Pasta-everyone's favorite fast food-has seen an astonishing growth in popularity in the last decade or so. The National Pasta Association estimates that the average American now eats nearly 20 pounds of pasta each year. But until recently, it seemed that pasta was limited to spaghetti and egg noodles, with an occasional serving of ravioli and lasagna. Now it's not uncommon to see a wide selection of refrigerated fresh pastas as well as fusilli, angel hair, tagliatelle and farfalle, among many others, in the dried pasta section in any grocery store. Pasta's popularity is not surprising—it's healthful, versatile and easy to prepare-not to mention delicious.
We all crave exciting and new ways to enjoy this appealing food. Providing all the help we need is Pasta with Sauces (Time-Life Books; September 1996; $18.95/hardcover) by award-winning chef and food writer Michele Anna Jordan. With 50 recipes for fresh and dried pasta, including classic sauce recipes, this volume offers meal after meal of creative dishes.
Jordan illustrates the ease of making fresh pasta at home, either by hand or with a food processor and a manual pasta machine. Recipes featuring fresh pasta shapes include the delicate Crab and Garlic Butterover Farfalle, while the use of pumpkin pasta in Pumpkin Squares and Swiss Chard invites home cooks to celebrate the autumnal harvest. Fresh noodle dishes include a classic Fettuccine Afredo, a surprisingly easy Straw and Hay Pasta with Parmesan Cheese, and the authentically Italian Classic Tagliolini with Pesto Sauce.
For those who are a bit short on time (but not on taste!), Penne with Shrimp and Peppers is one of many recipes that makes wonderful use of dried pasta. Any variety of dried thin noodle can be used in Spaghetti with Olive Oil, Garlic and Red Pepper, and various tube pastas such as penne or tubetti will work well in the delightiful Ziti with Salmon and Asparagus. Ground turkey makes an excellent substitution for the beef and pork in Angel Hair Pasta with Roasted Garlic Meatballs. Along with detailed instructions on how to make homemade fresh pastas, Pasta with Sauces offers tips on selecting dried pastas and cooking any pasta to perfection.
Make this dish with small young zucchini (courgettes), which have no trace of the bitterness sometimes found in larger ones. After grating the zucchini, place them in a strainer until ready to use, so their excess liquid can drain away.
Calories 380 (Kilojoules 1,594)
Protein 11 g
Carbohydrates 59 g
Total Fat 11 g
Saturated Fat 5 g
Cholesterol 21 mg
Sodium 267 mg
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Pasta with Sauces
General Editor: Chuck Williams
Recipes by Michele Anna Jordan
Photographs by Joyce Oudkerk Pool
from the Williams-Sonoma Pasta Collection
September 1, 1996;
Reprinted with permission