How to Improvise in Classic Italian Style
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 Artichokes 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 a favorite 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.
- BookBaby, June 1999
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