Read it: Flour & Water
Flour + Water by Thomas McNaughton was a great read and I have to thank my previous boss, Chef Benjamin Lee. While I was at A Voce on 41 Madison in NYC, I worked the hot apps station which was right next to Pasta station and I was always curious and enjoyed watching the skill and art of making a silky smooth pasta dishes. I would take whatever spare time I had after or in-between services to go downstairs and watch Bertha our pasta lady make our pasta, she made you feel like you were here grandchild.
I was constantly asking my chef questions about pasta and why he did this or that, I stood over his shoulder and watched what he did like a hawk, I am sure some days he was happy to know that I was so interested and other days it drove him up the wall. One day I asked him about really good books to read, he told me about two, one I haven't gotten yet (sorry chef!), the other was Flour + Water, a story about three men, who were all connected in this small niche.
Thomas McNaughton left America to train in Italy and learn the art of pasta making. When the time came for him to go back home he applied for a job on craigslist not knowing what he was getting into. Both he and the two other men end up having a restaurant with great food, where the pasta was made fresh every day and became the main idea behind the name of the restaurant, Flour + Water.
You learn the basics in this book and get an understanding of the real art of pasta making without having to fly to Italy. McNaughton goes deep into his descriptions making you understand the difference between different types of pasta and which ones to use for specific sauces. It sheds some light in the pasta world for you. Almost every dish in this book has a story behind it or how it came about, which is awesome because its almost as if the dish has a personality.
The book has a lot of character and has loads of yummy pictures that influence you to get up and get to rolling or learning. I hope you get this book and enjoy it as much as I did.