Are you a novice when it comes to cooking pasta dishes? Or are you an expert who needs some fresh ideas on enhancing your skills? Either way, there is no doubt that reading a good pasta cookbook is always helpful. Statistics say that Italian food ranks as one of the top three most fashionable cuisines in the world. Moreover, 80% of pasta dishes are made at home and not in restaurants. Thus, you will need the best pasta cookbooks that will turn you into a pasta expert.
As with almost every discipline out there, tons of resources exist to help you learn this task. Some may be difficult to understand, while others are easy but lack necessary information. This article goes over the seven best pasta cookbooks that I’ve read through and tried out.
7 Best Pasta Cookbooks Reviews
1. Pasta: The Spirit and Craft of Italy’s Greatest Food by Missy Robbins and Talia Baiocchi
Pasta is a beautiful book full of vivid pictures that are both informative and appetizing. The authors are experts in their craft, so this book is all you need to learn the ropes about pasta.
The recipe book introduces the pasta world and what makes it so special for Italians. Then, it continues with an explanation of 100 Italian-American, regional Italian as well as modern-day dishes. There are 40 handmade pasta shapes for diversity lovers, with proper guidance on how to make your pasta at home.
You can make your pasta into the shapes you like by stuffing, rolling, extruding, drying, stamping, and hand-cutting into the shapes you want. Enjoy this provenance with your favorite sauce and have an excellent taste of Italy!
Are you an aspiring cook looking for something that will open your mind and breath inspiration into you? If you answered yes, then this cookbook should be in your cart! Get to learn the secrets behind Missy’s Lilian and Misi pasta, with a touch of Robbin’s 20+ vegetable dishes to enjoy alongside the pasta.
The cookbook gives you step-by-step instructions on shaping pasta, mixing the dough, and even cooking it. The authors go an extra step at inspiring you to keep trying out these recipes. Follow the flow, and you could make the most wonderful Corzeti or Tagliatelle you have ever tasted.
What we like
- Beautiful pictures accompanying the recipes
- Instructions on how to make your pasta shapes at home
- Inspiring and gorgeous at the same time for beginners.
- Available in both Kindle and paperback versions
- Great for inspirational connoisseur couples
2. Peace, Love, and Pasta: Simple and Elegant Recipes from a Chef’s Home Kitchen by Scott Conant
This is another inspirational book, which adds a twist to classic Italian cuisine: simplicity and elegance. The cookbook is by an award-winning chef who has appeared countless times in the Food Network, restaurant openings and has received widespread acclamation.
Peace, Love, and Pasta is full of simple and comforting dishes that everyone can prepare. If you have a busy schedule but love Southern Italy and New England’s food, then this is the right book for you.
The 240-page cookbook features fresh and flavorful yet simple Italian-American dishes that anyone can make. The recipes come in sections like pasta, risotto, fish and shellfish, salads, dessert, and drinks, but the main emphasis is on pasta.
Grab your copy and get to enjoy recipes from an Author with a genuine fascination with ingredients and their resultant flavors around the simple but pleasurable taste of pasta.
What we like
- 240 pages of accessible recipes
- Step-by-step instructions
- Illustrious and easy to understand pictures that are easy to understand
- Available in paperback and Kindle formats.
- Authored by a real chef with multiple awards to his name.
3. Pasta Grannies: The Official Cookbook: The Secrets of Italy’s Best Home Cooks by Vicky Bennison
This book is authored by a lady who fell in love with Italian food and wrote a pasta cookbook. Vicky is also a winner of the James Beard Award to illustrate how good she is at what she does.
Inspired by the Tube channel under the same name, this is definitely one of the best pasta-making cookbooks to transform an aspiring beginner into a nonna-level pasta cooker. You well know those Italian grandmothers don’t cook pasta for a living, but out of the sheer love of good pasta. They use pasta as a vessel to bring together precious ingredients into a pot and present it to you as a feast for the senses.
So, with the 256 pages of delicious recipes, this book divulges the secrets of the traditional Italian kitchen, courtesy of the women who have been cooking pasta for generations and contributed the recipes.
Talking of diversity, you are overwhelmed with options here, from the spicy stuff to the sweet kind. There are recipes for pasta doughs, sauces for every occasion, different shapes of pasta, sides of vegetables and meats, and the desserts pastas.
You want pici? This book details how to make the hand-rolled equivalent of spaghetti. How about lumachelledelladuchessa? This book has it all!
What we like
- 256 pages of detailed and clear instructions
- Acclaimed cookbook author with a James Beard Award.
- Available in paperback and Kindle formats.
- A great amount of diversity in the recipes.
- Recipes contributed by traditional Italian grandmothers.
4. The Ultimate Pasta Machine Cookbook: 100 Recipes for Every Kind of Amazing Pasta Your Pasta Maker Can Make by Lucy Vaserfire
This cookbook is not the ordinary recipe book that you see flooding the internet. It’s 100% about making your own pasta, along with all the tools you need to know during the process.
For an absolute beginner who has no idea of the ins and outs of pasta, this book is what you need. The reason? It covers electric and manual pasta machines and the necessary stand mixer attachments. This is a foolproof way of making pasta for people who get stranded when following through with other recipes.
Are you tired of the monotonous store-bought pasta? Or do you find the taste of store-bought pasta too bland? Learn the 100 inventive recipes for your pasta machine and have fun with a whole new range of ingredients and flavors.
If reputation is anything to go by, Lucy Vaserfirer is a well-known author who has demystified the art of pasta-making into a simplified, step-by-step process. May it be marinating, searing, cast iron cooking, or frying, she has you covered. Home cooks have become experts through her explainers.
Pasta lovers get a similar treatment in the form of easy-to-follow recipes from various cultures. You learn everything from using sheeters, extruders, making cavatelli, and using electric and manual pasta machines.
Lucy includes several purees that you can whip up in a blender or a mixing bowl and create your favorite pasta flavors. This technique allows you to have tomato, spinach, basil, chives, saffron, pepper, beet, corn, sweet potato, chocolate, etc., into your pasta without turning it into a crime scene.
Want to make various pasta shapes, including Asian noodles, durum, semolina, buckwheat, and other ancient grain pastas? You get to learn the skills and tricks required to make all these and more. It doesn’t end there as she goes an extra mile to include recipes for tortellini, ravioli fillings, ravioli pastas, lasagna noodles, cannelloni, maltagliati, fettuccini, tagliatelle, and pasta sauces.
If you are an ABSOLUTE BEGINNER, don’t even think of it twice. Get a copy, and you won’t regret it.
What we like
- Exclusive book on pasta and all about pastas.
- Includes recipes for various pasta shapes, fillings, sauces.
- Tips on making the dough, pasta machine types, and attachments.
- 100+ embellishing recipes with a guide on dying and flavoring pasta with natural ingredients.
- Affordable price tag.
- Available in print and soft copy.
5. The Pasta Man: The Art of Making Spectacular Pasta – with 40 Recipes by Mateo Zielonka
What draws people to this cookbook is the authenticity of recipes, accuracy of instructions, and how spectacular The Pasta Man goes about the art of pasta-making.
Mateo takes you through the history of pasta and goes out on a limb to cover every type of Italian pasta-making cuisine. From spotted, red, stripped, purple, black to green variants, Zielonka includes special recipes for making pasta with various vegetables, fruits, and spices.
His repertoire of recipes covers every shape of Italian pasta including strozzapreti, gnocchetti, chitarra, spaghetti allachittara, maltagliati, ravioli, cannelloni, and even tortellini. For the uninitiated few, these are authentic recipes that require attention to detail.
If you are more about creating art with pasta, the 40 exquisite recipes in this cookbook will give you plenty of leeways. Let the ‘how to’ section guide you through the process of making traditional Italian pasta, and watch the art pop out of your plate as you chow down.
What we like:
- Demystifies authentic Italian pasta recipes with simple to follow instructions.
- Includes recipes for various shapes, colored, and artful pastas.
- Includes some basic pasta dough recipes which you can make on your own.
- Available printed version and as a Kindle download.
- Affordable pricing.
- A plethora of high-quality photos to ease you through the artistic processes.
6. Homemade Pasta Made Simple: A Pasta Cookbook with Easy Recipes & Lessons to Make Fresh PastaAny Night by Manuela Zangara
Is your love for Italy inextricably tied to one’s love for pasta? In other words, is pasta a staple in your daily life? Do you have months where you can’t help but eat everything in sight that is pasta-related?
If you answered YES to any of the questions, then it’s time you take your love for Italian cuisine to the next level. The major way to do it is by cooking pasta at home and making your own recipes. This has never been easier thanks to Zangara’s comprehensive ‘Homemade Pasta Made Simple’ cookbook.
Manuela will break down the process of making and mixing pasta dough into easy to follow steps. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, the simple instructions are bound to put you on the right track.
Included are recipes to make pumpkin and sausage sauce gnocchi and sun-dried tomato sauce ravioli, among others.
Beginners will particularly love the complete guide that takes you from a noodle novice to a pasta expert with three dedicated and foolproof dough recipes. These also cover the basic prep methods and advice on the tools to use for every recipe.
After learning the basics, challenge yourself with the 65 tasty pasta recipes that explain the ins-and-out of gnocchi, tagliatelle, farfalle, and busiati, to name a few. These include shaping, stuffing and cooking techniques for the respective pastas.
Every pasta meal needs a nice sauce to complement it. Learn the 30+ best sauces and try your hand at making flavored pasta dough and using it for cake, cannelloni and ravioli.
What we like:
- The thorough guide for beginners.
- Includes a variety of easy to follow recipes on different shapes, dough sizes and sauces.
- Detailed instructions on ingredients and tools selection and making dough.
- Available in printed version and as a Kindle download.
- Very cost-friendly.
7. Mastering Pasta: The Art and Practice of Handmade Pasta, Gnocchi, and Risotto by Marc Vetri and David Joachim
Expect Marc Vetri to teach you how to make the best pasta of your life. His ‘Mastering Pasta’ cookbook was postponed for almost a decade, so he could research more about the art of pasta-making and gain further knowledge in the many techniques that go into it.
The result from the research was a 272-page, 100+ recipes cookbook, about pasta, risotto, and gnocchi, alongside tips and hacks for each.
The ‘mastering pasta’ title is not an overstatement considering the meticulous attention to detail in every aspect of this cookbook. For instance, home cooks and professionals alike learn how to handmade over 35 pasta dough variants like the extruded semolina dough, egg yolk dough and other flavored pastas. There are also shaping instructions on how to make stuffed pastas like ravioli, tortellini and fazzoletti, among others. Whether you like stuffed or baked pastas or whatever sauce you prefer serving, you can be sure there’s a recipe for you.
The cookbook also covers the basics of making risotto and gnocchi, although it gives a more in-depth guide to the latter.
If you want to divulge more into making pasta sauces, the cookbook explains the best ways to go about that, including shape substitutions, prep and storage tips.
Mastering Pasta is a true masterpiece for those who want to take their pasta making skills to a whole new level. Covering the science surrounding the different flour types, water, and other ingredients is a sure way to understand what goes on behind the scenes in the quest to make perfect pasta.
What we like:
- Detailed info on the art of making pasta, with scientific insights.
- Includes over 100 recipes on different pasta shapes, dough recipes and sauces.
- Detailed information on shaping techniques for filled pastas, as well as tips for storing and commercializing pasta.
- The high-quality photos are very useful for step by step instructions.
- Several recipes are paleo, gluten-free and vegan friendly.
- Available in a paperback version and as a Kindle download.
Best Pasta Cookbooks Buying Guide
As you can already tell from the above cookbooks, choosing the ideal one depends on a few factors. If you found one particular cookbook absolutely fit for you but don’t want to miss a thing, the following considerations will help you polish your choice:
The number of recipes: If you love pasta and want to make as many types as possible, go for a cookbook that offers over 100 recipes.
The learning curve: You don’t need a book with hundreds of ingredients and recipes to make some decent pasta at home. You should choose one that is easy to use and understand. A good cookbook can be your best companion in the kitchen, especially for beginners.
Type of pasta: The types of recipes included in a cookbook. For example, you want to make spaghetti for your kids, but the book has more sophisticated pasta types. You can choose to ignore that book or adjust the ingredients accordingly to suit your needs.
Source: If you want to buy a cookbook written by a renowned chef and pasta expert, check out the ones we have included in this guide. If you’re going to take your chances with other cookbooks written by unknown authors, go for it.
Price: You don’t need to break the bank to own a cookbook that will turn you into an ace pasta maker. Just make sure it’s reasonably priced for the value it provides.
Formats: Some cookbooks exist as print versions and eBooks. The choice is yours but go for both if you’re a real pasta enthusiast.
Reviews: Getting organic feedback from users is a great way to determine how effective or ineffective pasta cookbooks are. Go online to check out reviews about the most popular books in the market.
Other recipes: Some cookbooks offer more than pasta recipes, like risotto and gnocchi. If you are tight on space but want to make all Italian food types, the more the recipes, the merrier.
Choosing the right pasta cookbook for your needs can be difficult. Luckily, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you! This roundup buying guide has detailed information on each book to help you make an informed decision about which one is right for you. Whether it’s a high-quality print version or eBook format that meets your needs, there are plenty of options available at different price points and with varying levels of complexity in their content.
If none of these books seems like they will meet your particular desires, check out the buying guide section of this article on how to find the perfect recipe online!
Jennifer D. Simon has spent the last 26 years studying and practicing nutrition science. She has used a larger part of this time in improving people’s livelihoods. She has done so by coming up with unquestionable ideas on how to tackle food problems in her community. Read More