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Pasta The Long and the Short of it. Published by Hardie Grant Books on 31st May 2018, £20, HB
New Review

"Pasta is a feeling as well as a fuel”

Pasta is the world’s favourite food according to a study of global food trends.  Indeed, few culinary experiences are quite as comforting and satisfying as the first bite of al dente pasta that slides easily from fork to mouth. 

 The Long and the Short of Pasta brings Italy’s most beloved ingredient to life by showcasing the best Italian pastas from across the country. Authors Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi bring together a collection of delicious pasta dishes ranging from Tuscany to Rome, inspired by their lifetime travelling Italy and cooking Italian food.  Covering the basics of fresh pasta and the perfect sauces to pair them with, this will give anyone the confidence to master Italy’s signature dish, with style. 

 A treasured collection of over 70 authentic recipes, The Long and the Short of Pasta includes quick pasta meals in a hurry, hearty ragus, sumptuous seafood pastas, gnocchi, ravioli and sauces that come together in a snap. The recipes are accompanied by gorgeous photography of the food, the Italian landscape and city portraits, as well as Katie and Giancarlo’s personal travel musings and historical anecdotes about the origins of pasta. 

This comprehensive book includes basic tutorials for making fresh pasta from scratch, nutritional notes and even a gluten-free pasta recipe. Giancarlo himself is gluten-intolerant and has made it his mission (after much experimentation!) to develop a truly delicious gluten-free pasta recipe which can be used for cut ribbons, stuffed and shaped pasta.  

The mouth-watering recipes include Lemon Tagliolini, Black Linguine with Crab, Pistachio Pesto, Cocoa Ravioli Stuffed with Gorgonzola & Walnut, Wood Pigeon Ragu with Pici and many more  
About the authors

Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi are the owners of London’s Caffé Caldesi, Caldesi in Campagna in Bray, and the Marylebone La Cucina Caldesi cooking school. They are undisputed experts in Italian food and have taught alongside some of the biggest names in Italian cuisine, including Gennaro Contaldo, Ursula Ferrigno and Valentina Harris. This is their eleventh cookbook. 

Puttanesca (whore’s pasta) 

It is said that the ladies of the night would make this quick sauce for extra energy using their store-cupboard ingredients. It is featured in The Long and the Short of Pasta using fresh cherry tomatoes rather than the canned variety. Here are Katie’s instructionse pasta in a large pan of well-salted boiling water.

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 large garlic clove, lightly crushed ½–1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped 2 heaped tablespoons black olives,    pitted and halved 1 heaped tablespoon capers,   drained and rinsed if salted 6 anchovy fillets large handful of parsley,   finely chopped 350 g (12 oz) cherry tomatoes,    quartered salt, if necessary 350 g (12 oz) spaghetti, to serve

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the garlic and chilli, followed by the olives, capers and anchovies.

Stir frequently to break up the anchovies. Add the parsley and stir through. After 2 minutes, add the tomatoes. Taste the sauce and season if necessary. Cook for another couple of minutes.

When the pasta is ready, use tongs to lift it from the saucepan directly into the frying pan, along with a tablespoon of cooking water to lengthen the sauce.

Serve immediately.

Use tinned tomatoes instead of fresh, and instead of the anchovies, gently stir through good-quality tinned tuna  at the last minute.

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