Discover more from pasta social club
happy publication day, pasta every day!
she's out in the world!
PASTA EVERY DAY is officially out in the world! I tend to second-guess myself, especially when it comes to work, but not today. I am so proud of this book. It’s beautiful (thanks to an incredibly talented photo team), full of delicious recipes, and, most importantly, useful. I hope it will inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and share a meal with people you love.
Today is a busy day, starting with a segment on the TODAY show making ravioli with what I call the “honeymoon cheese and herb filling.” It’s a special, sentimental dish, reminiscent of the first plate of pasta my husband and I enjoyed on—you guessed it—our honeymoon in Italy, the same trip that made me fall in love with making pasta years ago. Definitely one of those full-circle moments. Then I’m headed to Caleta, a bar-meets-ice-cream-parlor in New York City’s East Village to prep for a pop-up dinner featuring the pesto lasagne and sweet-and-sour eggplant sauce from the book. Caleta is owned by Jesse Zuñiga and her husband, Javier, and their ice cream brand, Bad Habit, has already made waves. Jesse and I met fresh out of culinary school working the pastry line at Lilia in Brooklyn, and I remember our long chats about our goals and dreams (mine: Pasta Social Club; hers: an ice cream shop). So, another full-circle moment.
Back to the book. If you haven’t already picked up a copy, I really hope you’ll give it a look. There’s something for every pasta lover—vegan, gluten-free, novice, expert—and you don’t even need to make your own pasta to enjoy it. All 45-ish sauces are also designed to coat the dried pasta already in your pantry. Not to mention it’s pretty enough simply to find a home on your coffee table.
For those who want to experiment with different pasta shapes, there are video clips of each one (plus a few doughs) to help guide you, accessible via QR code. Here’s a fun little trailer of what you can expect from the videos (thank you, Vital Farms, for making these possible!):
Finally, I’ve been inspired byto mark the occasion by sharing the book’s introduction, below. If you do make any of the recipes, I’d love to hear from you, either via email at email@example.com or by tagging @pastasocialclub on social media. We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming very soon, I promise!
Happy pasta-making, everyone! :)
PS: Giulia Scarpelaggia shared this wonderful post about the book in her newsletter,, which includes one of my favorite fall-winter recipes, the braised onion ragù. Bookmark it for a weekend project!
Reprinted, with permission, from Pasta Every Day: Make It, Shape It, Sauce It, Eat It, by Meryl Feinstein (Voracious, 2023)
Introduction: Anyone Can Make Fresh Pasta (Even You)
I fell in love with making pasta when I was twenty-eight. My husband and I had arrived in Modena—home of balsamic vinegar and Parmigiano-Reggiano, and the penultimate stop on our Italian honeymoon. It was April, crisp and sunny, and we found ourselves on the outskirts of town at a canary yellow house, blanketed in vines of newly bloomed wisteria. This was Acetaia Malagoli Daniele, a centuries-old, family-run balsamic vinegar producer, and an undeniably happy place to be. We were there to taste the vinegar, of course, but we were also there to make pasta.
Barbara was our host, and she was exactly the type of person you’d want to learn from—firm yet friendly, an expert from years of doing things over and over without pretension. We were making pasta in the sunroom, and everything we needed was laid out on a long wooden table: flour, eggs (from the hens out back), and a rolling pin—plus fresh ricotta to stuff inside.
She coached us as we cracked eggs into a heap of flour, kneaded the two into a smooth ball of dough, and rolled that dough into a thin, circular sheet. We made mistakes—a lot of them—but Barbara brushed them off: Pasta is about pleasure, not perfection, she assured us. Then she showed us how to cut pappardelle, pinch farfalle, and fashion oversized tortellini (called tortellacci) bursting with cheese.
Some of our shapes looked neat; others…let’s call them abstract. But we didn’t care. It was fun, soothing even, and we were proud of what we’d made. When we sat down to eat, it was the best pasta I’d ever tasted.
Bringing Pasta Home
I’m telling you this story for a couple of reasons. The first is that fresh pasta is often misunderstood. It’s a simple food with humble origins, long a staple of home cooks like Barbara. But over time it’s become trapped by an intimidating reputation.
The first time my husband and I attempted fresh pasta was not in Modena but in Manhattan, a couple of years earlier when we lived in a 400-square-foot studio on the Upper West Side. It was an elaborate recipe for artichoke ravioli from The French Laundry (I know, I know). We started the dough at 4:00 p.m., took our first bite at 10:00 p.m., finished our plates at 10:05 p.m., and then ordered a pizza. This experience is not unique, but it should be. The idea that fresh pasta is a Michelin-level challenge, a minefield of fancy tools and complex techniques only fit for a restaurant chef, is a modern and American myth.
The truth is this: Anyone can make fresh pasta at home. What’s more, anyone can make great fresh pasta with what’s already in their kitchen.
The second purpose of this story is to assure you that it’s never too late to try something new. I’m a descendant of Eastern European Jews; I was raised on matzah ball soup, not tortellini in brodo. But since that morning in Modena, not a day has gone by when I haven’t made, eaten, or thought about pasta. By the time you’re reading this, it’ll be more than five years since I quit my corporate PR job, graduated culinary school, and started Pasta Social Club, a community of pasta lovers and makers; four years since I made hundreds of tortelli, corzetti, and cavatelli daily at one of New York’s most popular pasta restaurants, Misi; and three years since I taught my first formal pasta class and started developing recipes for major food publications.
So although I’m now a trained chef who’s made a lot of pasta, I haven’t forgotten what it feels like to be nervous in the kitchen and start at the very beginning—because my own beginning was not so long ago. If I can do it, you can do it, too.
How to Navigate This Book
My goal is to empower you to make pasta at home with joy and confidence, and to inspire you to take risks in the kitchen. I have enormous respect for Italian cooking and tradition, both of which I study with fervor. But this is not a traditional cookbook or an Italian cookbook.
The recipes are organized not as complete dishes—say, cheese ravioli with butter and sage—but by pasta’s core components: doughs, shapes, fillings (for stuffed pastas), and sauces. These can be mixed and matched to create endless combinations so, like generations of pasta makers before us, you can make what you like with what you have. (For the more straitlaced among us, don’t worry—there are plenty of suggested pairings peppered throughout.)
Some of the methods might seem lengthy, but they are not difficult. After years of answering pasta-related questions, I write instructions as if we are cooking together, side by side, and any extra explanation is there to ensure you succeed the first time.
True to pasta’s modest roots, all the ingredients in this book are available in major grocery stores and online. Of course, if you have access to exciting local and seasonal ingredients, use them. You might also notice that most of these recipes are vegetarian-friendly, and many can be made vegan. This is both altruistic and selfish—the former, to ensure people with dietary restrictions can enjoy them; the latter, because I am one of those people. I grew up in a kosher home, so in keeping with those customs, you won’t find any pork or shellfish here. Finally, although this book is about fresh pasta, it will also come in handy for the box of dried noodles in your pantry, with dozens of sauces to choose from.
Even in Barbara’s sunroom I knew that a plate of pasta was about more than good food. Likewise, this book is not just about pasta and how to make it, but also about luxuriating in the kitchen. Pasta can be made loudly in the company of others or peacefully alone. Either way, it nudges you to slow down and be present. Pasta reminds us to find joy in something simple. It values pleasure, not perfection (worst-case scenario: an ugly-delicious dinner); it has always been and should always be about connecting with the ones you love. So, whether it’s your first time or your fiftieth, give the recipes and techniques in this book a try. You might just find yourself making pasta every day.
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