JAMES BEARD AWARD NOMINEE • A stylish, transporting pasta master class from New York City’s premier pasta chef, with recipes for 40 handmade pasta shapes and 100 Italian American, regional Italian, and modern dishes
IACP AWARD FINALIST • “Missy Robbins brings her extraordinary knowledge and generous heart to teach us to prepare the pastas that made her restaurants, Lilia and Misi, two of the best in the world.”—Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa
ONE OF THE TEN BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR: San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe • ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR: Minneapolis Star Tribune, Glamour, Food52, Epicurious
Food trends come and go, but pasta holds strong year after year. Despite its humble ingredients—made of merely flour and water or flour and eggs—the magic, rituals, and art of pasta making span over five centuries. Two ingredients are turned into hundreds of stuffed, rolled, extruded, dried, stamped, and hand-cut shapes, each with its own unique provenance and enrobed in a favored sauce.
New York City chef Missy Robbins fell in love with Italian food and pasta twenty-five years ago. She has been cooking, researching, and studying her way across Italy ever since, which led her to open two of America’s most renowned pasta restaurants, Lilia and Misi. With illustrated step-by-step recipes for handmaking forty of the most versatile pasta shapes and one hundred recipes for Italian American, regional Italian, and Robbins’s own best pasta dishes, plus two dozen vegetable sides, this is the hard-working manual for home cooks who aspire to master the art of pasta cooking.
Whether making pasta sheets for lasagna or stamping out pasta “coins” for Corzetti with Goat Cheese and Asparagus—or even buying handmade pasta to make Tagliatelle with Porcini, Rosemary, and Garlic—Robbins provides all the inspiration, instruction, and encouragement required to make pasta exceptionally well. Evocatively photographed with nearly 100 full-color mouthwatering photos of pasta dishes and twenty images from Italy, this is a richly illustrated ode to the ingredients, recipes, and craft that have made pasta the most popular fare of a beloved cuisine.
Waxing poetic about cooking by using the way dough feels in one's hands and the sounds sauce makes in a pan instead of setting a timer, chef Robbins (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner... Life), of Brooklyn's Lilia, presents a soulful guide to the art and craft of making pasta. "Italy is not one country but twenty," she writes, "and pasta is best enjoyed as a way... to partake in that complexity." Bringing that sentiment to the page with Baiocchi, editor-in-chief of Punch magazine, Robbins explores various types of dough and instructs on creating 45 different shapes, such as fettuccine, hand-shaped orecchiette, or bucatini pulled through a pasta maker. A section of Italian-American recipes features good old spaghetti and meatballs, as well as a grown-up baked ziti with aged provolone and caciocavallo. Having once driven across northern Italy, "part of the country that shape-shifts endlessly," Robbins recalls the diversity of the area's recipes in a wide-ranging chapter of "regional classics" that includes pasta with Abruzzese meatballs and lamb rag , and a Sicilian pasta with tomato and almond pesto. Elsewhere, surprising ingredients and combinations, such as ricotta and Tuscan kale filled cappelletti with fennel pollen turn up in a section of "modern classics" that successfully riff on traditional entr es. These hearty dishes are as filling as they are full of heart.