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Elizabeth Bartman, archaeologist, and I have launched a tour company dedicated to the kind of travel we like to do ourselves: visits to ancient remains punctuated by great meals and other food adventures.
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Gentleman coiffeur in Rome. The second most important man in my life.
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Sauces & Shapes: Pasta the Italian Way
Scroll down for purchase options.
The indispensable cookbook for genuine Italian sauces and the traditional pasta shapes that go with them.
by Oretta Zanini De Vita and Maureen B. Fant
Photos by Gentl & Hyers/Edge, drawings by Luciana Marini, and wine pairings by Michelle Farkas.
What they say:
“Revelation lies between these covers. … This book is as much a fascinating lesson in Italian character as it is generous with dishes rarely tasted beyond their home kitchens.” (Lynne Rossetto Kasper)
“There are no better experts on the ideology of pasta—the union of a noodle and its proper condiment—than Oretta and Maureen. … It’s a work I look forward to exploring.” (Mario Batali)
“Sauces & Shapes could well be the book that retires all other pasta books. … The table of contents alone reads like the most tantalizing trattoria menu from which you just can’t decide which dish to order.” (Danny Meyer)
“Once again I've been schooled by Oretta Zanini De Vita. And without the help of Maureen B. Fant this information would still be lost on me… You go girls!” (Mark Ladner)
“Zanini De Vita and Fant’s Sauces & Shapes accomplishes the impressive feat of presenting a thoroughly Italian perspective on pasta in a package that all American cooks can use and understand. ….” (Mitchell Davis)
“If you like Italian cooking, Sauces & Shapes will become a timeless, cherished companion.” (Amanda Hesser)
“Everyone loves pasta, and this wonderfully authoritative, ingredient-led book reveals how Italian cooks choose the appropriate pasta shape for the sauce—and the authentic, most delicious and interesting sauce for the pasta.” (Paul Levy)
“Starred review. Picking up where the Encyclopedia of Pasta (2009) left off, … recipes for home cooks preparing dishes in modern kitchens. … this book is meant to help those out outside of Italy cook like Italians.” (Publishers Weekly)
“… a glorious selection of sauces and soups with suggestions for the pasta shapes—some familiar, some not—that go best with them, recipes for making pasta from scratch and, most importantly, advice on approaching pasta as Italians approach this most-loved food that is ‘synonymous with family, hearth, and home.’” (Book Page)
More reviews, bests lists, and blogs
Sybil Pratt on bookpage.com, October 2013
"... recipes written by and for Italians but adapted for American expectations ..."
Foodies West, mid-June 2014
"... every reader that has a propensity to not follow directions to the 't', even during the first run of a recipe, has met a woman—no, a culture—after their own hearts. No wonder we all love Italian food."
Los Angeles Times review by Russ Parsons
"Spend a little time with 'Sauces and Shapes' and instead of asking why anyone might need yet another pasta cookbook, you might find yourself wondering why you would keep all those others."
Huffington Post: "The Must-Read Cookbooks of 2013"
"Think of this as the modern Italian version of Escoffier -- but a lot more accessible."
David Leite: My first Best Book of the Year
"Superbly written. Thoughtful. Detailed but not overly. And the dishes are just freakingly good."
The Atlantic. Corby Kummer's Best Food Books of 2013
"The authors are as or more knowledgeable than anyone writing on Italian food."
Good Housekeeping "9 Perfect-for-Giving Cookbooks"
"... replete with mouth-watering recipes simple enough for easy weeknight meals."
Julia Della Croce on Zester Daily
"Every now and then a new cookbook comes along that stands above the rest."
a serious bunburyist
"Fant is a wonderful writer and it's a pleasure to read her carefully crafted text."
William Grimes, New York Times Sunday Book Review
"The team behind 'Encyclopedia of Pasta' match sauces with their ideal pasta accompaniments."
Jon Jefferson: 10th Day Brewing
"... a new book to love ... worth the price ..."
Buy it at one of these:
Sauces & Shapes: Pasta the Italian Way
Click to order from Amazon.
Barnes & Noble
Click to order from Barnes & Noble.
Click to order from Powell's.
Click to find an actual bookstore you can walk around in.
Splatter your iPad, not your beautiful hardback.