I have a lot of cookbooks, anymore it takes a pretty special cookbook to get my heart thumping and inspires me to immediately take it in the kitchen and get to cooking. Making Artisan Pasta is just such a book. I have other pasta books, such as the joy of pasta, and usually they are maybe 25% actual pasta recipes, and the rest is sauce or soup or casseroles using the pasta. There is nothing wrong with that, but Making Artisan Pasta is a book about the pasta, about what ingredients to use, how to use them, how to make the pasta, form the pasta, and tons and tons of ideas and tips on making amazing pasta.
The pictures are simply inspirational. From step by step photos of how to accomplish making the pasta, to beautiful and inspiring finished products. This book could be intimidating, working with dough and various ingredients and appliances and gadgets, making different shapes. But it's totally not, Aliza Green writes clear simple instructions that would make the most dough-frightened person feel enabled to make luscious pasta. Between her clear instructions and tips, and Steve Legato's amazingly clear instructional photos, this is a book to really give a person confidence and a can-do attitude.
There are some pastas that simply call for special gadgets to make them, it's the nature of the pasta, but if you don't want to spend a penny on new fun equipment there are still plenty of pasta recipes you can easily make. The author gives several techniques on how to make pasta. She gives three ways of mixing (hand, stand mixer, food processor) and different ways to roll out the pasta- rolling pin, sheeter (hand cranked pasta machine) and the extruders. Through out the entire book there are variations so if you want to make ravioli you can buy a really cool ravioli pan thing, or she shows you how to simply put the filling on the bottom sheet and put the second sheet over and cut out the dough.
The pasta I made was easy to work with and tasted delicious. I started simple, but can't wait to get into the variations like green pasta, or the one with the parsley leaves pressed in between the sheets.
The book covers basic pastas, stuffed pasta, dumplings, pot stickers, gnocchi, pastas I haven't even heard of but can't wait to try! This is honestly a book that has me excited to get in the kitchen and start making pasta.