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On Top of Spaghetti: ... Macaroni, Linguine, Penne, and Pasta of Every Kind    by Johanne Killeen & George Germon Amazon.com order for
On Top of Spaghetti
by Johanne Killeen
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2006 (2006)
Hardcover
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Reviewing this particular cookbook is pure delight for me. Pasta is one of my most favorite foods, although I don't think I could eat it more than five or six times a week. And here is a cookbook that gives me a choice of toppings to adorn my very next bowl of penne.

Johanne Killeen and George Germon's first cookbook, Cucina Simpatica, has become a cult classic. The fly leaf of their exciting new addition to the cookbooks of the world reads: 'For utterly simple, fun, fresh and flavorful recipes that are perfect for a leisurely lunch, an elegant feast, or a midnight spaghetti snack, nothing tops On Top of Spaghetti.' Couldn't have said it better myself. And it looks as though this cookbook will repeat their previous success.

The two authors each grew up with various forms of pasta in their daily meals. It was a love that came about unconsciously. Fortunately for us, they pursued this love. They have traveled to Italy for the last thirty years 'and much of that time has been spent tasting, watching, cooking and learning about pasta.' Their restaurant, Al Forno, in Providence, Rhode Island has cooked tens of thousands of pounds of pasta. Talk of writing about what you know!

On Top of Spaghetti begins with what you might want in your pasta pantry, followed quickly by tips for cooking pasta. Then on to the scrumptious recipes. Listed in categories pasta with vegetables, legumes and herbs; tomato sauces; seafood; poultry, meat and rabbit; eggs and cheese; as well as baked and fresh pastas, ravioli and lasagna. Wow! A veritable cornucopia of luscious pastas with which to regale family and friends. Who knows, maybe after you've mastered a few of these recipes, you'll start speaking Italian.

I'm naming just a few of these dishes to whet your interest: Pappardelle with Olives, Thyme and Lemon; Spaghetti Aglio-Olio; Spaghetti with Lemon Basil 'Pesto' and Squash Blossoms; Rigatoni with Lamb Sauce; Spaghetti and Summer Chicken Cacciatore; and Ziti Baked with Mushrooms, Cream and Parmigiano-Reggiano. You can take it from here.

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