As people the world over know, pasta’s huge variety of shapes, textures and flavours make it the perfect basis for every type of meal. In Gino’s Pasta Gino D’Acampo, the master of modern Italian cooking, celebrates his homeland’s most famous food export with an inspirational collection of 100 mouth-watering recipes that includes classics such as carbonara, puttanesca and ragu alla bologonese, as well as new twists on old favourites such as lasagne, macaroni and spaghetti vongole.
Divided into five chapters – Fresh and Filled Pasta, Dried Pasta, Baked Pasta, Pasta on the Go, and Pasta for those with Allergies – it includes everything from comforting baked pasta dishes, to spicy seafood and healthy vegetarian options, even desserts! Including an introduction by nutritionist Juliette Kellow explaining the many health benefits of pasta – it is a low-salt, low GI food – each recipe has been nutritionally analysed, demonstrating that pasta is not the fattening option it was once thought to be and can be enjoyed at every meal.
About the author - Gino D’Acampo is a leading supplier of Italian ingredients to the UK. He is a popular chef on TV shows including Daily Cooks, Good Food Live, Ready Steady Cook and won I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here 2009!. He is the author of The i Diet, Fantastico!, Buonissimo!, Italian Home Baking and La Dolce Diet.
Below is a recipe from the book that I can vouch for . It is reproduced with permission from this new softcover edition of Gino’s Pasta by Gino D’Acampo, photography by Kate Whitaker.
Published by Kyle Books and distributed in New Zealand by New Holland, RRP $39.99.
Penne alla crudaiola
Penne with feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, and mint
If you are in a rush and need to prepare something quickly, putting this plate of pasta together couldn’t be simpler. I have taken the concept of a traditional Italian sauce, but just by changing the type of cheese and adding mint, this dish becomes extremely fresh, light, and yet still filling. The feta and mint are a fantastic Mediterranean combination and this recipe will not disappoint you.
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely sliced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
salt and pepper to taste
33/4 cups (14 ounces) penne rigate
10 fresh mint leaves, finely sliced
11/4 cups cubed feta cheese
1 In a skillet, heat the oil and gently sauté the garlic and cherry tomatoes for 1 minute, stirring with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper and set aside, away from the heat.
2 Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and return to the same pan.
3 Pour in the garlic and tomatoes and add the mint and feta cheese. Toss everything together, away from the heat, for 30 seconds to allow the flavours to combine.
4 Serve immediately or cool to room temperature, transfer to a sealed container, and store in the refrigerator for the following day. Don’t store longer than 48 hours and always eat at room temperature.