Making pasta can be intimidating because it’s technical and requires specialized equipment. That’s why for most ordinary households, using store brought dried pasta is a more practical and convenient option.
But for pasta connoisseurs, knowing how to make fresh pasta is a worthy skill to have. There’s a distinct and creative pleasure to be derived in being able to make perfect pasta dough and deciding what shape or sizes it would be.
It’s a good thing that there are pasta cookbooks because they can take the place of expensive master classes in pasta making. As more and more people become interested in pasta making, there are now more books which offer in depth explorations into pasta techniques and ingredients.
Most of these books are written by chefs that can get pretty much technical for a newbie. But there are books that offer a step-by-step approach for making homemade pasta which are easy to follow for the average pasta cook. The best ones offer both techniques and classic recipes so that you’ll know what kind of sauce or wine to pair with the pasta that you made.
However, there are also pasta cookbooks that are entirely just all about pasta dishes. These are for people who love to eat pasta but have no interest in making fresh pasta themselves. Most of these books will have an introductory section on the basics of pasta making but the rest of the chapters will focus on recipes. The best ones will feature a mix of recipes that use fresh and dried pasta.
In this list, I’ve included both types of pasta cookbooks. Whether you’re just looking for a delicious and quick recipe for an occasional pasta night or if you’re looking to upgrade your culinary skill set, these books are the best of the bunch that are available online.
Here are my top 10 pasta cookbooks on Amazon.
And, of course, pasta is just one type of ingredient to work with. There are many other types of cookbooks to choose from too, including grilling cookbooks, vegan cookbooks, and even dessert cookbooks.
Best Pasta Cookbooks
- Mastering Pasta: The Art and Practice of Handmade Pasta, Gnocchi, and Risotto [A Cookbook] Hardcover – Illustrated
- Making Artisan Pasta: How to Make a World of Handmade Noodles, Stuffed Pasta, Dumplings, and More Flexibound – Illustrated
- Pasta Grannies: The Official Cookbook: The Secrets of Italy's Best Home Cooks Hardcover – Illustrated,
- The Ultimate Pasta Machine Cookbook: 100 Recipes for Every Kind of Amazing Pasta Your Pasta Maker Can Make Paperback
- Pasta Revolution: 200 Foolproof Recipes That Go Beyond Spaghetti and Meatballs Paperback
- Back Pocket Pasta: Inspired Dinners to Cook on the Fly: A Cookbook Hardcover – Illustrated
- Pasta in a Pinch: Classic and Creative Recipes Made with Everyday Pantry Ingredients Paperback
- Pasta Night (Williams-Sonoma) Hardcover – Illustrated
- Homemade Pasta Made Simple: A Pasta Cookbook with Easy Recipes & Lessons to Make Fresh Pasta Any Night Paperback
- The Best Pasta Cookbook: 100 Classic Pasta Recipes Paperback
1. Mastering Pasta: The Art and Practice of Handmade Pasta, Gnocchi, and Risotto [A Cookbook] Hardcover – Illustrated
There’s more than 100 recipes here that will teach how you to make 30 different types of pasta as well as classic and innovative recipes for making pasta dishes and sauces.
Written by a master chef, this book will teach newbies the basics of pasta flour and how to make pasta by hand or by machine. For experienced cooks, the techniques showcased in this book will enhance your skills in making pasta dishes.
The recipes in this book are written clearly and there are a lot of photos that show the actual making of the pasta shapes to help the reader. But most of the recipes use ingredients that are not easily stocked in pantries. The author is, however, good in giving alternative ingredients for easy substitution by the home cook.
Readers love the wealth of technical information in the book. If you’re someone who’s made pasta at least a few times and would like to improve your skills, this is a very useful cookbook for you.
2. Making Artisan Pasta: How to Make a World of Handmade Noodles, Stuffed Pasta, Dumplings, and More Flexibound – Illustrated
This cookbook focuses on artisan pasta and not just the Italian kind but also some international staples like Asian noodles, pot sticker, and pierogi. While it shows how to make everything by scratch, it does require the reader to have the essential equipment in order to make pasta. Not every recipe will require the use of some equipment, but in the ones that do, the cookbook offers some adaptations and hacks to get around the lack of equipment.
This isn’t a recipe collection, though. It’s a pasta and noodle making cookbook that has recipe suggestions as to what flavors would go well with the pasta ingredients. It’ll teach you how to roll, shape and stuff pasta as well as make hand-stretched pasta dough.
The recipes are detailed and fully illustrated with step-by-step instructions. They’re also accompanied by lots of gorgeous photos. Just don’t expect variety; the sauce recipes are delicious and useful but are chosen for their compatibility with the type of pasta used. They’re also written clearly enough for both newbie and skilled home cooks.
3. Pasta Grannies: The Official Cookbook: The Secrets of Italy's Best Home Cooks Hardcover – Illustrated
If you’re looking to make pasta the traditional way, then this cookbook will show you how. There are 80 recipes here collected from Italian grandmothers who have spent their lifetime cooking pasta. From pici to lumachelle della duchessa, this book showcases the variety and authenticity of Italian pasta.
Each pasta recipe is carefully cataloged and its ingredients measured and explained in detail. All the recipes are made from scratch and use measurements in grams, cups, and oz. There’s also a side note that suggests substitutions in case the ingredients are not available locally.
Newbies, however, may balk at the recipes because they require some fair amount of kitchen experience. But it’s nothing that an hour of watching the Pasta Grannies YouTube channel can’t fix.
There’s not a lot of photos that accompany the recipes but the stories of each granny make for an interesting read. Readers love the sauce and soup recipes that are also included in the book.
4. The Ultimate Pasta Machine Cookbook: 100 Recipes for Every Kind of Amazing Pasta Your Pasta Maker Can Make Paperback
This cookbook shows you how to make all kinds of pasta using a pasta machine. It teaches you how to properly use a sheeter, an extruder, and a cavetelli maker in order to make traditional Italian pasta or Asian noodles.
The book begins with how to make pasta dough and shape it into different types using the pasta machine. It then teaches you how to incorporate flavor into the pasta by using herbs, spices, vegetables, and even chocolate. Towards the end, the book presents the recipes that can be used for the noodles.
The recipes are easy to follow for the average home cook. There are recipes for cultured butter, ricotta cheese, and cannoli, as well as fillings for ravioli, tortellini, and other stuffed pastas. There is also an abundance of sauce recipes for finished pasta dishes. There are lots of photos as well as side notes that contain suggestions for portion sizing, storing and drying fresh pasta, and what pantry staples one must have.
5. Pasta Revolution: 200 Foolproof Recipes That Go Beyond Spaghetti and Meatballs Paperback
Curated by the editors at the American Test Kitchen, this cookbook showcases pasta recipes that are a mixture of both classic and modern favorites.
There are the casserole staples, the one-pot pasta recipes, six-ingredient pasta dishes, as well as the country favorites. It also features scaled down recipes that are good for two and scaled up ones for family feasts. There are also recipes that have less than 600 calories and 12 grams of fat.
Each recipe starts with a note which explains why the dish works. It then highlights the important element in what makes the dish successful. There are also tips on how to troubleshoot potential problems as well as guidelines on what substitutions one should not make when following the recipe.
This book, however, does not teach you how to make fresh pasta. But if you’re looking for a comprehensive collection of recipes that use dried pasta and which have been kitchen-tested by experts, then this cookbook is for you.
6. Back Pocket Pasta: Inspired Dinners to Cook on the Fly: A Cookbook Hardcover – Illustrated
This cookbook features 75 gourmet but straightforward pasta recipes that imbibe the Neapolitan spirit. It’s a mix of classical Southern Italian dishes, and new creative recipes developed by the author. The book is designed to give you ideas for easy, quick meals on weeknights when you’re too tired to prepare dinner.
Recipes are user-friendly and require minimal effort. Each one is accompanied by a beautiful photo of the dish. Most of the recipes are vegetarian and in cases of meat dishes, the author provides suggestions for meatless substitutes.
The book highlights the use of pantry staples to create the dishes. But since everyone has different ideas of what makes a pantry staple, some ingredients in the book may require more tedious sourcing.
Readers found the head notes for each recipe helpful and informative. They also liked its section on wines, pantry and cocktail suggestions. Overall, it’s a no frills and practical guide to making pasta nights at your home convenient and easy.
7. Pasta in a Pinch: Classic and Creative Recipes Made with Everyday Pantry Ingredients Paperback
The 85 recipes featured in this book are a mixture of classic and modern pasta dishes. This is another handy and casual cookbook for the newbie cook since it also teaches you the basics and provides you with enough recipes to practice your skill.
The opening chapters deal with basic information on pasta types and their cooking techniques, as well as suggestions on how to stock your pantry. The rest of the book goes on to feature the recipes which are organized by category (Classics, Fish and Seafood, Meat and Poultry, Salads and Vegetarian).
Recipes are written clearly and come with extra tips on preparing, serving or substituting the pasta dishes. They also indicate prep and cooking time. Not all of them come with photos though; still, the featured pictures are beautiful and vibrant.
Readers like this book because it allows them to shake up the recipes any way they want. They particularly found the book’s “pasta flowchart” very helpful because it showed them how and when to cook and combine the ingredients.
8. Pasta Night (Williams-Sonoma) Hardcover – Illustrated
This is a collection of 50 easy but delicious pasta dishes that will appeal to all ages and palates.
This book provides step-by-step directions and illustrations for making homemade pasta dough from wheat flour or gluten-free buckwheat flour. It then features a wide variety of pasta sauces, which include favorites such as marinara, bolognese, pesto, and alfredo, among others.
Recipes are easy to follow, using ingredients that aren’t hard to find. Each one is accompanied with a gorgeous photo. There are also side notes for expert tips about choosing, cooking, and serving pasta.
Readers love its engaging and solution-oriented approach to cooking pasta dishes. The book is recommended for newbie or occasional pasta cooks.
9. Homemade Pasta Made Simple: A Pasta Cookbook with Easy Recipes & Lessons to Make Fresh Pasta Any Night Paperback
This cookbook is for the beginner cook who wants to try making homemade pasta. It features 65 pasta recipes, 30 homemade sauce recipes, and 3 fool-proof pasta dough recipes.
The book opens with a beginners guide to the essential preparation techniques and tool selection. The dough recipes are then introduced with detailed instructions on how to make pasta by hand, by a manual pasta machine or an electric machine. It also teaches you to make, shape, and stuff pasta.
The recipes are written clearly and allow the reader some creativity for making the dish. There is, however, a lack of photos and illustrations to accompany each recipe. There are sketches for the different types of pasta but no photos of the pasta dishes. For visual readers, this book may be a difficult read. But for those looking to refine their pasta making skills, this book is an essential one.
10.The Best Pasta Cookbook: 100 Classic Pasta Recipes Paperback
If you’re looking for a collection of classic pasta recipes, then this is the book for you. From meat to vegetarian options, this book has everything, including sauce recipes.
Some samples of classic dishes include Skillet Pasta with Sausage and Vegetables, Chicken and Pasta Primavera Italian Spaghetti Sauce, Vermicelli with Fresh Clams, Vegetable Lasagna, and Garden Pasta Salad.
Recipes are easy to follow and feature inexpensive or pantry-ready ingredients. If you’re looking for recipes that have withstood the test of time, this book is for you.
PASTA REVOLUTION: 200 FOOLPROOF RECIPES THAT GO BEYOND SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS by America’s Test Kitchen
Most pasta cookbooks are a combination of pasta making techniques and sauce recipes. Depending on the author, the book may go heavy on techniques and light on recipes or vice-versa. But the average home cook may not have the time or patience to do the steps.
With Pasta Revolution, the focus is on the recipe dish and not fresh pasta. It’s a more practical approach to cooking pasta because it uses dried, store-brought pasta.
And since this is an America’s Test Kitchen cookbook, it’s comprehensive enough to include what we need to know and fool-proof because these recipes have been tested by pro chefs. Plus, its usual sections on essential cooking tips, cookware reviews, and ingredient ratings are very helpful.