More worthwhile than the usual run of celebrity cookbooks, perhaps because any honest pasta dish is worth dozens of the chocolate mousses and aspic atrocities frequently committed in print by notables. Most of these are indeed honest pasta dishes, and the Aldas generally (not always) stick to good ingredients and sensible preparations. The directions of homemade pasta all'uova and a few basic sauces are clear enough, and one can't go wrong with things like fettucine with sweet butter and Parmesan cheese, spaghettini with lightly browned zucchini slices, linguine with mussels, or mostaccioli with sweet and hot sausages. Minestre (soups) tend to rely on bouillon cubes; and some of the more complex recipes have confusing discrepancies between lists of ingredients and directions. Nor is this the work to tell you much about pasta in the structure of an Italian meal, or to explain the nature of ingredients like pancetta (unsmoked bacon). Jack Denton Scott's Complete Book of Pasta provides ten times more information without all of the garrulous name-dropping reminiscences; still, this has its pleasures.