I’m very excited to announce that my third cookbook was published on October 28, 2014 by Ballantine Books (a division of Random House). I had a lot of fun researching and writing THE BEST PASTA SAUCES: Favorite Regional Italian Recipes, and the process allowed me to discover some incredibly delicious specialties from every region of Italy. There is mouth-watering color photography throughout; the book is a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach!
It was hard to decide which recipes to include; there are so many pasta treasures across Italy!! But in the end, I narrowed the selection down to the 80 recipes I felt best represented the diverse sauces of Italy’s regions. Some are classics, of course, like pesto, amatriciana, puttanesca, and ragu, but others are little-known outside Italy. In fact, there were some recipes that were eye-opening even for me (and I’ve eaten and cooked a lot of pasta over the years!!), like the Crushed Potato Sauce with Cracked Black Pepper and Olive Oil from the Marches (I never thought about boiling potatoes to create a clean vegetal puree with which to sauce pasta!), the Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce with Bread Crumbs from Apulia (I always simmered tomato sauces on the stove for my pasta, never roasted them), and the Parmigiano Sauce with Fresh Nutmeg from Piedmont (what a difference the nutmeg makes!).
Not only did I love testing the recipes—who wouldn’t love eating a different delicious pasta every day?—I also really enjoyed working on the photography with my husband Dino; we styled the food together, and Dino took amazing photographs that make my mouth water every time I look at them (and I’ve looked at them a lot!).
The book also includes tips for cooking pasta perfectly and for saucing it with success every time; there are 5 basic recipes indispensable to any home cook; sidebars sprinkled throughout about our travels in Italy, essential Italian ingredients, and more; and wine pairings by RUSTICO COOKING’s Wine Director, Costas Mouzouras.
Hopefully the book will inspire you to try new sauces and to experiment with different ingredients and flavors… I look forward to hearing which recipes you try!
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