Think you know Italian pasta? Think again. There are some very interesting things happening over in Italy. Things that might make your Italian grandma raise her eyebrows. Pasta Modern takes us into the restaurants and home kitchens that are taking the art of Italian pasta to a whole 'nother level.
• Who wrote it: Francine Segan
• Who published it: Stewart, Tabori & Chang
• The angle: Red sauce is so yesterday. Time to modernize your pasta game.
• Number of recipes: 100
• Recipes for right now: Pasta with Artichokes, Prunes & Sage; Lemon-Fennel Pesto with Strozzapreti; Radiatore with Radicchio, Beer, and Hazelnuts; Farro Pasta with Jerusalem Artichokes; Risotto-Style Spaghetti with Potatoes; Ziti with Octopus & Orange-Almond Pesto; Cavatelli with Goat Ragu, Spaghetti with Rosemary & Cacao Nibs
• Other highlights:
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book when I first picked it up. Restaurant recipes that look awesome, but that no home cook would ever make? Purposefully-shocking ingredients tossed with pasta just to make me gasp? Genuinely tasty dishes that give me new ideas for pasta night?
In reality, there's something of all three here: These recipes feel like something you'd order in a fancy restaurant, but they also feel simple and approachable in a way that makes me want to run out and buy some radicchio. There are definitely some combinations of ingredients that shocked me (artichokes and prunes? smoked trout and licorice? rosemary and cacao nibs?), but look at the dish as a whole, give it a minute to sink in, and suddenly I want nothing else for dinner.
I also really enjoyed the stories with each dish. Some are adapted from restaurant dishes, some come from people the author met on her travels, some are actually very traditional Italian dishes, but not ones many people outside Italy know about. The stories are short and informative, and they add another layer of understanding to the dish.
P.S. There's a surprise if you look under the dust cover. You're welcome.
• Who would enjoy this book? Pasta lovers far and wide
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Pasta Modern by Francine Segan
• Visit the author's website: Francine Segan
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