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For serious pasta makers, this book is an absolute treasure trove of information about the myriad shapes and doughs and styles of Italian pasta and dumplings. This is not a how-to book, it is what it says it is: An encyclopedia of what's done in Italy. But if you know how to make pasta yourself, it is a touchstone for endless fun in the kitchen.

I find myself using the index most often: I'll have an ingredient, like rabbit or porcini or anchovies, and I will want to pair it with pasta or a dumpling,. Chances are Oretta has written about some obscure pasta perfect with braised rabbit. Armed with solid knowledge about how to make pasta on my own, her entries tell me most of what I need to go from there.

My only regret is that there were not more illustrations. The line drawings are beautiful and very clearly illustrate what the shape is supposed to look like, which can be tricky with some of the odder shapes.
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on December 25, 2014
This is a great book about the historical and culinary aspects of pasta. The names of different type of pasta are arranged in alphabetical order, from "abbotta pezziende" (not so common a pasta name/type) to "zumari". In between you will find information about rigatoni, fettuccine, farfalle, and many other. The different pasta shapes combined with the presence/absence of ridges on the outer surface allows each pasta to capture the right amount of sauce. Some names are related to the shapes of pasta (eg. farfalle = butterflies) while others derive from old fairy tails or popular stories. The book is very entertaining and instructive, well done! A good complement to the Encyclopedia is "Pasta, a story of a universal food" by Serventi and Sabban.
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on July 14, 2010
This book is one of the best resources for pasta that you will find. very well written with a lot of information about every type listed along with the history and other aliases. ingredients, uses, methods, dimensions. everything you would need to know about the particular pasta shape. Only one criticism would be that they are listed alphabetically so you must know the name in order to find what you are looking for with ease. the plus side to this is that you will spend a bit of time reading a brief synopsis of all the pastas until you find what you may be interested in. if you get the digital version you can tag the shapes as you see fit for easy reference.
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on October 31, 2011
This is a great book if you are interested in all things pasta. It is not a cook book so if that's what you're looking for you'll have to look elsewhere. This compact book is full of interesting facts about the history and development of pasta on the Italian penninsula. If you like food history, especially the history of Italian food, then this is a book which you will enjoy.
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on July 27, 2014
This is a very well researched book. It's a lot about history. It's a little heavy to read. It is not a cookbook at all.
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on September 30, 2012
This book is very informative and a great resource for pasta, as well as the regional food of Italy. The detail and history that the author provides is overwhelming at it times but informative none the less.
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on June 12, 2013
It must had taken years to do this study. I call it the bible of pasta...and in English. My respects to the author
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on September 17, 2015
love it
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on February 4, 2013
Everything you ever wanted to know about pasta and them some. Read it end then have a greated appreciation of the pasta you eat.
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on November 24, 2009
Highly recommend this book if you love pasta and the history of it.

As others said, it is not a cookbook which suits me perfectly - I didn't expect one and I received what I wanted.
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