A few years ago when I was teaching full-time and completing my masters degree I would find myself incredibly stressed with my day and need a way to unwind. I found that making pasta was a cathartic experience for me. There was something about putting together the most simple ingredients to make incredibly delicious meals. It became a sort of running joke at our house when my husband would come home and see the pasta maker out and flour in my hair, he would know it had been an incredibly stressful day; but more importantly that a delicious meal was in his near future. When I saw that Marc Vetri has put together this book, I was thrilled. For years I’ve been wanting to get back to those days of crafting pasta by hand. Vetri’s book is just the inspiration that I’ve been looking for.
Recently, I have had a chance to study and enjoy Mastering Pasta: The Art and Practice of Handmade Pasta, Gnocchi, and Risotto by Marc Vetri with David Joachim.
Life is a combination of magic and pasta.
There are so many things about this cookbook that I love, first off, it is real and honest, Marc Vetri wanted to write his first cookbook about pasta, however, instead he took his time and researched pasta for over a decade (of course he wrote two other amazing cookbooks Il Viaggio Di Vetri: A Culinary Journey in 2008 and Rustic Italian Food in 2011). This book is the perfect primer for anyone who wants to learn how to make authentic pasta, gnocchi and risotto. With that said, even the seasoned pasta maker will enjoy the new takes on traditional recipes.
You can tell just by reading the first 5 pages of this book that Marc loves pasta but not just pasta, but what it represents: spending time with family, enjoying traditions, the company you’re with and not compromising quality for convenience.
Another stunning part of this book is that Marc Vetri shares stories of his travels, as well as the history of some of these traditional meals. He shares the inspiration behind the 100 recipes, I love this aspect of cookbooks. I love the back story that makes it seems personal, as if it were a recipe card you are getting from a relative who tells you about when they made it and special notations that they made have in the margins.
You feel like you’re having a conversation when you read this book, Vetri talks about how stocks and sauces are the cornerstones of cooking, how cooking these meals is such that you layer these flavors and how cooking with ingredients that are farmed close to your home is the best. After reading Mastering Pasta, I feel as though I have had a detailed cooking class with Marc Vetri where he has shared with me all that he has to know about pasta. This is a book that you will pull off your shelves for tried and true recipes, to find something new and inspiring for something to serve for special occasions.
This is the one and only book you will need to make delicious pasta at home for your family.
Blogger note: I received this book from Blogging For Books for this review, but the thoughts and opinions in this post are entirely my own.