Best to admit bias up front: Pasta is one of my favorite dishes. For me, it's not only tasty, but totally satisfying and can be served in a myriad of ways. Now, while I thought I had a number of pasta recipes I had no idea how many different pastas there were. My cravings for that hunger busting "mixture of durum wheat flour and water" will be fulfilled for a very long time.
Principal of IJP Architects in London and a leading specialist in complex surfaces author Legendre celebrates the multitude of wonderful shapes in which pasta is found. From acini de pepe (the smallest member of the tiny pasta family, perfect for consommes) to ziti (a tubular hollow pasta often served on special occasions) each pasta is given its due. Over ninety forms of pasta are featured in remarkable phonographs that clearly reveal shapes and surfaces.
Each form is accompanied by a brief text outlining the special qualities of that pasta as well as a note on cooking it. For instance, with Linguine we find that it has a "straight longitudinal profile, solid cross section, smooth surface and edges." We read that it is the thinnest member of its particular family, and is best accompanied by "fresh tomato, herbs, a drop of olive oil, garlic, anchovies and hot peppers." A mouth-watering suggestion! It is also properly served with shellfish sauces or flavored white sauces.
In addition each pasta receives a mathematical formula describing its shape and revelatory drawings. Nothing is overlooked in this paean to an extraordinary everyday food.
I find my pasta at Manicaretti [...], Italian food importers. They offer every kind of pasta imaginable as well as superb pasta sauces.
- Gail Cooke