying texture and how to craft the very best pasta by hand or with a machine. Mastering Pasta is the definitive work on the subject and the only book you will ever need to serve outstanding pasta dishes in your own kitchen.
"Pasta has always been one of the most difficult things to teach young cooks," writes restaurateur and author Marc Vetri (Rustic Italian Food, Il Viaggio De Vetri) in the introduction to this master course on pasta production, "but it shouldn't be." Over the course of the book's 200-plus pages, Vetri and coauthor David Joachim explain the particulars of pasta and how to get it right. Beginning with a technical explanation of how different flours affect the end result, the duo move on to basic pasta dough (including pictures), which acts as a foundation for the dishes that follow. Readers may be surprised at the simplicity of both the dough and the dishes themselves. Despite elaborate names corzetti with red bell pepper crema, fazzoletti with crab and burrata they're quite easy to make. Even more advanced techniques, such as making ravioli, flavored pastas, and gnocchi, are patiently explained in detail. If it all seems a bit complicated (stuffed pappardelle with foie gras terrine and onion marmalade), readers will be relieved to see how simple risotto can be. Vetri demystifies risotto in particular, noting that constant stirring isn't necessary (particularly when using the right rice) to produce a winner like the saffon-tinged risotto alla Milanese. This might not be the best book for beginners, but home cooks that are serious about their Italian dishes will want to give this a look.