Boston Commons Press, ISBN 978-1936493043
March 1, 2012, 336 pages
If you have read any of my reviews of other America's Test Kitchen cookbooks, you may already know where this one is going.
Yes, I am a big ATK fan, of the TV show, the website, the newsletter and, most of all, of the cookbooks full of their uniquely tested and tasted recipes. Pasta Revolution does not disappoint.
With more than 200 recipes in 14 categories, there is something for just about every taste. There is a whole chapter of skillet pastas, another of casseroles and one I especially loved of dishes made with whole wheat pastas. For something a little different they include a chapter of Asian Noodle and Dumpling recipes, as summer approaches a section on Fresh Pasta Salads, and for those quick weeknight dinners, a chapter of recipes with only 6 ingredients. Throw in the classics, some special dishes for entertaining, and recipes made just for two, and as I said, there really is something for anyone who like pasta.
My only problem was picking just one recipe to test, so many of them looked so good. Speaking of looking good, this is a very attractive book, with very nice full page photographs of a lot, if not all, of the dishes. And for those with an eye on their waists, there is a nice list in the back, near the index, giving the nutritional breakdown of about 50 of the recipes that have less than 600 calories, many under 400.
Happily the book, like all of ATK's books, includes a huge amount of additional information, which so appeals to my inner cooking geek. Each recipes starts with a discussion of why the recipe works, which I find really interesting and very helpful in learning more about cooking, in why some thing work and others don't. There are many Smart Shopping Tips and Quick Prep Tips as well as a whole introductory chapter out pasta; how to buy it, how to cook it and the best tools to use. The best frozen peas, the best reasonably priced skillet, how to toast your garlic to take the bite out...novice or accomplished cook, every reader will find things to learn in this book.
OK, so what recipe did I pick to make?
Well, again it was Friday, so we were looking for something meatless. Would it be Penne with Butternut Squash and Sage..or Spinach Lasagna..or Fusilli with Asparagus, Peas and Argula. Well, they will have to wait for another day, because I choose...
Garlicky Tortellini with Shrimp and Arugula
- 1 lb. extra large shrimp, cleaned and deveined
- 11 garlic cloves, 9 minced and 2 minced to a paste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 12 oz. bag dried cheese tortellini
- 5 oz. baby arugula
- 2 tbs. minced fresh parsley
- 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest and 2 tbs. lemon juice
1. Season shrimp with salt and pepper and leave in bowl, covered, in frig. until needed.
In separate bowl combine garlic paste and 2 tbs. olive oil.
2. Cook remaining oil, minced garlic and pepper flakes in dutch oven, stirring constantly, until garlic is stick and golden, about 4 minutes. Add wine, increase heat and simmer until wine is almost evaporated, about 2 minutes.
3. Stir in water, broth, tortellini and cook at vigorous simmer, stirring gently, until tortellini are tender and sauce is thicken, 6 to 9 minutes.
4. Fold in shrimp and cook until shrimp are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Take off heat and stir in garlic-oil, arugula, parley, lemon zest and lemon juice.
All made in one pot, pretty fast and easy. A little spicy, lemony and a bit garlicky.
It may sound like a lot of garlic, but it really was not. The majority gets very mellow and a bit sweet from the long cooking at the start and the uncooked garlic-oil at the end just adds a nice zip. The peppery arugula and the zest and lemon juice adds a nice fresh ending.
I used Barilla Tortellini, the brand ATK recommends, but as they say, you could use frozen or fresh tortellini, about a 20 oz package, increasing the broth to 1 1/2 cups and cutting the water to 1 cup. And if you can't find or do not like arugula, they suggest elsewhere in the book to replace it with baby spinach. I used an 11 oz. can of College Inn chicken broth, saving the rest that was in the can after taking out a cup, to add a dash more of liquid at the end to get the sauce to the right consistency.
And I finished my plate off with a dusting of grated cheese, because..well, I love cheese!
My thanks to Amazon Vine for providing a copy of this book for review.
This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
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Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.