Review: “I Love Pasta” By Academia Barilla

Many thanks to Taunton Press for providing me with a copy of this eGalley through NetGalley. Although it was provided to me at no cost, I am under no obligation to give a positive review.

As I noted when I reviewed “Ivan Ramen”, I dearly love noodles. Well, most pasta is counted in there too. And what do you know, along comes a book called “I Love Pasta”. You just know I was excited to request it and did a Snoopy Happy Dance when I was given permission to get the eGalley (“Hey Hey, Macaroni!”). Yeah, something like this:

OK, on to the review. It only takes a quick glance at the cover to see the logo by pasta giant Barilla. Yes, they ultimately were responsible for putting this tome together, but in all fairness it wasn’t a cover-to-cover marketing ploy. Sure, the included recipes suggested Barilla pasta in each dish, but I don’t believe anyone is under any illusion they have to use Barilla pasta, although I have always liked it. The first twenty pages or so are a history of Barilla, but that’s a small price to pay for the goodness that follows.

First, the book does a wonderful job of explaining the history of pasta, including, one of the most fascinating aspects in my opinion, the etymological origin of each name. It also discusses why different pasta shapes and textures are better with some sauces and not so much with others. It was very nice reading some science behind the cooking.

Hands down the best part of this book is the recipes. Awesomeness.

There are three sections of recipes: long pasta, short pasta, and soup pasta. Each one includes about 30 recipes incorporating one type of pasta in that group. The recipes are straight-forward when it comes to ingredients and directions. They also include prep and cooking time as well as a difficulty level for each recipe.

But the absolute best part? Every single recipe is accompanied by a full color picture of the finished dish. Not just a small inset black and white picture. Full page, full color. Yeah, baby! While I’m not a professional chef and don’t expect my recipes to yield anything looking like those pictures, it’s still nice to see what it should look like when done correctly.

So, in case you can’t tell, I really enjoyed this book. I’m a big fan of cooking and have more cookbooks and cooking magazines than you can shake a proverbial stick at. Still, this is definitely one I’ll keep handy.

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)


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