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Pasta Improvisata: How to Improvise in Classic Italian Style

de Mane, Erica

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ISBN 10: 068482972X / ISBN 13: 9780684829722
Published by Scribner, New York, 1999
Used Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Chequamegon Books (Washburn, WI, U.S.A.)

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"Erica De Mane emphasizes pasta's enormous versatility and shows you how to think for yourself when it comes to combining ingredients. She explains the basic cooking techniques, sauces, and essential equipment so that you can move beyond the boundries of recipes and coventional approaches to pasta cooking." 400 pages Size: 7 3/4 x 9 3/4 ". Bookseller Inventory # 16496

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Pasta Improvisata: How to Improvise in ...

Publisher: Scribner, New York

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hard Cover

Illustrator: Maestro, Laura Hartman

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

About this title


Do you, like millions of Americans, love pasta? Do you nonetheless find yourself preparing the same old pasta sauces over and over again? Wouldn't you like to be able to spice up your pasta routine, to use fresh new ingredients and discover new methods and flavor combinations? Now, with the help of Erica De Mane's timely and imaginative book, you can. You'll learn to throw together an impromptu and delicious pasta dish the way the Italians do, creatively making use of whatever's on hand or whatever looks good in the market. You will develop the confidence and creativity in the kitchen to approach and cook pasta the way it's done in Italy.

Erica De Mane emphasizes pasta's enormous versatility and shows you how to think for yourself when it comes to combining ingredients. She explains the basic cooking techniques, sauces, and essential equipment so that you can move beyond the boundaries of recipes and conventional approaches to pasta cooking. She teaches you how to break down recipes and reinvent them, progressing from the fundamental to the complex, and how to customize recipes to suit your whim or your pantry -- so you'll always end up with an exciting, flavorful, and absolutely authentic Italian dish. Drawing on her extensive travels through the southern regions of Sicily, Apulia, and Campania, and on her respect for the innovations of American chefs, Erica De Mane provides a wealth of new ideas -- from Cavatelli with Morels, Montasio, and Arugula to Ravioli with Scallop Mousse and Red Pepper Sauce to Veal and Roasted Artichoke Lasagne -- that make an easy transition to the American kitchen.

If you're tired of slavishly following recipes all the time, or hesitant to include a favorite ingredient unless it's explicitly called for, fear no more. The clearly laid out recipe ideas and blueprints for creative pasta-making in this book are what every free-spirited pasta lover interested in taste and authenticity has been waiting for.

Among Pasta Improvvisata's unique features:
* Three superbly organized sections: Pasta and Vegetables, Pasta and Fish, and Pasta and Meat
* Twelve instructive pages of drawings, showing all the different types of pasta
* A list of recommended sources for all sorts of Italian specialty ingredients
* A chapter on making fresh pasta, including unusual variations such as Red Pepper Pasta, Saffron Pasta, and Fennel Seed Pasta

This all-inclusive, intelligent, and approachable cookbook will enable all pasta lovers, the novice and the experienced home cook alike, to have more fun -- and freedom -- in the kitchen than ever before.


You may find yourself dusting off your hand-cranked pasta machine after thumbing through Erica de Mane's Pasta Improvvisata. She has taken pasta in one hand, tradition in the other, and pulled together an inspired cookbook.

This book is about cooking. Sure, there are plenty of recipes, but each recipe is a point of departure that encourages inspired cooking. Pasta Improvvisata isn't about religiously following a recipe to arrive at the perfect re-creation of an established Italian dish--there's a lot to be said for that, to be sure. There's a lot to be said for a recipe so well written that the unwitting cook is assured of putting on the table the same dish, right down to texture and aroma, that an Italian cook might be putting on his or her table. Marcella Hazan is a master of just such a recipe.

Erica de Mane's departure is to start with the feel of a particular Italian dish--just the approach or style--and then improvise with the kinds of ingredients actually available in American supermarkets. She ends up with dishes that are in the Italian spirit, but that speak to a willingness to be experimental, a willingness to say "Hey, these are the ingredients I have on hand, and this is the pasta dish that comes as a logical conclusion."

Roasted Asparagus Lasagne with Fontina springs out of a dish that's traditionally just asparagus roasted with butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Why not make it as lasagne? In the author's notes at the end of this recipe are several variations on the theme. She constantly coaxes the cook to reach out and try new things. How about Saffron Tagliatelle with Lobster, Tomato, and Cognac? Or Roasted Zucchini, Fennel, and Gruyere Tossed with Penne (which springs from the author's mother's sauce of sliced zucchini sautéed in olive oil)?

Tie on an apron before opening this book. You may not have the chance once you dive in. --Schuyler Ingle

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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