Book Review: Domenica Marchetti The Glorious Pasta of Italy


(photo: the photos found in the Glorious Pasta of Italy are truly impressive; on the left is a photo of our pasta pesto) 
There’s no way around the obvious fact that Italians are slaves to pasta.  The typical Italian (northern or southern in origin) consumes pasta multiple times per week, in various shapes and sizes, and in varying dishes from the simple to the extraordinaire.

Here at Scordo we’ve covered original pasta recipes, challenged ourselves to consume every documented pasta shape on Earth, and reviewed numerous pasta cookbooks.  The latest in the line of superb books covering the exquisite food type pasta is Domenica Marchetti’s The Glorious Pasta of Italy.  The American born Marchetti was trained as a newspaper reporter but now makes her living writing recipes and working on cooking techniques (she also runs a nice web site).  Domenica developed a love for cooking via her mother and spent her childhood summers in Chieti, Abruzzo.

The Glorious Pasta of Italy is dominated by luxurious and earthy photos that showcase not only pasta shapes but the key ingredients found in the most important part of a pasta dish; namely, the condiment.  For example, a lovely picture in the beginning of the book showcases basic and key ingredients such as alici, funghi porcini, basilico, ricotta, peperoncini, and pancetta (cooking pasta in the correct manner is also paramount).  Domenica also provides the reader with a basic list of pasta shapes, 60 to be exact, as well as a short description with a best bet condiment or sauce.  The list of Pasta is short (there are well over 300+ distinct pasta shapes), so if you’re looking for a more comprehensive book on pasta shapes please see Zanini de Vita’s well researched The Encyclopedia of Pasta.  
Some of my favorite recipes in the book include baked rigatoni al telefono with smoked mozzarella, orecchiette with creamy broccoli sauce, and Mafalde with roasted tomatoes, robiola, and crushed fennel seeds.  Domenica’s recipes are a nice blend of traditional dishes with modified, and soon to be, modern classics.  
The books contains nine chapters, including sections on “pasta essentials”, “pasta on the run”, “classics worth keeping”, “showstoppers”, “sweet pasta”, etc.  If you’re a pasta fanatic, then the Glorious Pasta of Italy is for you.   

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