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Pasta! Pasta!
Authentic Recipes from the Regions of Italy

by Pamela Sheldon Johns
Ten Speed Press,
March 2001
Hardcover - 112 pages

Now that Italy's national dish has taken over dinner menus across the globe, it's time to return to the source in search of the full flavors and storied traditions behind pasta. Award-winning author Pamela Sheldon Johns conducts a mouthwatering, and highly educational, culinary tour of the roots of this beloved staple in Pasta!, the fifth book in her acclaimed Italian artisanal cookbook series. The ever-inquisitive Sheldon Johns drops in on some of Italy's oldest pasta makers in search of the secrets of their craft, and discusses what distinguishes the choicest pastas, both fresh and dried, from the also-ran's. She then offers up over 50 simple regional pasta recipes that feature the age-old foodstuff in its parade of shapes and sizes. One bite of Penne Rigati in Gorgonzola Sauce (from Lombardy), Farfalle with Peas and Proscuitto (from Emilia-Romagna) or Fusilli with Sausage and Olives (from the south), and your senses will be on a virtual tour of the motherland. For those who have struggled with making homemade pasta in the past, Sheldon Johns comes to the rescue with time-tested master recipes with step-by-step instructions, straight from the kitchens of Italy.

Fusilli Lunghi FROM THE BOOK
Fusilli Lunghi con Salsicce e Olive
(Curly Pasta with Sausage and Olives)

This is my daughter's favorite pasta shape. She loves the long curly noodles that look like ringlets of hair.

2 red bell peppers, roasted and peeled

2 yellow bell peppers, roasted and peeled

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus three tablespoons

1/4 cup basil leaves

1 pound Italian sausage, cut into 1-inch lengths

1 cup pitted oil-cured black Italian olives

1 pound fusilli or the pasta of your choice
  • Julienne the peppers.
  • In a blender, combine 1/4 cup olive oil and the basil. Process until the basil is completely blended. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the julienned peppers and set aside.
  • In a sauté pan, over medium-high heat, heat the remaining olive oil and brown the sausages two minutes on each side. Add the pepper mixture and olives and heat through. Keep warm.
  • In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta according to package directions, until al dente. Drain and toss with the sauce. Serve at once.
  • Serves 6

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