Pasta, pasta everywhere.

It's not like pasta books ever take much of a break - they're seasonally evergreen (baked ziti in the winter, pasta salad in the summer, every other kind of pasta the rest of the year), so I'm used to seeing a couple every month or so.  But three in one week! is unusual even for pasta.  And all of them are worth a look.

Jenn Louis' Pasta By Hand: A Collection of Italy's Regional Hand-shaped Pasta offers a thoughtful selection of rustic shapes - the ones that are forgiving if they turn out a litte squat or rubbed or frayed: malfatti, gnocchi, ricotta gnudi.  Though not entirely familiar, they're mostly very approachable; few will bring your day to a complete standstill.

Even more ambitious is Mastering Pasta by Marc Vetri, co-written by the very able and seemingly ubiquitous David Joachim.  This is the one you want if you want to attempt Doppio Ravioli, Chestnut Tagliolini, or Stuffed Paccheri.  You also get some no-nonsense talk like "You know those commercials where they show a plate of cooked pasta with a pile of sauce on top?  That's bullshit."

On the other end of the spectrum is Healthy Pasta: The Sexy, Skinny, and Smart Way to Eat Your Favorite Food. It's by Joe and Tanya Bastianich, son and daughter of Lidia.  These are mostly low-sauce pastas and on the easy side; despite the name it's hard to distinguish just what's extra-healthy about them.  But they're likely to make for weeknight favorites.

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