This month for our cook book club we are looking at Flour + Water by Thomas McNaughton with Paolo Lucchesi. Right off the bat I was drawn in by the beautiful cover with a myriad of pasta shapes. In this case you can judge a book by it’s cover, because it is not only a beautiful book, but full of pasta making techniques.
So why did I really pick this pasta cook book over the thousands out there? Easy, because of this quote in the preface by David Steele, “In Italy, I saw how pasta was used as a delivery agent for seasonal ingredients”. Well said and this cook book delivers.
This book is a cook book, a journey, a memoir. Very seldom do we get a real glimpse into what it takes for a great story to become reality. With quotes from Thomas McNaughton like “I’m in Bologna working in a pasta lab. Heard you’re looking for a chef. I’d like to move back to the Bay Area and start a goat farm.” You know, he has an interesting story to tell.
I’m not one for quick and easy recipes when searching for a cook book, but I also don’t want every recipe to be so complicated that it makes me not want to pick the book up again. Flour + Water at first glance does look amazing and overwhelming, but with a pleasant surprise they actually teach you how to make each pasta shape in a well informed and visual way. The authors also go as far as to tell you what equipment you need for each recipe and even “store bought options” incase you just need to whip up a quick, outstanding dinner. They do such an excellent job at teaching the techniques that you feel like you can make these complex pastas in an approachable and confident way.
The authors use and combination of ingredients is invigorating and really makes you want to explore. Each recipe has a familiar feel but with an unexpected intriguing flavor combination. This is the cook book that makes you want to cook! If you like to entertain like we do, imagine putting one of these precious, hand made recipes for your guests, nothing else can compare.