Encyclopedia of Pasta

Overview

Spaghetti, gnocchi, tagliatellea, ravioli, vincisgrassi, strascinati—pasta in its myriad forms has been a staple of the Mediterranean diet longer than bread. This beautiful volume is the first book to provide a complete history of pasta in Italy, telling its long story via the extravagant variety of shapes it takes and the even greater abundance of names by which it is known. Food scholar Oretta Zanini De Vita traveled to every corner of her native Italy, recording oral histories, delving into long-forgotten ...

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Overview

Spaghetti, gnocchi, tagliatellea, ravioli, vincisgrassi, strascinati—pasta in its myriad forms has been a staple of the Mediterranean diet longer than bread. This beautiful volume is the first book to provide a complete history of pasta in Italy, telling its long story via the extravagant variety of shapes it takes and the even greater abundance of names by which it is known. Food scholar Oretta Zanini De Vita traveled to every corner of her native Italy, recording oral histories, delving into long-forgotten family cookbooks, and searching obscure archives to produce this rich and uniquely personal compendium of historical and geographical information. For each entry she includes the primary ingredients, preparation techniques, variant names, and the locality where it is made and eaten. Along the way, Zanini De Vita debunks such culinary myths as Marco Polo's supposed role in pasta's story even as she serves up a feast of new information. Encyclopedia of Pasta, illustrated throughout with original drawings by Luciana Marini, will be the standard reference on one of the world's favorite foods for many years to come, engaging and delighting both general readers and food professionals.

Winner of the 2010 James Beard Foundation Book Award for Reference & Scholarship

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This wonderful resource is destined to become the definitive book on pasta. " Starred Review--Library Journal

"The world of pasta is bewilderingly huge, so we're thrilled with this new, authoritative work, by one of Italy's leading food scholars."--Saveur

"We needed this book. . . Answers all the questions about pasta. . . Ad many more you never thought to ask."--Gambero Rosso

Saveur
“The world of pasta is bewilderingly huge, so we’re thrilled with this new, authoritative work, by one of Italy’s leading food scholars.”
Gambero Rosso
“We needed this book. . . Answers all the questions about pasta. . . Ad many more you never thought to ask.”
Library Journal
This is the first book to provide a complete history of pasta in Italy, showcasing more than 300 types of pasta—from bucatini and gnocchetti to tortellini and ziti. More than 100 lovely line illustrations and drawings bring the subject to life. Also included is a bibliography, a glossary of pasta names, and a general index. Each entry is nicely displayed in a box and includes an overview of each pasta type: the primary ingredients, preparation techniques, the different names for each kind of pasta, how it is served, the region where it is found, and the author's remarks. Besides its comprehensiveness, the great strength of this book is the research that went into compiling it. Zanini De Vita is a leading Italian food critic and author of The Food of Rome and Lazio: History, Folklore, and Recipes. Her passion for the subject shines through on every page. BOTTOM LINE This wonderful resource is destined to become the definitive book on pasta. It succeeds both as a scholarly achievement and as an entertaining and authentic overview of Italian history and geography. An excellent companion to the pasta recipe books and valuable for all serious collectors of cookbooks and Italian history.—Kathleen A. Welton, Chicago
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520255227
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 10/15/2009
  • Series: California Studies in Food and Culture Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 721,624
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 1.33 (d)

Meet the Author

Oretta Zanini De Vita is a leading Italian food critic and author of several books on Italian cuisine including The Food of Rome and Lazio: History, Folklore, and Recipes and Il cibo e il suo mondo nella campagna romana. Maureen B. Fant is a writer and translator and is the coauthor of The Dictionary of Italian Cuisine.

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Table of Contents

Foreword, by Carol Field
Preface to the English-Language Edition, by Oretta Zanini De Vita
Translator's Preface, by Maureen B. Fant

Voyage in the Pasta Universe: The Reasons for This Research, by Oretta Zanini De Vita


Introduction to the First Italian Edition, by Corrado Barberis

Traditional Italian Pasta Shapes A to Z

Glossary
Notes
Bibliography

Index

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