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100 Ways to Be Pasta: Perfect Pasta Recipes from Gangivecchio [Hardcover]

Wanda Tornabene , Giovanna Tornabene , Carolynn Carreno

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Book Description

6 Sep 2005
For us, pasta is more than just a food. It is part of our histories. It is a good friend, a member of the family. It is something we love . . . When Italians offer a plate of pasta to friends or strangers, we are opening the doors of our homes and welcoming them inside in the most generous way. It is in that spirit that my mamma and I, who have had the good fortune to be accompanied all our lives by this most versatile of foods, invite you through the tall, ancient wooden doors of Gangivecchio and offer up these recipes, these one hundred versions of the golden strands, the god, pasta, to you. So put the water on to boil. And buon appetito! —Giovanna Tornabene, from her Introduction

Welcome back to Gangivecchio, where Wanda and Giovanna Tornabene, two-time James Beard Award winners and beloved doyennes of the Italian kitchen, have served up another irresistible helping of charm, wit, and culinary wisdom from the kitchen of the thirteenth-century abbey they call home. This time around, the dynamic mother-daughter duo takes us back to Sicilian basics, in a recipe-filled compendium and heartfelt tribute to the “queen of the Italian table”—pasta.

In 100 Ways to Be Pasta the Tornabenes once again weave memoir and history together with the vivid flavors of local village life, bringing us a true taste of Sicilian culture and cuisine. They incorporate lessons from basic pasta-cooking techniques to secret tips from old masters, and include an extensive glossary of pasta vocabulary, a dictionary of pasta types, and of course a generous sprinkling of anecdotes and advice.

All of this serves as a delightful setting for the one hundred authentic, mouth-watering recipes, lovingly honed and perfected in the old abbey kitchen. From quick, easy basics, like spaghetti with garlic, oil, and hot pepper or farfalle with peas and prosciutto, to traditional pasta soups like minestrone, to more elaborate baked and stuffed pastas like Baked Orecchiette with Lamb Ragù and Melted Mozzarella or Baked Timbale of Anelletti with Veal and Vegetables, each recipe serves up a little piece of Sicily for your very own kitchen.

As informative and useful to the beginner as to the experienced Italian cook, 100 Ways to Be Pasta is a must-have and a treasure for any cookbook shelf.

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Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Ideas for Pasta 30 Oct 2005
By Cooking in L.A. - Published on Amazon.com
I bought this book sight unseen based solely on the quality of the author's previous books. And I bought it because I had been searching for pasta recipes that did not go heavy on the standard red or white versions. This book really delivered. A few examples:

Fusilli with Porcini Mushrooms, Aromatic Vegetables & Grappa

Ziti with Lamb, Lemon & Rosemary

Lumache Rigate with Broccoli Flowers & Turmeric Cream

September Soup with Green Beans & Caciocavallo

Capellini Timballo with Peas, Edam & Ham

Recipes are largely complete on one page and there are some photographs sprinkled throughout. Each recipe is preceded with a short paragraph by the authors giving a short personal backround on the recipe or serving ideas. Oh, and there is even a sidebar for a pasta meal for your cat or dog!

Overall I was delighted with this purchase.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting regional pasta dishes from Sicily 16 Nov 2005
By Elena Hernandez - Published on Amazon.com
I think I am going to be trying a lot of the recipes in 100 Ways to Be Pasta - these are recipes from the village of Gangivecchio, in Sicily. The book is divided into 5 chapters:

Quick and Easy Pastas

Rich Pastas

One-Dish Pastas

Soup with Pasta

Baked Pastas and Timballos

The latter is the most interesting to me - I have been very curious about Timballos since I first heard about them in the movie "Big Night" as a rare and kind of mystical dish that you will not find in many Italian cookbooks.

A timballo is a served during special occasions and Holidays. It is a kind of savory "cake" made with short or long pasta and layers of either meats, vegetables, cheese and a red or white sauce. The recipes in this book all sound delicious:

Baked Timballo of Anelleti, Veal and Vegetables

Veal Timballo with an Eggplant Shell

Eggplant and Ziti Timballo

Timballo of Winter Squash and Sausages (good idea for a new Holiday dish like Thanksgiving or Christmas)

The other chapters have recipes I have not seen in other books, mostly using the local ingredients of Sicily.

The authors give a lot of advice and the book has some beautiful photographs of the village of Gianvecchio as well as some dishes and techniques on pasta making.

Italian food is my favorite and I am very very happy with this book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 Ways to Be Pasta: Perfect Past Recipes from Gangivecchio 19 Mar 2006
By N. D. Beier - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is not only hugely informative, but fun to read. The recipes are easy to follow, and the tips are things that would never have occurred to me. I always thought pasta was so uncomplicated that my childhood "Mac'n'Cheese" pretty much summed it up. WRONG! These two passionate Italian cooks are the real thing, and my family is really, really glad I ordered this book! We should all be grateful that Wanda and Giovanna Tornabene consented to share their love of pasta with the rest of the world.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth a look even if you think you can cook pasta 4 Jun 2009
By Jackal - Published on Amazon.com
A lot of pasta books seems to be written for novice cooks. This book is more solid. It gives very useful advice, e.g. regarding pasta water (not obvious to me!), matching sauce with pasta shape. The recipes are good and go for genuine taste. I would say the recipes are personal rather than some definitive version. Like: "this is how a friend we like cooks really good garlic & oil pasta". Most of the recipes are based on olive oil and pasta made without eggs. The book does not deal with making your own pasta. All recipes start with an anecdote. If you don't like this, just skip the paragraph in italic.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best cooking book I've owned 25 May 2014
By Saar Harel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Originall I gave this book 4 stars as it did not have many pictures of the recipes.

Since then I have cooked roughly 30-40 of the recipes.
They have been delicious.
People who come to me will state, this is the best Pasta I've had
and I'm Italian.
When are you opening a Pasta restaurant, let me know I'll be there every other day.

So, in my opinion this book is excellent and I have no idea why it is out of print.

Originally I got this in the library using E-Format.
Which works but then I got the book in hardcopy as I like scribbling and decorating my cook books with oil and tomato splotches.

Enjoy the recipes.
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