Pasta Improvvisata: How to Improvise in Classic Italian Style

Pasta Improvvisata: How to Improvise in Classic Italian Style

by Erica De Mane, Laura H. Maestro
     
 

Do you, like millions of Americans, love pasta? Do you nonetheless find yourself preparing the same old pasta sauces over and over again? Wouldn't you like to be able to spice up your pasta routine, to use fresh new ingredients and discover new methods and flavor combinations? Now, with the help of Erica De Mane's timely and imaginative book, you can. You'll learn to…  See more details below

Overview

Do you, like millions of Americans, love pasta? Do you nonetheless find yourself preparing the same old pasta sauces over and over again? Wouldn't you like to be able to spice up your pasta routine, to use fresh new ingredients and discover new methods and flavor combinations? Now, with the help of Erica De Mane's timely and imaginative book, you can. You'll learn to throw together an impromptu and delicious pasta dish the way the Italians do, creatively making use of whatever's on hand or whatever looks good in the market. You will develop the confidence and creativity in the kitchen to approach and cook pasta the way it's done in Italy.

Erica De Mane emphasizes pasta's enormous versatility and shows you how to think for yourself when it comes to combining ingredients. She explains the basic cooking techniques, sauces, and essential equipment so that you can move beyond the boundaries of recipes and conventional approaches to pasta cooking. She teaches you how to break down recipes and reinvent them, progressing from the fundamental to the complex, and how to customize recipes to suit your whim or your pantry -- so you'll always end up with an exciting, flavorful, and absolutely authentic Italian dish. Drawing on her extensive travels through the southern regions of Sicily, Apulia, and Campania, and on her respect for the innovations of American chefs, Erica De Mane provides a wealth of new ideas -- from Cavatelli with Morels, Montasio, and Arugula to Ravioli with Scallop Mousse and Red Pepper Sauce to Veal and Roasted Artichoke Lasagne -- that make an easy transition to the American kitchen.

If you're tired of slavishly following recipes all the time, or hesitant to include afavorite ingredient unless it's explicitly called for, fear no more. The clearly laid out recipe ideas and blueprints for creative pasta-making in this book are what every free-spirited pasta lover interested in taste and authenticity has been waiting for.

Among Pasta Improvvisata's unique features:
* Three superbly organized sections: Pasta and Vegetables, Pasta and Fish, and Pasta and Meat
* Twelve instructive pages of drawings, showing all the different types of pasta
* A list of recommended sources for all sorts of Italian specialty ingredients
* A chapter on making fresh pasta, including unusual variations such as Red Pepper Pasta, Saffron Pasta, and Fennel Seed Pasta

This all-inclusive, intelligent, and approachable cookbook will enable all pasta lovers, the novice and the experienced home cook alike, to have more fun -- and freedom -- in the kitchen than ever before.

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Editorial Reviews

NY Times Book Review
...[A] book you will use....[She shows] apparently endless invention and love of actual cooking...
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Encountering De Mane's book, the experienced cook will wonder if her imaginative advice is at all necessary. After all, the familiarity and simplicity of many pasta dishes inevitably invite chefs to toss in a bit of personal invention. Food writer De Mane is up to the challenge, however, and her book, divided into three parts (pasta with vegetables, with fish and with meat), will expand most cooks' thinking. Fresh ideas abound. She provides more than a dozen tomato sauces, from the usual to her Simmered Tomato-Fig Sauce and the free-spirited Tomato and Orange Sauce. With all recipes, De Mane offers substitutions to change basic results: for the Tomato and Orange Sauce, she suggests using mint instead of the specified basil or tossing the pasta with ricotta before adding the sauce. Rather than providing eye-opening revelations, De Mane reminds readers what can be done when combining or adapting Italian flavors. Classic linguine with white clam sauce becomes Linguine with Clams, Pancetta and Marjoram, which itself can be altered by using bacon rather than pancetta, by mixing the clams with parsley pesto or by adding fresh corn kernels. Other variations spring from Anchovy and Fennel Seed Sauce, Fusilli with Veal Capers and Lemon (a twist on veal piccata) or Baked Cavatappi with Chicken-Arugula Meatballs. Since improvising requires handy ingredients, an annotated Improviser's Pantry listing explains what to have at the ready. Good Cook Club and BOMC alternate selection. (June) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal - Library Journal
Food writer De Mane obviously loves to cook, and she especially likes to cook pasta. Here she offers dozens of recipes for pasta dishes, along with literally hundreds of variations. Some of the variations are full-fledged recipes, others are ideas for adding an ingredient or substituting another, preparing the dish in a slightly different way, or even finding alternative ways of serving it. De Mane hopes her readers will learn not only how to build on a recipe to make it their own but also how to cook without relying on a recipe at all. She includes lots of informative boxes on topics both basic and more esoteric, and her recipes are unusual, sophisticated, and very appealing. Highly recommended. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780684829722
Publisher:
Scribner
Publication date:
06/02/1999
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
7.70(w) x 9.58(h) x 1.29(d)

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