(photo: from the Geometry of Pasta, Hildenbrand and Kenedy; Gemelli pasta shape.)
See Below for Contest and Book GiveAway!
You have to admire any book that documents well over 110 authentic Italian pasta sauces and the hundreds of pasta shapes that marry best to a given sauce. If a book goes further and contains beautifully rendered graphic shapes for each pasta then you have a timeless cookbook that should be part of every Italian kitchen
Caz Hildebrand and Jacob Kenedy’s recently published The Geometry of Pasta
, in it’s simplest form, is a guide to basic pasta shapes (and a topic that has been covered exhaustively by Oretta Zanini De Vita in her magnificent work the Encyclopedia of Pasta
). However, what elevates the book to a worthwhile work is the emphasis on the critical, and often overlooked concept that:
the form (namely, the pasta shape) is critical, and deeply related to, the flavor (pasta condiment or sauce).
That is to say, all pasta shapes are designed with a certain sauce in mind and just like you wouldn’t drink a Coke with a risotto made with shaved truffles you wouldn’t marry a pasta shape incapable of accommodating a certain sauce given it’s geometry (or angle, diameter, size, etc.)
(photo: from the Geometry of Pasta, Hildenbrand and Kenedy; Penne Rigati pasta shape.)
The Geometry of Pasta contains a few short paragraphs on how to cook pasta as well as a few recipes for basic tomato sauce, but the majority of the book is dedicated to describing pasta shapes (specifically the dimensions and history) and the most appropriate sauces/recipes for the given shape. For example, gemelli are described as a complex helix always made with “two blades” but, “the blades are curved until they are almost enclose themselves to make tubes.” In the same few pages you’ll find a wonderful al fagiolini (green beans) recipe as well as a note on what other sauces would work with the shape, including aglio e olio, arrabbiata, chicken and prunes, Norma (eggplant, cheese, and tomato sauce), pesto Trapanese, pork and pigskin, salad of zucchini, etc.
Adding further beauty to the book, each pasta shape in the 288 page work is accompanied by a wonderfully original graphic design by way of co-author Hildebrand (click here to see some of these shapes
). The “pasta icons” are done in black and white and show, in detail, the given curves, lines, and shapes of each long and short pasta type. For someone unfamiliar with the more complex pasta shapes, the black and white graphic design portrays each pasta shape in more detail than, say, a simple photo and makes The Geometry of Pasta an excellent reference work, as well. In fact, it’s already helped us greatly with the Scordo Pasta Challenge
- our attempt to eat every known pasta on the planet!
We’re so smitten with Hildenbrand and Kennedy’s work that we’ve teamed up with the folks over at Quirk Books to give away a single copy of the The Geometry of Pasta to a lucky Scordo.com fan! Here are the rules and how to enter:
- Prize Giveaway includes one (1) copy of “The Geometry of Pasta”
- 1. leave a comment under this post on your favorite pasta shape and accompanying sauce (Italian or otherwise) and 2. become a fan of Scordo.com on Facebook
(if you’re already a fan of Scordo on Facebook then please encourage all of your friends to become fans on Facebook by 1. Click Suggest to Friends, 2. Select Your Friends 3. Send the Invite. You can also leave a comment on our Facebook page under the post on “The Geometry of Pasta”
- Only one entry per person please.
- The contest is open until 12 midnight on 2/6 and a single random user will be picked via Random.org (sorry contest only open to folks from the US given shipping logistics). The winner will be announced immediately on Twitter (so please follow me) and on Scordo.com by 5PM on Monday, 2/7.
- Please use a valid email address when leaving a comment so I can contact you just in case you’re the lucky winner (I’ll need your shipping address).
- Quirk will send out the book to the single contest winner during the week of 2/14