Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on November 8, 2007
Giada De Laurentiis has become quite well known as a result of her expertise in cooking. This cookbook is another among a number that she has authored. And it is a nice addition to the collection of cookbooks "out there."

We do a lot of pasta cooking and Italian cooking at home. We cook up a "gravy" each Sunday (tomato sauce and accompanying herbs and goodies). The recipes in this book will be solid additions to our repertoire.

The book begins with a nice, brief essay on the nature of pasta, concluding with the author's "Top 10 Pasta-Cooking Tips" (e.g., always cook pasta in a big enough pot; don't add olive oil while cooking; make sure that the end product is al dente; don't overdo portions when serving; etc.). The introductory part of the book concludes with a "dictionary" of types of pasta, from capellini/angel hair to spaghetti.

The first section of the book is what she calls "Pasta Go-Withs," antipasto, appetizers, side dishes. One dish in this section that resonates with me: "Sautéed spinach with red onion" (page 58). Easy to make and tasty! Ingredients are straightforward; the instructions are pretty easy to follow. A good antipasto is always a nice accompaniment to a meal. On page 81, the author presents a nice antipasto salad, complete with pasta (in this instance, fusilli).

Pasta main dishes? Some that strike my fancy: Roman-style fettuccine with chicken; Linguine with butter, pecorino, arugula, and black pepper; Spaghetti with sautéed onions and marjoram; Mini penne with parmesan chicken.

Sauces? I like marinara. The author provides her recipe for this redoubtable treat on page 224. Dressings? Take a look at her Roasted garlic vinaigrette on page 228.

All in all, for those who like pasta dishes, this is a very nice addition to one's culinary library.
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