250 True Italian Pasta Dishes: Easy and Authentic Recipes was written by Chef John Coletta of Chicago's Quartino Ristorante Pizzeria Wine Bar. Unfortunately, although I love visiting Chicago, I've never made it to the restaurant...which will have to change, given the delicious looking menu.
The book is divided into lots of different sections, including dessert pastas, but I'm getting ahead of myself. I know I'll be spending a lot of time trying out baked pastas, making fresh pasta and "filled pasta" where there are tons of tasty sounding fillings to go in those homemade pastas.
That said, since time is always too short around here, I actually made two very easy, very quick and very, very delicious pastas.
I also made a very creamy Maccheroni and Cheese from the "Pasta for Kids" section. Truly for the kid in all of us. My one year old grandson ate it by the handfuls and even the picky three year old had some. He's into perfecting NOT eating into an art form. His mummy outgrew it so I'm sure he will too.
Next up for me will hopefully be the homemade noodles and try my hand at making coloured pastas (he even provides drawings and "how tos" for cutting and filling... I love the sound of "Caramelle which resemble candies wrapped in paper" and stuffing them with fillings like duck sausage with raisins, or eggplant and ricotta filling with a buttery sauce.
And even though I typically run out of time and will make tons of the Express Pastas, I know I'll be making some of the baked pasta dishes too, which are easy enough to prepare the day before...from traditional lasagne alla Bolognese to penne and mushrooms and a bunch more, I'll keep the kitchen busy and everyone's tummy full. Then no matter how time runs away with me, delicious dinner will be done on time.
From salads to casseroles, carnivores and vegetarians alike will find many a dish to return to over and over again.