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Menghi, Umberto.

Vancouver, David Robinson, Publisher for Whitecap Books, c1985. 123pp, paper, spiralbound, $12.95, ISBN 0-920620-62-0. CIP

Grade 9 and up
Reviewed by Margaret Montgomery

Volume 13 Number 5
1985 September

The food is good; the illustrations (some are in colour) are enticing; the plastic coil binding allows the book to open flat. There is a detailed table of contents and an index. Each recipe is laid out with its title in both Italian and English, the list of ingredients on the left, both metric and standard measurements, and the instructions on the right hand side of the page. Instructions are clear without being overdone as they were in Umberto's previous book.

This cookbook, devoted entirely to pasta and stuffings, and sauces for pasta dishes, is arranged by shape of pasta under the Italian names such as agnolotti, linguine, penne, and sedanini. In each such section there are a few, from two to six or eight, recipes for sauces or stuffings for that pasta. The Italians love to complicate everything, especially food, and there are twenty-one shapes of pasta listed plus recipes for homemade pasta and many suggestions for colouring it green, rosy, or black.

I do not quarrel with the arrangement of the book, but I do with the indexing. For example, to locate a sauce made with chicken, one must look up "Meat, fowl and game" in the index; for the walnut sauce, one must locate it under "Fruits and nuts." And it includes the pasta by shapes again, just as they are listed in the table of contents.

This reviewer frequently makes homemade pasta and enjoys trying new recipes for sauces, and so reviewing this book has been a labour of love with only one miss in half a dozen recipes tried. The others were delicious. However one thing I would appreciate in a book such as this is a description of some of the less common ingredients such as some of the types of cheeses.

There is some overlapping with The Umberto Menghi Cookbook (Talon, 1982) but a dedicated cook will certainly enjoy them both. Libraries where there is an interest in cooking and/or in trendy foods will want this title. Recommended for secondary school and public libraries.

Margaret Montgomery, West Vernon E.S., Vernon B.C.
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