Back to Basics and Forward into elegance…


I was so excited to finally receive a copy of the new Cookbook release, “Flour + Water = Pasta” by Thomas McNaughton.

This past year I have turned into a Cookbook collector and I was psyched awaiting for this one to arrive. Yes I am Italian and have fond and lasting memories of sitting with my Nonno as a child watching him make Pasta by hand (no electricity or tools involved) and how he would quietly seem to be entranced by the kneading process.  I remember the Fettucine hanging over the Dining Room chairs after being draped by clean white sheets.  This book brought me back to those wonderful times!

This book is just the right size to bring along to a friend or family’s house to have a Pasta making party. Not too heavy but substantial enough that you will have it in your cooking library for a long time.  It’s contents are not exclusively the ordinary types of Pasta you might be expecting (although I would have been satisfied with that) as it includes some eclectic choices such as: Toasted Farro Garganelli with Short Ribs, Hazelnuts and Raddicchio and Rabbit Canneloni with Sweet Potato and Thyme and Corzetti with Sausage, Clams and Fennel.  To be honest, although a Pasta addict, I would not make quite a few of the dishes in the book, I still appreciate the art of the choices the author delivers and I do see myself cross-stealing some of the ingredients from several dishes and serving them up in a creation of my own.

The author does a fabulous job of beginning with the history of Pasta’s origins and the book is divided in clear and logical sections; “The Dough” and “The Recipes”.   The first section is devoted to Pasta making instruction both handmade and electronic. Then includes information on proper cooking times and techniques.  The Recipe section offers the history of the specific Pasta used in the dish which is whimsical as well as educational.  Who would think something made with simple flour and water could have so much folklore attached?

I appreciate the author included a photo with each recipe (a pet peeve of mine when they don’t).   I believe as much as a person eats with their eyes, they also cook that way as well.

My only critique was that in cookbooks, I love glossy pictures, this book’s photos are matte.  However, it does give the book a more “rustic” feel which I believe was intentional.

If you are seeking a new cookbook for your arsenal and want to say you can make Pasta by hand…go for it!

An elevated guide to the craft of pasta-making by rising star chef Thomas McNaughton of San Francisco’s hottest Italian restaurant, flour + water.
From San Franciscos wildly popular Italian restaurant, flour + water, comes this complete primer on the craft of pasta making. Chef Thomas McNaughton shares his time-tested secrets to creating simple, delicious, and beautiful artisan pasta—from the best fresh doughs to shaping and cooking every type of pasta.  A true celebration of Italy’s pasta traditions, flour + water includes fifty seasonally influenced recipes for home cooks of every skill level. The recipes cover the flavor spectrum from well-loved classics to inventive combinations, such as Tagliatelle Bolognese; Pumpkin Tortelloni with Sage  and Pumpkin Seeds; Tomato Farfalle with Chicken Polpettine, Roasted Peppers, and Basil; and  Asparagus Caramelle with Brown Butter. With guidance from McNaughton and the secrets of flour + water’s dough room, anyone can learn to make amazing pasta at home.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”


About formangirl

Married and Mom to two my sweet boys Alexander and Noah. Also FurMom to Rocky the Pug. Avid Family Historian and Scrapbooker.
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