100 Ways to Be Pasta
Perfect Pasta Recipes from Gangivecchio
Publication Date: September 20, 2005
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For us, pasta is more than just a food. It is part of our histories. It is a good friend, a member of the family. It is something we love . . . When Italians offer a plate of pasta to friends or strangers, we are opening the doors of our homes and welcoming them inside in the most generous way. It is in that spirit that my mamma and I, who have had the good fortune to be accompanied all our lives by this most versatile of foods, invite you through the tall, ancient wooden doors of Gangivecchio and offer up these recipes, these one hundred versions of the golden strands, the god, pasta, to you. So put the water on to boil. And buon appetito! —Giovanna Tornabene, from her Introduction
Welcome back to Gangivecchio, where Wanda and Giovanna Tornabene, two-time James Beard Award winners and beloved doyennes of the Italian kitchen, have served up another irresistible helping of charm, wit, and culinary wisdom from the kitchen of the thirteenth-century abbey they call home. This time around, the dynamic mother-daughter duo takes us back to Sicilian basics, in a recipe-filled compendium and heartfelt tribute to the “queen of the Italian table”—pasta.
In 100 Ways to Be Pasta the Tornabenes once again weave memoir and history together with the vivid flavors of local village life, bringing us a true taste of Sicilian culture and cuisine. They incorporate lessons from basic pasta-cooking techniques to secret tips from old masters, and include an extensive glossary of pasta vocabulary, a dictionary of pasta types, and of course a generous sprinkling of anecdotes and advice.
All of this serves as a delightful setting for the one hundred authentic, mouth-watering recipes, lovingly honed and perfected in the old abbey kitchen. From quick, easy basics, like spaghetti with garlic, oil, and hot pepper or farfalle with peas and prosciutto, to traditional pasta soups like minestrone, to more elaborate baked and stuffed pastas like Baked Orecchiette with Lamb Ragù and Melted Mozzarella or Baked Timbale of Anelletti with Veal and Vegetables, each recipe serves up a little piece of Sicily for your very own kitchen.
As informative and useful to the beginner as to the experienced Italian cook, 100 Ways to Be Pasta is a must-have and a treasure for any cookbook shelf.
Wanda and Giovanna Tornabene have run their restaurant out of the thirteenth-century abbey Gangivecchio, in Sicily’s Madonie Mountains, since 1978. Both of their previous books, La Cucina Siciliana di Gangivecchio and Sicilian Home Cooking, won the James Beard Award for Best Italian Cookbook. Wanda and Giovanna spend most of their time at Gangivecchio and also have a home in Palermo.
Carolynn Carreño is a freelance writer for magazines and a coauthor of Once Upon a Tart. Her work was selected for the anthology Best Food Writing 2002 and has been nominated for the James Beard Best Feature Writing award. She divides her time between New York City and Los Angeles.