There is, as far as I’m concerned, only one way to celebrate a new book about pasta, and that is to throw an outrageously delicious, no-holds-barred Glorious Pasta Party!
As some of you already know, today is the official publication date for my latest cookbook, The Glorious Pasta of Italy. To help give my baby a proper welcome, I’ve invited some friends over to cook just for you. Joining me is a pretty extraordinary group of food writers, bloggers, and cooks, who generously offered to make something from the book and post about it on their blogs.
When it comes to entertaining, I like to do things casually, all’improviso (as they say in Italy), so I told my friends to bring whatever they liked. All I can say is—Wow! You are in for a treat. Welcome to the party! A few friends have arrived already, but more are on the way so please be sure to check back to see what they made.
Giulia and I may be separated by 4,000 miles and an ocean, but our hearts are in the same place–Italy. Giulia lives in Tuscany, where she writes her bilingual blog, Juls’ Kitchen. I love her sunny musings, and her photographs are stunning. I can’t tell you how much it means to me to have una vera Italiana (an Italian Italian) here for the pasta party. Here is Giulia’s post on Mafalde with Roasted Tomatoes, Robiola, and Crushed Fennel Seeds.
Monica and I met at the Greenbrier symposium back in 2004 when we were both new to the world of food writing. Monica is, among other things, an award-winning food writer and cookbook author, a food writing instructor, and creator of the iSpice iPhone app. Here is her lovely rendition of Linguine with Slow-Cooked Zucchini, Basil, and Cream.
My friend Cheryl and I also met at the Greenbrier. She has one of the most distinctive and compelling voices in the world of food writing. She shares her sharp, funny, and insightful observations on food and life at her blog, 5 Second Rule. Her eye is just as sharp as her writing, by the way. She’s a wonderful photographer. Cheryl brought a beautiful bowl of BLT Bucatini.
I hesitated before asking Shauna—Gluten-free Girl herself—to join the pasta party. After all, I thought, why would she want to cook from a book filled with high-gluten content? And yet, I wanted her to be here, and I hated the thought of leaving out a growing demographic of people who are gluten-intolerant. Here’s what Shauna said when I asked if she would consider participating: “Of course I’ll do it.” But that’s Shauna—as delightful and forthright in person as she is on her blog and in her cookbooks. Shauna’s easy solution: She made Linguine Fini with Shrimp and Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes using her favorite brand of gluten-free pasta.
Not only do Susan (aka Food Blogga) and I share an Italian heritage; we also have roots in Rhode Island. Susan grew up there, as did my dad. She and I happened to sit in on the same IACP session in Portland last year and struck up a conversation, and a friendship. Susan is the author of Recipes Every Man Should Know and The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches. And, apparently, we share one more delicious thing in common—anchovies! I’m so glad Susan brought Penne Rigate with Sweet Peppers and Anchovies.
Paula is the talent behind the breathtaking blog, Bell’Alimento. She is devoted to Italian home cooking and, in fact, her delicious, authentic recipes remind me a lot of…mine! Except her photos are much, much more beautiful. Like Giulia, Paula and I have yet to meet in real life. But the good news is that she’s on the same coast so I foresee a get-together, some clinking of wine glasses, and some pasta-making—hopefully soon. Here’s Paula’s gorgeous take on BLT Bucatini.
Cathy is known to hundreds of bloggers and Twitter followers as Mrs. Wheelbarrow and is one of the co-founders of the Charcutepalooza charcuterie-making project. But Cathy is also a master pasta maker. I’m thrilled that she took on the handmade Orecchiette with Creamy Broccoli Sauce. Brava!
I am happy to say that I can now count Jennie among my friends in real life. Our friendship began on Twitter (surprise) and was cemented when we met a couple of weeks ago at Eat Write Retreat. She writes from the heart on her blog, In Jennie’s Kitchen. We are both Italian-American and share a love for farmers’ markets, cooking for our families, and, I’m delighted to say, Spaghetti alla Carbonara.
I met Nicole on Twitter and knew we were kindred spirits when I read on her blog, Pinch My Salt, that she had spent four years living in Sicily. Like me, she loves to cook from scratch with fresh, seasonal ingredients. I love that Nicole, who has recently made some drastic changes in the way she eats, cleverly repurposed my Tomato-Cream Sauce as an accompaniment to grilled chicken. I love resourcefulness in the kitchen!
Virginia and I share a love for comfort food, or – as she calls it—therapy food. Hers most often takes the form of Southern or French cusinie—and, in her book Bon Appetit Y’All, a delicious fusion of the two (look for her newest book, Basic to Brilliant, Y’All this fall). She is also the creator of My Southern Pantry. But Virginia also happens to love pasta. She offers a lovely review of The Glorious Pasta of Italy, with a special bonus recipe for Virginia’s Penne with Oven Roasted Tomatoes.
Of course, I could never ask my friends to cook for you without making something myself. My story about, and recipe for, Maccheroni alla Molinara, one of Abruzzo’s most extraordinary, long, loopy (literally) noodles is featured in today’s Washington Post Food Section. I also talked about the book on TBD Channel 8′s Let’s Talk Live. And here’s a really nice writeup of the book in Express Night Out.
Everyone is invited to the party, and I would love to hear from you if you cook from the book. Here’s a recent post from Laura at The Spiced Life, whom I met at the Eat Write Retreat food bloggers’ conference here in DC a couple of weeks ago. She won a copy of the book and made her own spin on Fettuccine in Bianco with White Asparagus, Asiago, and Cream.
JUNE 6, 2011 PASTA PARTY UPDATE:
The lovely Shulie, who blogs at Food Wanderings, just made the Fluffy Semolina Dumplings, a light broth with pillows of semolina floating on the surface.
If you post about the book, please join the party and let me know about it or post your link in a comment.
Finally, for those of you who are local to DC, Maryland, and Virginia, please keep in mind the forthcoming book related events:
Saturday, June 4, 1 – 3 p.m., I’ll be offering samples and signing books at La Cuisine, in Old Town Alexandria. La Cuisine has been supportive of my work since my first book, The Glorious Soups and Stews of Italy was published in 2006. The shop has been around for more than 40 years and is a true gem for cooks. Address: 323 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA. (703) 836-4435.
Tuesday, June 7, 6: 30 p.m. I will be co-hosting a Glorious Pasta Dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Bibiana Osteria-Enoteca, in D.C. Executive Chef Nick Stefanelli, who contributed a wonderful recipe to my book, will be preparing a multi-course menu from the book, with wine pairings and a special pasta dessert, and I will give a (short!) presentation about the book and recipes. Price is $90 (excluding tax and tip) and includes appetizers and a four-course sit-down dinner, with wine pairings and a signed copy of The Glorious Pasta of Italy. This is a limited-seating event, so please call to reserve a spot. Address: 1100 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. (202) 216-9550.
Saturday, June 11, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., I’ll be offering samples and signing books at Broad Branch Market, in D.C. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Broad Branch is a fabulous neighborhood market in Northwest DC that has everything from fresh bread to house-made seafood sausage—and much more. Address: 5608 Broad Branch Road, NW, Washington, D.C. (202) 249-8551.
Stay tuned for more events, which I’ll post on my News and Events page as they are scheduled. In the mean time, I hope you enjoy the party. Thanks for coming and Buon Appetito!