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Mastering Pasta: The Art and Practice of Handmade Pasta, Gnocchi, and Risotto

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Award-winning chef Marc Vetri wanted to write his first book about pasta. Instead, he wrote two other acclaimed cookbooks and continued researching pasta for ten more years. Now, the respected master of Italian cuisine finally shares his vast knowledge of pasta, gnocchi, and risotto in this inspiring, informative primer featuring expert tips and techniques, and more than 1 Award-winning chef Marc Vetri wanted to write his first book about pasta. Instead, he wrote two other acclaimed cookbooks and continued researching pasta for ten more years. Now, the respected master of Italian cuisine finally shares his vast knowledge of pasta, gnocchi, and risotto in this inspiring, informative primer featuring expert tips and techniques, and more than 100 recipes. Vetri’s personal stories of travel and culinary discovery in Italy appear alongside his easy-to-follow, detailed explanations of how to make and enjoy fresh handmade pasta. Whether you’re a home cook or a professional, you’ll learn how to make more than thirty different types of pasta dough, from versatile egg yolk dough, to extruded semolina dough, to a variety of flavored pastas—and form them into shapes both familiar and unique. In dishes ranging from classic to innovative, Vetri shares his coveted recipes for stuffed pastas, baked pastas, and pasta sauces. He also shows you how to make light-as-air gnocchi and the perfect dish of risotto.  Loaded with useful information, including the best way to cook and sauce pasta, suggestions for substituting pasta shapes, and advance preparation and storage notes, Mastering Pasta offers you all of the wisdom of a pro. For cooks who want to take their knowledge to the next level, Vetri delves deep into the science of various types of flour to explain pasta’s uniquely satisfying texture and how to craft the very best pasta by hand or with a machine. Mastering Pasta is the definitive work on the subject and the only book you will ever need to serve outstanding pasta dishes in your own kitchen.


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Award-winning chef Marc Vetri wanted to write his first book about pasta. Instead, he wrote two other acclaimed cookbooks and continued researching pasta for ten more years. Now, the respected master of Italian cuisine finally shares his vast knowledge of pasta, gnocchi, and risotto in this inspiring, informative primer featuring expert tips and techniques, and more than 1 Award-winning chef Marc Vetri wanted to write his first book about pasta. Instead, he wrote two other acclaimed cookbooks and continued researching pasta for ten more years. Now, the respected master of Italian cuisine finally shares his vast knowledge of pasta, gnocchi, and risotto in this inspiring, informative primer featuring expert tips and techniques, and more than 100 recipes. Vetri’s personal stories of travel and culinary discovery in Italy appear alongside his easy-to-follow, detailed explanations of how to make and enjoy fresh handmade pasta. Whether you’re a home cook or a professional, you’ll learn how to make more than thirty different types of pasta dough, from versatile egg yolk dough, to extruded semolina dough, to a variety of flavored pastas—and form them into shapes both familiar and unique. In dishes ranging from classic to innovative, Vetri shares his coveted recipes for stuffed pastas, baked pastas, and pasta sauces. He also shows you how to make light-as-air gnocchi and the perfect dish of risotto.  Loaded with useful information, including the best way to cook and sauce pasta, suggestions for substituting pasta shapes, and advance preparation and storage notes, Mastering Pasta offers you all of the wisdom of a pro. For cooks who want to take their knowledge to the next level, Vetri delves deep into the science of various types of flour to explain pasta’s uniquely satisfying texture and how to craft the very best pasta by hand or with a machine. Mastering Pasta is the definitive work on the subject and the only book you will ever need to serve outstanding pasta dishes in your own kitchen.

30 review for Mastering Pasta: The Art and Practice of Handmade Pasta, Gnocchi, and Risotto

  1. 4 out of 5

    Madison

    There is not much I love to eat more than pasta. Making it is a little more daunting, however. But if you are thinking about taking that first scary step towards strands (or curls or twists or folds) of homemade pasta goodness or merely need some inspiration for your journey, then this is the book for you. A short introduction outlines the author’s feelings about pasta, augmented with the first two chapters on Italian cuisine tradition and the basics of wheat, respectively. These chapters includ There is not much I love to eat more than pasta. Making it is a little more daunting, however. But if you are thinking about taking that first scary step towards strands (or curls or twists or folds) of homemade pasta goodness or merely need some inspiration for your journey, then this is the book for you. A short introduction outlines the author’s feelings about pasta, augmented with the first two chapters on Italian cuisine tradition and the basics of wheat, respectively. These chapters included possibly more information that I wanted to know but it is certainly interesting and there if you want it. I was keen to learn about how flour is described and what those words actually mean, something I’ve not fully grasped before. And then the serious business of pasta making begins. There is a chapter each on fresh pasta, baked sheet pasta, ravioli and stuffed pasta, extruded and dried pasta, flavoured pasta, hand-formed pasta, gnocchi and risotto. (Hungry yet?). Each chapter gives an introduction to the type of pasta, outlines ingredients and provides a basic dough recipe, with detailed instructions, equipment requirements and images of finished products and each step in the shaping processes. The basic dough recipes for each chapter are expanded upon to include various flavours, varieties and shapes. For example, by switching a few ingredients, the basic fresh pasta dough easily becomes egg yolk and bread flour dough or corzetti dough, and basic semolina dough can become red wine semolina dough or sweet pea semolina dough. Each chapter also includes a whole range of complete recipes. The recipes feel like they came straight from a professional kitchen – and range from the more familiar spaghetti with tomato and basil sauce to the downright scary pig’s foot ravioli with fennel pollen. But don’t worry, there are plenty of recipes that fit between that wide span to suit everyone’s tastebuds. Photographs are abundant in this book. They are beautiful, but also relevant. Lumps of golden dough, green tangles of floury strands and plump globes of gnocchi swimming in glistening sauce. The index and contents pages are truly extensive, which I love and make working through this book a breeze. I had serious carb cravings every time I flicked through this book. But don’t worry, there are plenty of recipes to fulfil all your pasta dreams. This is a pasta book that will supply you with endless inspiration. It is a book I am going to enjoy taking my time to work through, enjoying the basics and working my way up to the harder techniques and recipes. The publisher provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gianna Lorandi

    Amazing book to broaden you knowledge about pasta dishes and pasta dough

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dirty Dayna

    4 Fresh Pasta Stars Me and pasta books are really hit or miss and I think it varies on the delivery of the pasta skill. For example: this book has amazing sounding/looking recipes but the how to make pasta takes up about 2 pages. So the focus predominantly is the recipes. Many of the ingredients are not common household cooking proteins so I think there would be a fun adventure there. Most recipes are fairly simple in design but I recommend you know how to make your own pasta prior to this b 4 Fresh Pasta Stars Me and pasta books are really hit or miss and I think it varies on the delivery of the pasta skill. For example: this book has amazing sounding/looking recipes but the how to make pasta takes up about 2 pages. So the focus predominantly is the recipes. Many of the ingredients are not common household cooking proteins so I think there would be a fun adventure there. Most recipes are fairly simple in design but I recommend you know how to make your own pasta prior to this book and use this book as a new recipe book with your pastas

  4. 5 out of 5

    Georgianne

    Hard to say I read a cookbook because I'll be referring back to this a zillion times. But I pored through it a number of times picking out the recipes I want to try. I already made pasta by hand (unless I was lazy, which was often enough), but reading this made me want to try grinding my own flour. My husband was also moving in the same direction so when he asked if we should by a mill I said sure. The mill came, the wheat berries came, and I've been trying various recipes and having fun. Love t Hard to say I read a cookbook because I'll be referring back to this a zillion times. But I pored through it a number of times picking out the recipes I want to try. I already made pasta by hand (unless I was lazy, which was often enough), but reading this made me want to try grinding my own flour. My husband was also moving in the same direction so when he asked if we should by a mill I said sure. The mill came, the wheat berries came, and I've been trying various recipes and having fun. Love the book!

  5. 4 out of 5

    john fiordalisi

    Great book This book really got into the mechanics of pasta dough making. A little protein chemistry didn't hurt either. Plus lots of great recipes. Great book This book really got into the mechanics of pasta dough making. A little protein chemistry didn't hurt either. Plus lots of great recipes.

  6. 5 out of 5

    David

    The very first recipe for pasta in this book calls for 10 egg yolks, which is fine but I don't live on a chicken farm so I decided to follow a recipe that only uses 3 egg yolks and 3 whole eggs. I read the intro and all about the importance of humidity/flour and how everything can effect the pasta quantities so the recipes might not be exact, which is why it's important to use a scale. I weighed everything, I checked the protein content of all the flours, I weighed the eggs, I weighed the yolks. The very first recipe for pasta in this book calls for 10 egg yolks, which is fine but I don't live on a chicken farm so I decided to follow a recipe that only uses 3 egg yolks and 3 whole eggs. I read the intro and all about the importance of humidity/flour and how everything can effect the pasta quantities so the recipes might not be exact, which is why it's important to use a scale. I weighed everything, I checked the protein content of all the flours, I weighed the eggs, I weighed the yolks... I did everything the book says you should do and the resulting pasta dough was actually terrible. Soft, sticky, unmanageable... and that's before I added the oil and water the recipe calls for. The recipe took over 100 additional grams of flour just to salvage it. No way humidity and differences in flour account for 100 grams in discrepancy. Haven't tried any additional recipes from the book as I'm reluctant to waste eggs and flour on another recipe the author didn't even bother to test. You can buy cheaper paper weights online. Save yourself the money.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chris "Stu"

    Reviewing a cookbook is always kind of a weird affair, even if you read it cover to cover, which I tend to do with cookbooks. Because I read this book, and I liked it, and it _seemed_ to have a lot of great advice that I'm looking forward to putting into practice, and a bunch of recipes I want to try. However, I haven't actually made anything out of it yet, so while it seems like good advice, it might just be fronting. Anyway, I'll re-review it if it turns out to be weak, but as it is, the author Reviewing a cookbook is always kind of a weird affair, even if you read it cover to cover, which I tend to do with cookbooks. Because I read this book, and I liked it, and it _seemed_ to have a lot of great advice that I'm looking forward to putting into practice, and a bunch of recipes I want to try. However, I haven't actually made anything out of it yet, so while it seems like good advice, it might just be fronting. Anyway, I'll re-review it if it turns out to be weak, but as it is, the author has a nice clear authoritative voice, and the advice he gives seems to be useful, and it's good at inspiring me to get out the pasta maker again and see what I can make with what he says. The recipes seem a little more complicated than what I've worked with before; we'll see if that translates into even better food than I've already achieved.

  8. 5 out of 5

    patrick Lorelli

    A cookbook that is really about making pasta. That in itself is difficult at least for me the first time I made it with my father when I was young. He taught me and for me, the simplest was made for ravioli. We had the dining room table covered and he was giving me a lesson when I was all 12 years old. I will say that homemade pasta does taste better it just takes time. If you have a pasta machine or an attachment for a kitchen aid it will make some of the work easier. This book has good recipes A cookbook that is really about making pasta. That in itself is difficult at least for me the first time I made it with my father when I was young. He taught me and for me, the simplest was made for ravioli. We had the dining room table covered and he was giving me a lesson when I was all 12 years old. I will say that homemade pasta does taste better it just takes time. If you have a pasta machine or an attachment for a kitchen aid it will make some of the work easier. This book has good recipes, wonderful pictures, and some stories. So overall a very good book. I received this book from Netgalley.com I gave it 4 stars Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com

  9. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Woodman

    This was such a popular choice on the Food 52 Cookbook club! The egg pasta (which takes 9 egg yolks--some people did cut back on that number and suggested the pasta was still great) was the clear winner for the pasta's, and the scallion and corn sauce was a great end of summer but don't quite want to give it up yet sauce. The techniques he presents and the ease of use of his doughs were what people liked best about this cookbook. This was such a popular choice on the Food 52 Cookbook club! The egg pasta (which takes 9 egg yolks--some people did cut back on that number and suggested the pasta was still great) was the clear winner for the pasta's, and the scallion and corn sauce was a great end of summer but don't quite want to give it up yet sauce. The techniques he presents and the ease of use of his doughs were what people liked best about this cookbook.

  10. 4 out of 5

    The Contented

    Delightful book, pleasant to read, a huge range of artisanal pasta ideas from lemon pasta with scallops, to saffron and lobster. But I am no chef,, so let’s see how I get on. Still, it’s cool to be aspirational (Minus one star for the pig’s head recipe ideas that made me wonder if I would actually, indeed, really, like, end up buying this book)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Doug

    A privaledge to learn from a true master of his craft.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andréa

    Note: I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    The info on different flours was interesting. Will take the notes on actual pasta making - full recipes probably not so much.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kl

    Absolutely loved this book. Can’t wait to dive in!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ashani

    Like Vetri's pizza book,this is a hit too ! Like Vetri's pizza book,this is a hit too !

  16. 5 out of 5

    Budd Margolis

    What a magnificent book. I never knew there was so much to wheat , pasta and some very credible recipes here!!!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Italo Italophiles

    The Art and Practice of Handmade Pasta, Gnocchi, and Risotto. The subtitle of the book pretty much says it all, except for the polenta recipes. As the chef-author says: "People just adore pasta. It's a simple fact." The author is an enthusiastic pasta maker, and his enthusiasm comes over clearly in the book. He stresses that making pasta is not difficult, and can actually be a creative outlet, one that family and friends will always enjoy. He aims to: "dispel the myth that pasta is complicated to m The Art and Practice of Handmade Pasta, Gnocchi, and Risotto. The subtitle of the book pretty much says it all, except for the polenta recipes. As the chef-author says: "People just adore pasta. It's a simple fact." The author is an enthusiastic pasta maker, and his enthusiasm comes over clearly in the book. He stresses that making pasta is not difficult, and can actually be a creative outlet, one that family and friends will always enjoy. He aims to: "dispel the myth that pasta is complicated to make" Pasta is as old as flour, so it is no surprise that the variations are endless. "No dish in history has as many variations, colors, motifs, tastes, textures and subtleties as a dish of pasta." The book covers: Fresh Pasta Baked Sheet Past, Ravioli Stuffed Pasta Extruded & Dried Pasta Flavorings for the Pasta Gnocchi Risotto Polenta Stocks & Sauces The Basics of Pasta Making We learn from the book, which I received as a review-copy, about the science of flour, and how to vary the basic ingredients to at taste and texture to the pasta. There are traditional recipes like Tagliatelle with Bolognese Sauce and modern variations such as Farfalle with Chorizo and Favas (actually, this is a very Sicilian dish!). There are plenty of photos accompanying the text, showing the making of pasta, and many of the finished dishes. There are lots of meat sauces, too, which are the oldest, most traditional types of sauces. This is probably a good gift idea for any friend who loves pasta but is afraid of attempting to make it on their own. The author's enthusiasm is sure to overcome their fears. Be warned, however: reading this book will make you very hungry! Please visit my full and illustrated review at Italophile Book Reviews. http://italophilebookreviews.blogspot...

  18. 5 out of 5

    Create With Joy

    Marc Vetri – the man that James Beard calls “one of the best pasta chefs on the planet” – has recently published Mastering Pasta – The Art and Practice of Handmade Pasta, Gnocchi, and Risotto with David Joachim, a book that’s a must for any foodie’s book collection! First things first: Mastering Pasta is more than a recipe book. It’s an embodiment of Marc’s passion, cooking philosophy, and lifetime of culinary knowledge, gathered in one beautifully photographed and highly educational book! Masteri Marc Vetri – the man that James Beard calls “one of the best pasta chefs on the planet” – has recently published Mastering Pasta – The Art and Practice of Handmade Pasta, Gnocchi, and Risotto with David Joachim, a book that’s a must for any foodie’s book collection! First things first: Mastering Pasta is more than a recipe book. It’s an embodiment of Marc’s passion, cooking philosophy, and lifetime of culinary knowledge, gathered in one beautifully photographed and highly educational book! Mastering Pasta is written for those who enjoy reading cookbooks and implementing what they learn – not for those looking to make a quick meal and move on. It’s written for those who have the time and desire to learn about cooking, particularly home chefs who want to learn how to make pasta and gnocchi by hand, master the technical aspects and techniques of cooking, and work with exotic, high-end ingredients. If the thought of handmade pasta, gnocchi or risotto makes you weak in the knees, you will definitely want this book in your kitchen! To read this review in its entirety, visit Create With Joy. Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. However, the opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    Vetri has a direct approach and is clearly a man with opinions. I cannot help but enjoy really specialist detail which has sentences like "You know those commercials where they show a plate of cooked pasta with a pile of sauce on top? That’s bullshit." (Don't hold back there, Mr. Vetri!) There're pages and pages of details here about the gluten levels of multiple types of wheat (including a gluten strip to illustrate) and the structure of wheat grains before the actual recipes but Vetri's voice Vetri has a direct approach and is clearly a man with opinions. I cannot help but enjoy really specialist detail which has sentences like "You know those commercials where they show a plate of cooked pasta with a pile of sauce on top? That’s bullshit." (Don't hold back there, Mr. Vetri!) There're pages and pages of details here about the gluten levels of multiple types of wheat (including a gluten strip to illustrate) and the structure of wheat grains before the actual recipes but Vetri's voice kept me from skipping them. The pasta shapes do come with sauce recipes (often non-vegetarian/very traditional) but as Vetri himself exhorts, pasta is the vehicle for much experimentation. Many of the shapes and basic doughs come with step by step photographs and tips for storage. To get the most out of this cookbook though would require buying many different traditional pasta shaping tools so I personally only found 1/3 of the book actually practicable.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    Beautiful book both in prose and pictures. The author's love of pasta comes across in the words and his techniques. He not only loves pasta, but loves choosing ingredients, the preparation, the process and the final product (funny story about how he reacts to good pasta, page 19). He says that the difference between a recipe and a gorgeous plate of food is YOU! The recipe is the GPS, but you have to get yourself to your destination (page 6). You make the recipe work. Engage yourself in the cooki Beautiful book both in prose and pictures. The author's love of pasta comes across in the words and his techniques. He not only loves pasta, but loves choosing ingredients, the preparation, the process and the final product (funny story about how he reacts to good pasta, page 19). He says that the difference between a recipe and a gorgeous plate of food is YOU! The recipe is the GPS, but you have to get yourself to your destination (page 6). You make the recipe work. Engage yourself in the cooking and let the recipe be your guide. Mastering pasta means continuing to make it. This book, as the author hopes, will inspire you to do just that. Covers fresh, stuffed, extruded, and dried pasta. Contains sections on flavor, hand-formed pasta like ravioli, gnoochi, risotto and stocks and sauces and pasta basics. Well-done, gorgeous book!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    My family absolutely loves pasta. We love it in every shape and form. I have even wanted to make my own homemade pasta noodles, but always thought that it would be too complicated and too time consuming. Mastering Pasta teaches you that it's really not all that complicated and really not that time consuming. Although, you will need a automatic pasta roller, to make the rolling a bit easier and to get the pasta to the right thickness. (Which I don't have, poo.) There is at least 100 amazing pasta My family absolutely loves pasta. We love it in every shape and form. I have even wanted to make my own homemade pasta noodles, but always thought that it would be too complicated and too time consuming. Mastering Pasta teaches you that it's really not all that complicated and really not that time consuming. Although, you will need a automatic pasta roller, to make the rolling a bit easier and to get the pasta to the right thickness. (Which I don't have, poo.) There is at least 100 amazing pasta dishes in this book. I can't wait to try them all, or at least most of them.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jordan

    A fascinating read that helps you understand the science of pasta, but it is only focused on high-end, gourmand aspect of pasta. I can certainly appreciate that, but in making the claim to master pasta I would like to see some quotidian (read plebeian if you prefer) offerings as well. I ate some amazing one to two egg pastas when I lived in Italy - you don't need 8-9 eggs to make pasta correctly. Ultimately, it is a good book if you know it's limitations going in. You'll know some high-end pasta A fascinating read that helps you understand the science of pasta, but it is only focused on high-end, gourmand aspect of pasta. I can certainly appreciate that, but in making the claim to master pasta I would like to see some quotidian (read plebeian if you prefer) offerings as well. I ate some amazing one to two egg pastas when I lived in Italy - you don't need 8-9 eggs to make pasta correctly. Ultimately, it is a good book if you know it's limitations going in. You'll know some high-end pasta info, but you will not be a master.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    A goodly nymber of recipes in this book are written for those that live near a "little Italy" and can easily pick up some hard to find cheese or other special ingredients. The information regarding the process is incredible. It's explained why pasta recipes vary number of whole eggs, yolks, oil, salt, and even types/grinds of flour. David details when certain thicknesses of noodle are called for. He also gives instructions for dozens of dough recipes and how or when to substitute types of dough/n A goodly nymber of recipes in this book are written for those that live near a "little Italy" and can easily pick up some hard to find cheese or other special ingredients. The information regarding the process is incredible. It's explained why pasta recipes vary number of whole eggs, yolks, oil, salt, and even types/grinds of flour. David details when certain thicknesses of noodle are called for. He also gives instructions for dozens of dough recipes and how or when to substitute types of dough/noodle for his dishes.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cristian A. Huidobro

    Incredible book Put it simple, I've always loved Italian cuisine, but this book will give you a new perspective and a renovated love for it. Marc's writing is all about passion and love... so much that's totally understandable you want to put the book down and start rolling your hand made dough right there. Totally recommended. Incredible book Put it simple, I've always loved Italian cuisine, but this book will give you a new perspective and a renovated love for it. Marc's writing is all about passion and love... so much that's totally understandable you want to put the book down and start rolling your hand made dough right there. Totally recommended.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Polly Krize

    I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Handmade pasta, there's not much better than that! This book provides detailed instructions for creating of pasta, with beautiful photographs included. I look forward to trying these recipes firstly "as is" and then tweaking them to make them mine. Must buy a pasta roller though! Bravo! I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Handmade pasta, there's not much better than that! This book provides detailed instructions for creating of pasta, with beautiful photographs included. I look forward to trying these recipes firstly "as is" and then tweaking them to make them mine. Must buy a pasta roller though! Bravo!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    Loved this Cookbook! Will report back after I've tried some of the recipes. There is a good discussion about gluten and why pasta and naturally risen breads are lower in gluten then modern fast risen breads if you have gluten-averse people in your family/friends group. Loved this Cookbook! Will report back after I've tried some of the recipes. There is a good discussion about gluten and why pasta and naturally risen breads are lower in gluten then modern fast risen breads if you have gluten-averse people in your family/friends group.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kirk Dobihal

    Encyclopedic book covering pasta, gnocchi, and risotto; with emphasis on pasta. Can't wait to try some of the recipes and hand make my own. Encyclopedic book covering pasta, gnocchi, and risotto; with emphasis on pasta. Can't wait to try some of the recipes and hand make my own.

  28. 4 out of 5

    La La

    I will be back with a full review. THIS BOOK IS STELLAR!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Liz De Coster

    The recipes look delicious, but all I could think while I was reading was how much space it takes to make pasta!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Michael

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