This voluminous, comprehensive, and richly illustrated new book from Missy Robbins, the chef and owner of Lilia and Misi restaurants in Brooklyn, covers pasta from flour to finish. After a few pages of bio, Ms. Robbins launches into the details of making fresh pasta with or without eggs, rolled and extruded, shape by shape. It is extremely precise; no guesswork here or in the nearly 100 recipes that follow. There are Italian-American dishes like vodka penne alla and regional Italian preparations including tajarin al tartufo from the north, cacio e pepe from central Italy, and bucatini con le Sardinian from the south. Ms. Robbins also includes her own creations, such as a simple rigatoni diavola and a tempting spaghetti with colatura, garlic and breadcrumbs. While waiting for spring, her plate of strichetti with crushed peas and prosciutto, and she finishes it off with a handful of vegetable dishes like zucchini poached in olive oil with toast and oregano, and bitter lettuce and herbs dressing. In addition, Ms. Robbins provides lists of specific equipment and necessary ingredients. But the tome is written with a light hand, so despite all the rules requiring respect, it’s not at all harsh.
“Pasta: The Spirit and Craftsmanship of the Best Italian Cuisine, with Recipes” by Missy Robbins and Talia Baiocchi (Ten Speed Press, $ 40).
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