Flour + Water by Thomas McNaughton






HOLY CRAP this is an amazing cookbook!

Yes, it’s complicated and detailed – and yet so brilliant in its simplicity of ingredients, its arrangement of components, and – get this – he offers substitutions/work arounds if you don’t have the time to make your own pasta.

So I made three recipes – the first one was for ‘Spaghetti with Albacore Confit, Pole Beans, and Chile’, the second for the ‘Rav Dough’, and the third for ‘Celery Root Tortelli with Brown Butter, Balsamico and Walnuts’.

I have made McNaughton’s recipe for pasta dough, a recipe exactly as it reads, and a recipe using store-bought and substitutions.

Each and every one stood up to my tests and have blown me away.

Now, I make my own pasta all the time. I’ve made pasta dough in the food processor, in a bowl, on italian counter tops, i’ve made it just about everywhere. I’ve made Thomas Keller’s 7-yolk dough, America’s Test Kitchen’s quick pasta dough, the list goes on and on. This? THIS was the best pasta I have e.v.e.r. made. Seriously. Hands down the best. It was a pain in the BUTT to roll out and I had some serious doubts about how long afterwards it would take for my arms to stop hurting (you hand knead the dough for 10-15 minutes), but it was SO SO worth it!

The spaghetti recipe? I used store bought dried pasta, used salmon instead of tuna, and swapped in green beans for pole.

It was so good I served it to company.

Oil poached fish that’s been rubbed with dry-toasted fennel, sea salt and freshly crushed black pepper = NEW FAVORITE FISH RECIPE!!!


I happened to have a celery root on hand, and I was trying to decide between two recipes: the Celery Root Tortelli and the Chestnut Maltagliati with Porcini and Celery Root. In the end I chose the former because I am all out of Chestnut Flour. Almond, Rice, Tapioca – yes. Chesnut? All out.

This recipe took a very long time to make – about an hour for the filling, 2+ hours to roll out and fill the pasta itself. Finishing it took no time at all. It took longer to brown the butter than to cook the pasta off. This was truly a time-consuming task, but one that I relished. The end result blew me away.

I want to live in this restaurant.

I want them to cook me food every.single.day.

I cannot explain to you just how much I love love LOOOOOOVVVVEEEEE this cookbook!!!


I am so so SO thankful that I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.


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