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On Top of Spaghetti: Macaroni, Linguine, Penne, and Pasta of Every Kind Hardcover – October 24, 2006


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On Top of Spaghetti: Macaroni, Linguine, Penne, and Pasta of Every Kind + Cucina Simpatica: Robust Trattoria Cooking From Al Forno
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks; 1st edition (October 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060598735
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060598730
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #253,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The noodle reigns supreme in this fun but singularly focused collection of recipes. Drawing from decades of experience, the James Beard Award–winning owners of Al Forno in Providence, R.I., and coauthors of Cucina Sympatica explore their favorite recipes at home and in the restaurant, including their favorite after-work treat, Midnight Spaghetti. The chapter Pasta Tips offers useful tidbits of information such as how to heat serving bowls and when and how to add grated cheese. The remainder of the book consists of the recipes, which are split up into sections by type, such as with vegetables, tomato sauce or seafood; there are also sections on fresh and various baked pasta dishes. The majority are quick and simple and feature the usual saucy suspects like capers, red pepper flakes and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Yet the authors cover a wide expanse of Italian culinary traditions, and there are some intriguing surprises, like George's Spaghetti with Raw Cucumber and Basil, and Pappardelle and Saffron-Scented Milk-Braised Chicken. Throughout, the directions are straightforward and consistent. Each dish is followed by suggestions for rounding out the meal and using leftovers—though most of these creations are unlikely to leave any behind. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Italian cookbooks abound, but everyone loves pasta; for most collections. (Library Journal)

“...the authors cover a wide expanse of Italian culinary traditions, and there are some intriguing surprises... (Publishers Weekly)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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I highly recommed this book.
DaveD
So far have tried only oen recipe and it was good but the book is very good reading and I feel I will use it many times.
Kindle Customer
The instructions are very clear and easy to follow.
Michele Carpenter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 96 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on January 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
`On Top of Spaghetti...' by Providence, Rhode Island chef/restaurateurs, JoHanne Killeen and George Germon is a delightfully dedicated pasta cookbook by two dedicated pasta lovers. As the subtitle indicates, this is really about `...Macaroni, Linguine, Penne, and Pasta of Every Kind', although the long thin varieties of dried pasta, spaghetti, linguini, spaghettini, and similar shapes seem to get the most attention.

The most delightful thing about this book for me is the fact that every recipe is an Italian style pasta recipe, and yet there is no space taken up by the classics which appear in every other book on Italian cooking, such as spaghetti carbonara, pasta puttanesca, Bolognese sauce, and fettuccine Alfredo. Virtually all recipes are both original to the authors, but based on classic Italian models. That means, of course that while spaghetti carbonara and pasta puttanesca aren't here, there are pasta recipes with raw egg or olives and anchovies as ingredients.

There is a sense in which the book can be seen as an exploration of all the different ways in which a few classic Italian ingredients can be combined into a pasta sauce. The emphasis in this book is on the simpler combinations. One of the more attractive features of the book is identifying fifteen (15) recipes as `Midnight Spaghetti' where the time required to make the sauce is no more than the time, usually 7 to 12 minutes, to cook the pasta.

I was just a bit put off by the glib title, as it smacked of the kind of gimmicky books usually done as tie-ins to Italian-American `family dramas' like `The Sopranos' or `The Godfather'.
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74 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Prime pasta. Perfect pasta - that's the only kind served by the authors in their Providence restaurant, Al Forno. Billy Joel claims their pizza is the best in the world. While I wouldn't argue with him, for me the easy to follow recipes offered in this imaginative, enormously satisfying cookbook are among the best to be found.

The author's love and enthusiasm for the type of food they prepare is obvious on every page as they experiment, create, and enjoy. Explaining that work nights end late for them, they add that they're hungry so together they prepare what they call "midnight spaghetti." It's really a fun-loving competition between the two of them with simple rules: "Prepare a delicious sauce in the time it takes for a pot of water to boil and the pasta to cook."

Among the dishes favored for these nocturnal feasts are Spaghetti with Fresh Spinach and Gorgonzola, Pantry Spaghetti, Vintner's Spaghetti, Pappardelle with Olives, Thyme, and Lemon. Recipes for these and other mouth-watering pasta dishes, whether appetizers or main courses, are found in this temptingly illustrated book.

Of enormous help are the hints offered by this couple who have cooked tens of thousands of pounds of pasta at their restaurant. For instance, a good rule of thumb is four ounces of pasta per person as a main meal and half of that for a starter. Plus, a list of must-haves for your pasta pantry is indispensable, and saves hasty runs to the super market.

Couldn't possibly choose a favorite from the many recipes offered but high on my list is Jo's Fast "Cheater's" Lasagne. Granted, I'm biased as pasta has always been a favorite dish, and I tend to heartily agree with the authors' admonition: "Don't trust people who don't like pasta."

Highly recommended - enjoy!

- Gail Cooke
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Douglas Figueredo on January 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great tips, a ton of recipes. I doubt I'll go through all of them, but I wish I would. They look delicious and relatively easy to do. There's a glossary that spells out what the ingredients are and why they're good for what and how to buy them. The tone of the book is as if the authors are your good friends who are REALLY into this cuisine and want you to learn how to cook it (and love it, too).
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Cookbookaddict on June 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In spite of what I consider to be an unfortunate name, this is truly a great cookbook. The recipes are simple and fast, yet sophisticated and delicious. Nearly every recipe appeals to me as something I would want to make and eat. I have made four of the recipes and loved each one: penne with easy norma (eggplant cooked until nearly melted), spaghetti with fresh spinach and gorgonzola, orichiette with chickpeas, and linguine with bitter greens and pancetta. So far my favorite has been the linguine with bitter greens and pancetta. From my name you must know that I have an over-abundance of cookbooks but if I had to choose 10 to keep this would be one. Why do I say the title is unfortunate? Because when I think of a sauce "on top of" spaghetti I think of the tendency in this country to load a bunch of sauce of top of spaghetti. However in the cookbook, the authors take the Italian approach of incorporating the sauce into the pasta and if some of the recipes are not truly Italian they are all in the spirit of true Italian pasta. Each of the recipes I have tried so far reminded me of pasta I have eaten and loved in Italy. Oh and one more thing - the authors use fats judiciously so that while the recipes are delicious you will find that you will not be consuming an entire days calories in one serving of pasta.
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