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Cookbook Review of the Month - September 2006

This is a cookbook that I picked up in the local grocery store.  Although I am not a vegetarian, I was intrigued by the title because I am definately a pasta-holic.  I purchased the book because it had so many wonderful pasta recipes. I also thought that it had some very innovative uses for pasta as well   The Table of Contents is as follows:    


  • introduction
  • Making Pasta
  • Soups
  • Snacks and Appetizers
  • Molds and Bakes
  • Cheesy Main Dishes
  • Main Dishes
  • Stuffed Pasta
  • Salads
  • Desserts
  • Glossary of Italian Pasta
  • Index

There were so many wonderful recipes to cook in this book that would be easy for the average cook to prepare. The recipes use common household ingredients, so they are very easy to put together.  The book is filled with beautiful pictures of many of the recipes, enticing you to try them. The book has a wonderful section on making pastas, techniques, equipment, cutting, cooking, chilling, and freezing the pastas.  I thought that there were some very creative uses of pasta such as mushrooms stuffed with pasta, as opposed to the usual breadcrumb, or seafood fillings.   The Mushroon-Pasta Pie is a great recipe to use when presentation of the dish is important. The dessert section is wonderful, from Baked Pasta Pudding, to Chocolate Pasta Torte, to Cinnamon Fettucine with Apple and Cinnamon Sauce, there is something here for everyone.  Do be confused by the title, this book is certainly not just for vegetarians. This is one cookbook you'll be glad you added to your collection.


Sample Recipe from the book:

Pasta-topped Mushrooms


  • 1/2 cup dried small stellete (stars)
  • Dash of olive oil
  • 4 large flat mushrooms                                                                                                  
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 yellow pepper. deseeded and finely diced
  • 1/2 orange pepper. deseeded and finely diced
  • 1 1/4 cups crumbled blue cheese. such as Stilton or Danish Blue
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley


1.  Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, and add the stellette with a dash of olive oil.  Cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.  Drain and set aside.

2.  Cut the stalks out of the mushrooms and discard.  Arrange the mushrooms, stalk side up, on a baking sheet and set aside.

3.  To make the topping, melt the butter in a frying pan, and saute the garlic for about 2 minutes.  Add the diced peppers, and cook for a further 5-7 minutes.  Stir in the crumbled blue cheese, and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Add the parsley and stellette.  Stir well

4.  Top each mushroom with the pasta mixture, then broil for 2-5 minutes, or until the topping is lightly golden and the mushroms are warmed through.



Book Title: The Complete Vegetarian Pasta Cookbook
Authors: Edited by Emma Calley
Category: Vegetarian Pasta
ISBN: 0-7858-0356-4
Publisher: Quintet Publishing Limited
Publisher address:

6 Blundell Street

London N7 9BH

Website or e-mail of publisher:
Published: 1996
Edition: 2nd reprint
Description: Hardcover
Photographs: Full Color photography
Price: $6.29
Reviewed by: Elise Feiner
  September 1, 2006


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