13 September 2010

Barilla teams up with Mario Batali and 11 celebrities to create cookbook

In an effort to encourage families to "Share the Table" more often, Barilla has teamed up with Mario Batali and eleven notable celebrities to create the limited edition Celebrity Pasta Lovers' Cookbook. The free cookbook will be available for download at ShareTheTable.com through October 15 and is filled with family meal-sharing tips and exclusive new Mario Batali recipes inspired by his favorite pasta dishes from celebrities including Meryl Streep, Kristen Bell, James Denton, Mariska Hargitay, Ellie Krieger, Martina McBride, Julianne Moore, Kristin Chenoweth, Holly Robinson-Peete, Andy Roddick, and Jimmy Fallon.

"My family and I share a love for good food and the belief that good food becomes great when it's shared with family and friends," said Mario Batali, James Beard Award-winning chef, restaurateur and author. "But because life can be so hectic, families can often forget the simple yet important pleasure of sharing meals together. That's why I partnered with Barilla – to encourage and help families make mealtimes more meaningful."

After reading about the cookbook, I decided to pick out one of the recipes to review.

Meryl Streep’s Penne with Cauliflower, Toasted Pine Nuts and Romano Cheese recipe, though not a vegan recipe, was simple to find ingredients for, do prep for, cook, and present to look like the illustration in the cookbook. I enjoyed the variance of textures in the ingredients, the play of the steps in sensory experience; like in the roasting of the pine nuts to accentuate the flavors it brings out. And I only slightly modified the recipe as I personally substituted vegan Parmesan for the Romano used in the recipe. I personally noticed no change in temperance interaction with the cauliflower or the penne pasta.

Overall, from what I noticed in the book I believe it would better suit meat-eaters and some lacto-ovo vegetarians. But as a whole the substitutions I would need to make, as a vegan, were not “so radical” as to change the taste or textures of the dishes. I would have to say it was a nice effort at giving meatless choices in the book and that even the most novice cook wouldn’t have a problem fixing these recipes.

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Jill Paschal | @VegCookin
Jill is the owner of the online vegan bookstore VegCookin. She is a continuing student majoring in Business Management and loves to travel world cultures via cuisine.

Photo credit: PRNewsFoto/Barilla, Jill Paschal