The fact that pasta is fast will not come as some earth-shattering revelation. The strength of Fast Pasta is the wealth of ideas to expand your repertoire of pasta dishes from the regular Wednesday night Spag Bol to include dishes that are smart enough to tempt dinner party guests or to impress the mother-in-law.
Fast Pasta is another in that chunky and compact series from The Australian Women’s Weekly (see more here). These are books for those who want to cook. It sounds obvious that a cookbook would be for cooks but lots of them are for cooks that like to LOOK at books. That’s all very nice but you’ll still need a battery of practical kitchen aids and this falls into that category.
Cooking pasta is a good start for a novice cook. It isn’t rocket science but there are just a few rules. Fast Pasta has all the basic advice you will need to enable you to have perfect pasta every time. It comes in an array of shapes and you’ll learn why a particular sauce is recommended for either a thin strand or a robust, rough form.
Every dish has a page and a picture. Don’t you just love a recipe that leaves lots of white space around it and only has a few ingredients? There are so many here that are short and to the point. Quick, simple, delicious and different. You, I don’t doubt, have a favourite pasta recipe but the choice of sauces is almost limitless. There are plenty of classics like Macaroni Cheese and Fettuccine Alfredo but there are a host of others to suit every taste…and pocket.
Bucatini with Moroccan Lamb Sauce is one of the more exotic offerings. Sounds complicated but it will be on the table (or hopefully on your best North African plates) in 30 minutes. Any pasta with seafood will be special and there is a good selection here. Angel Hair Seafood Laksa takes only 25 minutes to prepare and has a real taste of the Far East. Smoked Salmon and Dill Salad transports you to Stockholm and is ideal for a summer lunch.
You will be expecting, dear reader, for me to describe my favourite recipe from this particular volume. It’s Spaghetti with Anchovies and Garlic Breadcrumbs and it’s mouth-watering. It’s a great meal for unexpected guests as it uses store cupboard staples and it’s cheap. A good glass of red, and a convivial evening is assured. It takes just half an hour to produce a scrumptious meal proving, once again, that you don’t have to be a slave to the stove to eat well.
Another practical book from The Australian Women’s Weekly. A book for cooks and those who want to be.
Authors: The Australian Women’s Weekly
Published by: Australian Consolidated Press
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018