Perhaps not essential, but useful nonetheless,
This review is from: Pasta: The Essential New Collection from the Master of Italian Cookery (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Currently Amazon has around 11,000 books on pasta, so it's a crowded market in which any new recipe collection has to compete; so does Antionio Carluccio's new book have what it takes?
Firstly the bare facts - there are around 216 pages (excluding index), of which just over 40 are devoted to background information on different types of pasta, the history of pasta, and how to make fresh pasta dough. That leaves around 170 pages for the actual recipes, which are divided up into sections (soups, pasta with sauces, fresh/filled pasta, pasta salads and desserts).and I reckon around 120 actual recipes. I would have preferred fewer pages on background and more recipes.
I've tried out around 5 of these so far, and generally results were good, such as a very good cheese and pepper sauce, and a delicious combination of tomatoes, bacon, olives and pecorino cheese. Instructions and ingredients were clearly laid out, and for most of the recipes there are photographs to show you what to aim for! Things went slightly awry with one of the more ambitious dishes (Stuffed Cannelloni with Taleggio and Truffle Sauce) where I found the sauce was too thin and of insufficient quantity to properly coat the pasta prior to baking. A second attempt with roughly double the amount of sauce, left to stand for a while to thicken, worked much better.
Overall I'd recommend this to anyone who isn't looking for lots of what might be called "midweek supper" recipes; quite a few of them need more time, and a lot of them start from the premise that you will be making your own pasta. But, one or two reservations aside (e.g. it's no longer acceptable in this day and age to use "curry powder" as an ingredient), I found the recipes interesting and the results worthwhile.