FATHER ORSINI'S PASTA PERFECTA by Joseph Orsini

FATHER ORSINI'S PASTA PERFECTA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 That Orsini (Father Orsini's Italian Kitchen, not reviewed), a retired priest and the self-proclaimed ``pope of pasta,'' hails from Bayonne, N.J., still doesn't explain some of the culinary inaccuracies in this amateur take on Italy's regional cuisines. Although the dishes here are presented in the form of an itinerary, there is a numbing sameness to them, and Orsini sometimes makes his instructions more difficult than necessary. Linguine with zucchini, mozzarella, and herbs is perfectly acceptable, but Orsini asks the cook to toss the pasta from pot to colander to bowl and then back into a hot pan after it has been first rinsed with cold water and tossed with olive oil, chives, thyme, and parsley. Not only does this dull the taste of the herbs, it also serves no purpose. Many recipe headers are unintentionally funny. Pasta with chickpeas is said to involve ``a satisfying blend of local produce''; then why are the tomatoes and legumes canned? A guide to restaurants and wines in various locales seems random, more a journal of Orsini's vacation than an ordered listing. Personal reminiscences are saccharine: ``I must tell you about little Domenico. He is now a fourth grader, a straight-A student, and a charming little rascal.'' True Italophiles will throw their hands in the air and cry, ``Mamma mia!''--and not out of joy.

Pub Date: Feb. 23rd, 1995
ISBN: 0-688-13520-X
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1994