Back Pocket Pasta: Inspired Dinners to Cook on the Fly: A Cookbook (Hardcover)
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Here are more than 75 sophisticated, weeknight-friendly pasta dishes that come together in the same amount of time it takes to boil the water.
As much a mindset as it is a cookbook, Back Pocket Pasta shows how a well-stocked kitchen and a few seasonal ingredients can be the driving force behind delicious, simply prepared meals. Pantry staples—a handful of items to help you up your dinner game—give you a head start come 6pm, so you can start cooking in your head on the way home from work. For instance, if you know that you have a tin of anchovies, a hunk of parmesan, and panko bread crumbs, you can pick up fresh kale to make Tuscan Kale "Caesar" Pasta. Or if you have capers, red pepper flakes, and a lemon, you can make Linguine with Quick Chili Oil. With genius flavor combinations, a gorgeous photograph for every recipe, and a smart guide to easy-drinking cocktails and wine, Back Pocket Pasta will inspire you to cook better meals faster.
"Who knew just five ingredients could taste like magic?!" --Refinery29
About the Author
Colu Henry is a writer, recipe-developer and frequent contributor to the New York Times and Food & Wine. She has worked in food for over fifteen years and has learned what resonates with home cooks by creating elegant yet approachable recipes without overthinking it. She is the author of Back Pocket Pasta and host of Colu Cooks on Patreon. Colu splits her time between Hudson, NY and Nova Scotia, Canada with her husband.
"A beautiful, oversized volume dedicated purely to pasta and its breezy ease." –Saveur
"Colu Henry’s Back Pocket Pasta arrived this spring at the intersection of craving and convenience. It’s an essential guide for pulling together delectable pasta dishes in a flash, drawing largely from a well-stock pantry." –Cooking Light
“Henry’s Back Pocket Pasta stands apart, thanks to an accessible blend of simplicity and innovation; most recipes require just a handful of ingredients, and every single one is sure to wow the pants off of whoever is lucky enough to get a taste. Best of all, there’s not a hint of pretense or complication involved.” –Vogue.com
“Back Pocket Pasta’s no-frills, this-is-a-loose-guide vibes let Colu’s casual approach to cooking shine—she offer a few guidelines for how she always approaches every dish, but encourages the reader to play around and not get too caught up in the ingredient list, since every pantry is different.” –Food52.com
“Colu Henry's Back Pocket Pasta is one of those cookbooks that is scarily true to how we really cook at home. We make these hodge-podge pastas and eat them on our couch, the couch we said we'd never spill food on. Colu knows. And her recipes will make you a better couch pasta chef all the same, with recipes that range from unexpectedly easy to wow-that's-a-lot-of-cheese. Both are great qualities to have in a cookbook.” –BonAppetit.com
“Henry took pasta's best and brightest qualities (i.e. affordability and ease) and ran with them — developing those off-the-cuff effortless recipes that you can reach into your very own cupboard and fridge for (whenever the mood strikes).” –Refinery29.com
"Alongside the old standbys, Colu Henry miraculously manages to come up with dozens of new-to-you pastas with fewer than 10 ingredients." -NPR
"Quickly-thrown-together dinners usually lack a certain kind of elegance, but Colu Henry makes pasta somehow both fast and elegant." -Epicurious
"The former Bon Appétit staffer mines her Italian heritage for dishes that are both simple and sophisticated” –San Diego Union Tribune
“Everyone needs a few go-to pasta recipes for an quick weeknight dinner or simple supper. A “back pocket pasta,” if you will. ” –Food Republic
“Just what we all need for those moments when we want to look like we actually know what we're doing in the kitchen. These dishes are totally gourmet, but also totally simple. If you need to whip up a meal to impress in the amount of time it takes your pasta to boil, this book has you covered.” –Lonny
“A treasure trove of Italian noodle-centric dishes.” –PDX Monthly
"Henry's years in food media combine with her food-centric Italian family background for sophisticated, compromise-free recipes." –Publisher's Weekly, starred review
"You need someone like Colu Henry in your life. She’s one of those stylish friends who will tell you where to score the prettiest dresses, help you book the best travel destinations, and happily point you toward your next good read. With Back Pocket Pasta, Colu brings her effortless style to the weeknight dinner table. Front to back, this beautiful cookbook is filled with casual recipes achievable anytime, anywhere, often with little more than a reasonably stocked pantry and a bit of seasonal flair.” –Heidi Swanson, author of Near & Far
"Back Pocket Pasta is the go-to guide for making quick-and-easy meals with just a few essential pantry staples. Keep it within arm's reach in the kitchen." –Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli, chefs and restaurateurs of Frankies Spuntino
"Who knew just five ingredients could taste like magic?!" –Refinery29
"Colu Henry’s recipes are just like her: relaxed, inviting, colorful, and not afraid to bend or break the rules. Back Pocket Pasta not only shows you how to make a delicious bowl of pasta with just about anything, it’s also an invitation into Colu’s kitchen and family. This beautiful book is so inspiring, and I want to eat everything in it." –Julia Turshen, author of Small Victories
"Back Pocket Pasta is a gorgeous book full of personality and vibrant, approachable recipes. Every page has me considering switching to a one hundred percent pasta lifestyle. I have honestly never loved gluten more." –Alison Roman
"I thought I was the master of the improv pasta! This entertaining and straightforward cookbook describes exactly my sentiments about home cooking. Colu Henry inspires us to use the canned, the leftovers, and that lonely last tomato to make delicious, simple, and bold dishes. The clue here is to be spontaneous, creative, and enjoy ravaging your pantry. Nicely done, Colu." –Jonathan Waxman, chef and owner of Barbuto