Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Best cookbook for pasta sauces?


Recommended Posts

I'm looking for a gift for a friend and am trying to find a book with just, or primarily, great pasta sauces. I'm not particularly looking for a general Italian cookbook, though if the best variety and quality is in a more general book, then that's what I'll get. A general search on amazon brings up a a ton of results, but I don't recognize the authors and would like to get something especially good. Any ideas?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love Giuliano Hazan's Classic Pasta Cookbook. (Yes, he's Marcella's son, and the recipes are similar to those in her Classic Italian Cookbook.) The book is an excellent primer on pasta shapes and their compatible sauces, though the book is not just for beginners. I've tried many recipes with great results. Check out the Amazon reviews.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have two pasta cookbooks that I wouldn't trade for anything and the combination of the two gives me everything I need.

The first is

Top One Hundred Pasta Sauces: Authentic Regional Recipes from Italy by Diane Seed (#3 and #8) on your list. I have been using this book for almost 20 years and have probably made everything in it. This is definitely an Italian pasta cookbook rather than an Italian American pasta book. This is the kind of pasta my Campobasso born grandmother used to make.

My other favorite is The Complete Book of Pasta and Noodles by the Cook's Illustrated guys. I have made close to half of the recipes in this book and can't recall being disappointed. It has a section on Asian noodles as well and I have made some great stuff from there.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

You could try "The Essential Pasta Cookbook" by Wendy Stephen. This book is extremely approachable with lots of color pictures and step-by-step instructions. Amazon has this with a look inside function http://www.amazon.com/Essential-Pasta-Cook...23890925&sr=1-3

The following books are most likely only available second hand but are very good in their own ways.

The first is "Perfect Pasta" by Valentina Harris. She has a very homely approach to writing and is very strong in her technique and knowledge of Italian food. Buy this one if your friend likes a good read with easily made (and very edible) sauces. The link to her book is http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Pasta-Valent...3891304&sr=1-24

If your friend is a foodie who would value a "pasta bible", try Vincenzo Buonassisi's book "The Classic Book of Pasta" which has been translated from Italian into English. It has all of the sauces in it but categorized by pasta type rather than sauce. This is because in Italian cooking the pasta is king and the sauce is there to get the best out of it. The link to this one is http://www.amazon.com/Classic-Book-Pasta-V...23891241&sr=1-2

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

My pasta bible is Pasta: Every Way for Every Day by Anna Del Conte & Eric Treuille. It covers all the basics extremely well, and I like that they offer a lot of simple variations on most recipes to expand upon the flavors presented. A book I'd recommend for both novice and more experienced cooks; I probably use it at least once a week myself.



| South Jersey Foodie |

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Similar Content

    • By daniel123456789876543
      I have been making pancetta for the first time. I have experience with the curing process doing things like bacon and cold smoked salmon in the past but this is the first time I have ever hanged anything.
      After a week of curing it has had 11 days  hanging so far (I was planning on taking it to 28 days hanging) Although I foolishly forgot to weigh it. 
      It smells really good like some awesome salami and the outer rim of the pancetta looks lovely and rich and dark.
      It was a recipe by Kuhlman in one of their charcuterie books.
      But when I inspected it today it had the mould growing on it as in the pics below. I have since scrubbed the mould off with white wine vinegar and returned it to the cellar. Is it wise to continue?

    • By Rushina
      What would you like to be included in a cookbook you classify as a "good cookbook"?
    • By Multiwagon
      Other than the three written by Michael Ruhlman, which I have read and loved, what other books are out there that are about cooking, but not cookbooks?
    • By OliverB
      I just received a copy of "The Cook's Book - Concise Edition" edited by Jill Norman, and now I'm curious, what's the difference to the full edition? Supposedly it has 648 pages compared to 496 in this edition, and it appears to be much larger in size if the info on us.dk.com is correct. Other than that I can't find any info what the difference might be. It's a neat book with lots of photos about techniques etc, and lots of recipes. As with any DK book production values are high.
      If the contents are the same, I'm happy with the smaller version, but I'd really like to know what I might be missing on those 150 or so pages. If it's just filler, I don't care. If it's some fantastic recipes, I do care....
      Anybody here know both editions? Google was so far of no help. Lots of the full edition are to be had used as well, I'd be happy giving this one as a gift and ordering the full edition, if it's worth it.
    • By devlin
      Say you were rounded up with a group of folks and either had a skill to offer in exchange for a comfy room and some other niceties or were sent off to a slag heap to toil away in the hot sun every day for 16 hours, what 3 books would you want to take with you to enable you to cook and bake such fabulous foodstuffs that your kidnappers would keep you over some poor schlub who could cook only beans and rice and the occasional dry biscuit?
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...