03 October 2015

Weekend Cooking: The Four Seasons of Pasta by Nancy Harmon Jenkins and Sara Jenkins

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

The Four Seasons of Pasta by Nancy Harmon Jenkins and Sara JenkinsThe Four Seasons of Pasta is written by the mother-daughter team of Nancy Harmon Jenkins and Sara Jenkins, each of whom has deep culinary credentials. In addition, the Jenkinses know their pasta, having lived in Italy off and on for the last forty years. This joint effort gathers together over a hundred recipes that use authentic Italian ingredients and are perfect to serve all year round.

Right off the bat, you'll notice the absolutely stunning photography by Michael Harlan Turkell. The Old World kitchen, rustic pottery, vibrant colors, and garden-ripe veggies will keep you turning the pages and planing your menus.

But, of course, as I always say, pretty is fine, but the recipes and information make a cookbook. As you can guess, the recipes in The Four Seasons of Pasta are indeed divided by season. Within each section you'll find many quick pasta dishes that are just right for weeknight dining. A few recipes, for example baked dishes and ravioli, will take more time, so you might want to save them for weekend meals.

copyright Michael Harlan TurkellApparently there is no running out of recipe ideas in Italy because, as Jenkins and Jenkins tell us, it's a country where most people eat a pasta dish once or twice every single day. The rest of us have some catching up to do, and this cookbook will start us on our way.

The Four Seasons of Pasta is full of great tips on how to stock your kitchen, buy key ingredients, and make basic stocks. I also love the introductions to the recipes, which provide culinary advice as well as food history. The recipe directions are written in an informal style and easy to follow. I was happy to see that the Jenkinses call for canned tomatoes in the winter and dried pasta for most of the dishes.

There are recipes for all kinds of tastes here: heavy and light sauces, quick stovetop dishes, hearty ragus, pestos, and even seafood options. Meat-lovers, vegetarians, and everyone in between will find plenty of new favorites in this cookbook. Here are just four of many that have my name on them:
  • Penne Rigate con Cavolfiore alla Sicilana, which has cauliflower, raisins, and white wine
  • Lamb meatballs in Spicy Tomato Sauce with Elicoldali, which is warmly spiced with cumin and coriander in a tomato sauce
  • Garganelli al Ortolano, which includes grilled eggplant, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes
  • Zuppa di Pasta e Ceci, which is a chicken soup with greens and chickpeas
copyright Michael Harlan TurkellI know one good friend who will be all over the mussels recipes and another who will be cooking up a ragu storm.

The recipes in The Four Seasons of Pasta by Nancy Harmon Jenkins and Sara Jenkins are comforting and traditional yet fit a modern lifestyle. The fresh, flavorful, and simple dishes in this cookbook are destined to become family favorites and will take the burden off the age-old question of What's for dinner?

Because I don't have a finished copy of the cookbook, I'm a little hesitant to share a recipe, in case there were changes. So instead, I'll direct you to Nancy Harmon Jenkins's website, where you can find more photos and some recipes.

NOTE: The photos in this post are from the cookbook and are included in the context of a review. All rights remain with the copyright holder, Michael Harlan Turkell.

Published by Penguin Random House / Avery, October 6, 2015
ISBN-13: 9780525427483
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


rhapsodyinbooks 10/3/15, 6:03 AM  

Hmm, trying to figure out what your name is based on those four dishes! LOL In any event, a pasta cookbook sounds wonderful!

Karen 10/3/15, 8:00 AM  

Pasta once or twice a day? Ah yes, I could definitely live in Italy...! :)

Tina 10/3/15, 8:18 AM  

Pasta is a weakness of mine but I can't have it too often. Rather than looking like a voluptuous Italian woman I would be more....dumpy, lol. The ingredients list you mentioned is intriguing, I love eggplant and fresh veggies but I would never have thought of raisins. Definitely a good cookbook for the pasta lover.

Daryl 10/3/15, 8:24 AM  

Pasta .. bread .. i can't resist either so i steer clear .. nevertheless the book looks delish

Jackie McGuinness 10/3/15, 8:24 AM  

Mussels and lamb meatballs, I'll be there.

Teddyree 10/3/15, 9:03 AM  

Pasta every day ... I'd be in heaven lol. My mouth is watering, this is definitely a cookbook I'd get a lot of use out of :)

bermudaonion 10/3/15, 9:42 AM  

Oh yum, we love pasta!

Katherine P 10/3/15, 10:00 AM  

I love pasta and it's always a family favorite. These recipes look delicious and different which is always.

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity 10/3/15, 10:03 AM  

Pasta is definitely the #1 requested dinner at our house...though I don't think we're to the point of some of the more complicated sounding dishes you mention! I took a peek at her website and the photography is gorgeous! There is nothing more comforting than a giant bowl of hot pasta. Yum!

Claudia 10/3/15, 12:15 PM  

Sounds good to me, especially want to try that cauliflower, raisins, and white wine with some pasta. But pasta goes with just about everything.

Mary R. 10/3/15, 2:41 PM  

I would happily eat pasta every day so this book sounds like one I will have to get hold of. Thanks for the review!

Create With Joy 10/4/15, 4:59 AM  

Thanks for hosting, Beth! This looks like a wonderful cookbook (who can resist good pasta?)

Have a lovely weekend!

By the way, the Book Nook is open for your reviews! :-)

Tanya @ Moms Small Victories 10/4/15, 10:14 AM  

Love pasta especially with grilled eggplant! That cauliflower and raisin pasta sounds yummy and unique too. Thanks for sharing and hosting Weekend Cooking!

Esme 10/4/15, 11:52 AM  

I am gong to have to check this out. We enjoyed so much pasta on our last trip. I have a pasta maker and need to learn how to make it.

(Diane) bookchickdi 10/4/15, 2:54 PM  

That chicken soup with chickpeas sounds delicious.

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