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4.5 out of 5 stars
Pasta
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 25 June 2010
I decided to order this book after seeing Theo on Saturday Kitchen. The three week wait for the publishing date was well worth it as this is an excellent book if you want to have simple and authentic Italian pasta dishes.
The book is well organised with chapters about fresh and dried pasta, tomatoes, vegetables, fungi and fish through to meat poultry and game. It offers pasta dishes to meet all tastes and I have enjoyed reading and making some of the dishes and I look forward to more.
And I think this book would have been even better had Theo included more on suppliers and where to source some of the best quality tomatoes etc. All the same it is an excellent production and the first to motivate me to writing a review. Enjoy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 23 March 2013
I consider myself a novice cook. Always open cook books with a degree of trepidation but no such worries this time round. This book is a work of someone who has clearly given a great deal at pitching these receipes at a level where novice to professional can glean something from the receipes in their day-to-day cooking. Brilliant and simple and fun and most important of all really useful cookbook.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 6 December 2010
Many of my pasta students have waxed lyrical about Theo Randall, his work when he was a chef at The River Cafe for ten years, and his continuing success now that he runs his own restaurant at The Intercontinental Park Lane. "Tissue paper thin pasta" they said, "fillings that melt in your mouth", "tagliatelle the colour of canary wings". In short, enough accolades and gushings to make even the most recalcitrant sceptic order this tome and analyse its contents.

I love it. It's bright, beautiful, intelligent and, above all, personal. There are too many pasta books in the world, there are far too many italian cookery books, we do not need more, I hear readers cry, and yes, you are right. I just finished reviewing "The Geometry of Pasta" by Jacob Kenedy and Caz Hildebrand only five minutes ago, surely? But I will let this book squeeze through the "Buy Me Ticket Barrier", because I think the author is an engaging, bright and friendly spark in the testosterone-fuelled, ego-centric galaxy that is High Chefdom. In fact, anyone can learn to make pasta from this book, as it celebrates its simplicity above all. Theo gives a short, instructive masterclass on the basics, bricks and mortar of ingredients, equipment and methodologies. Then he goes straight into sauce sections: all seasonal vegetables, fungi, fish, seafood, meat, poultry, game and cheese. He de-mystifies and enthuses, introducing, I think, many more pasta fans to the joys of homemade pasta and sauces, away from the ready meal chiller, and back to the kitchen hearth. Well done Theo, this is a good homecook's reference point.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
As a fan of Italian cooking - and out of curiosity as Theo Randall seems like a decent sort on TV - I gave this book a go. Initially I felt a bit disappointed as the recipes seem unchallenging for a keen home cook and may be aimed at encouraging inexperienced cooks to have a go - but what I do like is that many of the flavour pairings in the recipes appear authentically Italian but with a difference and flair - and that's probably what Theo Randall is about and why he's successful as a chef. Most of the recipes result in quick after work meals - and we've been pleased with the results.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 18 July 2012
We cook a lot at home and we love pasta in particular, so we decided to add this book to our collection. Overall the book is nice, the recipes are interesting and inspiring and we have tried almost half of them with great success. We have benefited a lot by following the consistent throughout the book advice to finish the pasta in the sauce for 2 minutes or so.

But there are some important missing items in the book:
1. The fresh egg pasta recipe is rather non-existent. It is very brief and doesn't go into details about the process and furthermore, we never managed to get it to work with the proportions suggested. We have settled with a much more manual but consistent approach into making our own dough, before rolling it out in a machine.
2. The recipes are also not very detailed. It could be that this was the intention of the author anyway, to inspire people to experiment and change them (which is more than welcome), but in many cases, it feels like important parts of the procedure are missing.

In a nutshell: The book will give you inspiration, but will not help much in teaching you any cooking techniques. And btw, most of the recipes appear in the first River Cafe Cook book - slightly changed here.
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on 16 May 2012
An absolutely wonderful cook book. I liked it so much I bought a copy for 2 other people as gifts and both love it. As I grow my own veg I find myself browsing the book whenever something is ready in the garden and it never fails to deliver something tasty to eat. An excellent pasta cook book, I highly recomend it to anyone who wants to expand their pasta repotoire.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 10 July 2010
The review in 'Taste Italia' magazine was sufficient to encourage me to buy this book; the magazine itself is an excellent buy for Italian food lovers and it rarely gives unwarranted good reviews of cookbooks.

The book is divided into useful sections (as Dermod O'Malley says) including a Poultry and Game section which makes me want to cook with these ingredients although I have not previously been inclined to do- probably a sign of a well-crafted book!

I found all recipes to be reasonably well explained and, with the exception of the fungi section, to include ingredients I could source without too much effort in the NE of Scotland. To date, all of the recipes I have tried* have been tasty and so to my mind successful.

Bear in mind that the quantities stated in the recipes are for four portions and adjust accordingly.

*I have tried spaghetti with canned tomato sauce (p35), a version of penne with zucchini and prosciutto (I didn't have all the ingredients listed, but had appropriate substitutes; p72), rigationi with portobello and porcini mushrooms (p95), spaghetti with prawns, coppa di parma and parsley, and pappardelle with beef fillet (p174) as well as a few of the recipes reliant upon cheese.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 2010
There are some wonderful recipes in this book using normal everyday ingredients or more adventurous stuff, depending on your taste. It also has a lot of vegetarian recipes too, which can come in handy!

Theo writes in a relaxed style that is easy to follow and the vast majority of the recipes are accompanied by wonderful photographs of the dish. There are also handy 'hands-on' photos on how to make gnocchi and pasta.

Recommended for the pasta lover and as a general day-to-day recipe idea book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Theo Randall has an engaging television presence, and clearly loves Italian food. I bought this book in anticipation of finding a few more pasta recipes, but there is only one. Theo also gives instruction about making pasta using only the pasta machine and a food processor; no details about how to make the pasta by hand.

His wide range of sauces are good, as long as you can find and afford the ingredients. Excellent quality photography.
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on 14 November 2014
A great book on how to make pasta.
The recipes in the book are easy to follow and anyone who cooks should buy this book.
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