My favorite new cookbook: America’s Test Kitchen’s “Pasta Revolution”

Pasta Revolution by America's Test Kitchen - it's my new favorite

Let me introduce you to my newest ATK cookbook – Pasta Revolution. I won this little beauty in a random drawing after participating in an on-line chat with Julia Collin Davison of America’s Test Kitchen. I was so excited to receive it. The book is a beautifully comprehensive collection of everything pasta. Chapters include Pasta 101, New Classics, Italy’s Greatest Hits, Pasta for Company (and my favorite – Pasta for Two), Pasta Salads, and two chapters on sauces – Pesto & No-Cook Sauces and Sauces from the Slow-Cooker.

So many choices, so little time

But wait, there’s more! You’ll also find a chapter on Whole Wheat Pasta, specialty pastas like gnocchi or tortellini, and even a chapter on Asian pasta dishes. See? I told you it was comprehensive! Here’s a sampling of what’s inside:

America’s Test Kitchen may just be my favorite series of cookbooks ever. Why? Because they take all the guess-work out of cooking. And by that, I mean you never have to worry about whether a recipe will work or not. Not when it comes from the crew at ATK. They go to great lengths to research and experiment with each recipe. They admit that they fail and tweak repeatedly to bring you the best possible version of each recipe published. I appreciate that.

What you get is a series of foolproof recipes along with a breakdown of what worked and what didn’t, tips on equipment and favorite brands, product reviews, and even shopping advice. When I make a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen, I know it will be spot on every single time. When they talk, I listen.

And speaking of vodka, last night I made the Penne alla Vodka for dinner and it was incredible. Seriously scrumptious. What a gorgeous photo!

Here’s the proof. Not that you need it, but I want you to know that I’m totally putting my money where my mouth is. Or in this case, I’m putting the pasta where my mouth is. One forkful at a time. Repeatedly.

ATK's Penne alla Vodka - simple ingredients, tremendous flavor

You know what I loved about this recipe? Everything. It was easy to make. It was packed with flavor. The sauce was perfect, especially when it got trapped inside those little penne tubes. I loved the slight heat from the red pepper flakes. If the vodka is a turn off for you, I promise it does not permeate the dish. It would be fine without it, but it does add great flavor without an alcohol ‘bite’ to it if you leave it in. Which is why they give you tips about which vodka to use. I’m telling you, these guys think of everything.

My overall rating for this dish is a sold 10. I would eat this over and over again. In fact, we’re having leftovers tonight. That rumor that pasta dishes taste even better as leftovers the next day? It’s true. Especially red sauces. And this one warms up beautifully.

You want to see how it turned out, don’t you? You know you do. Here you go. You’re welcome. {wink}

NanaBread's Penne alla Vodka from ATK's Pasta Revolution

If you love pasta or know someone who does, put this one on your shopping list. It is most definitely a keeper. Special thanks to the social media group at America’s Test Kitchen and to Julia Collin Davison, my favorite contributor at ATK. I swear that girl loves bacon as much as I do. We should form a club.

I’m never going to wash my cookbook-flipping hand again.

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14 Comments

Filed under Food & Recipes

14 responses to “My favorite new cookbook: America’s Test Kitchen’s “Pasta Revolution”

  1. 1. I cannot in good conscious comment without first shouting I LOVE ATK!! from the rooftops. Those folks know what goes where & why, which scratches my culinary desire to know that why. America’s Test Kitchen rules at Life.

    2. Your pasta pic alone was enough to toss Pasta Revolution into my Amazon cart. My debit card does not thank you. But I do!

    3. I think I require those dishes. Gorgeous!

    • Me, too! I love all the thought and science they put behind each recipe. It shows. They are one of the very collections of recipes I don’t tend to tweak much, which is a sign of how solid they are. I have at least 4 other America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks. They are my go-to reference for everything. You won’t regret picking this one up. It’s a treasure chest of pasta recipes. And I love that even though it’s a paperback, they’ve thoughtfully plastic-coated the cover so I can ruin it. Like I said, they think of everything.

      That plate is a single piece I bought for food photos. Picked it up at my local HomeGoods store. I love that place. I love that the texture on the plate adds detail, but the plain white color helps highlight the food. I wish I’d picked up more than one piece. Like I need an excuse to go back.

  2. TCP

    Just saying …. gnocchi is not a pasta, it’s a soft dumpling. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnocchi , but I still love them.

  3. TCP

    You say pasta, I say potato. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasta. While we could debate this all day so I say we crowdsource it. What do your readers think?

    • You heard the man! Pipe in and give us your two cent’s worth. Gnoochi – is it pasta or is it a potato dumpling? PS – “I don’t give a crap as long as I can have a plate full” is also an acceptable answer. :)

      • My inner Food Dork can no longer keep silent. ;) I took a pasta class once and was told by the very Italian chef that gnocchi, like most pastas, vary from region to region throughout Italy. The gnocchi that we were taught to make in class was made with semolina flour, which is traditional to Rome. Romans also tend to slice their gnocchi into large disks, and saute them with plenty of butter and garlic. (Gnocchi alla Romana) Incidentally, the “master dough” the chef taught can also double as a pate choux, or cream puff dough. Here’s a pretty good explanation: http://www.weareneverfull.com/gnocchi-alla-romana-roman-gnocchi-those-romans-do-it-again/

      • So you’re saying it’s a PASTA, then. Right? :)
        And now I need to make Gnocchi alla Romana.
        I’m all for butter and garlic.

      • I’m saying gnocchi can be either a pasta or a dumpling, depending on the region from which it originates. Personally, I always make it with flour, so I say pasta.

  4. Update on votes from Twitter: pasta = 2; potato dumplings = 3
    -NB

  5. Looks like a great cookbook! And what a fantastic pasta recipe! I always thought gnocchi was a pasta too. :)

    • YES! It IS a pasta. It may be made with potatoes, but it is a pasta. TCP and I are not doing a great job of concealing how we feel on this issue, I’m afraid. I say it can be both. The book is excellent, Julia. If you have pasta lovers in your house, it’s a must have. Thanks for dropping by! -jeanne

      • TCP@yourhouse.com

        From Dictionary.com …
        noun
        any of various flour-and-egg food preparations of Italian origin, made of thin, unleavened dough and produced in a variety of forms, usually served with a sauce and sometimes stuffed.

        From Wikipedia …
        Most typically pasta is made from an unleavened dough of a durum wheat flour mixed with water and formed into sheets or various shapes, then cooked and served in any number of dishes.

        In summary PASTA is made from flour not from potatoes.

      • It’s time to let it go, honey.
        All that really matters is that it’s delicious.
        (But for the record, it’s sold on the pasta aisle.)

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