Maureen B. Fant

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Sauces & Shapes: Pasta the Italian Way

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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


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Selected Works

Food
Pasta is so universally popular in the United States that it can justifiably be called an American food. This book makes the case for keeping it Italian with recipes for sauces and soups as cooked in Italian homes today. There are authentic versions of such favorites as carbonara, bolognese, marinara, and Alfredo, as well as plenty of unusual but no less traditional sauces, based on roasts, ribs, rabbit, clams, eggplant, arugula, and mushrooms, to name but a few.
Food culture and recipes with fabulous photos
A personal guide to traditional eating and drinking in three cities
A to Z Italian-English lexicon of food terminology
The Classical World
A source book on ancient women
Translations
By Oretta Zanini De Vita