Pasta by Design, Hardback
4.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


This is not a cookbook; this is an entirely fresh and idiosyncratic look at the world's most popular food.

Architect George L. Legrande has compiled and profiled 92 different kinds of pasta, classifying them into types using the science of phylogeny (the study of relatedness among natural forms).

Opening the book is a pasta family tree, revealing unexpected relationships between pasta shapes, their usage and common DNA.

Each subsequent spread is devoted to a single pasta, and features a short text that explains the foods geographical origin, its process of manufacture as well as its etymology alongside suggestions for minute-perfect preparation.

Next the pasta shape is rendered as both a mathematical equation and a line diagram that displays every distinctive scrunch, ridge and crimp with loving precision.

Photographs by Stefano Graziani complement these meticulous renderings, showing the elegant contours of each pasta shape.

Finally a gatefold features a Pasta Family Reunion diagram, reassembling the pasta types and grouping them by their mathematical and geometric properties.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 208 pages, 189 illustrations, 93 in colour
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Pasta dishes
  • ISBN: 9780500515808



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Sometimes you come across a book that is so wonderful you want to recommend it to everyone. Sometimes you come across a book that is so specific in subject matter that you can't think of another soul who would appreciate it. Sometimes it's the same book.Pasta by Design is the brainchild of two architects, one of whom is Italian. The book is about over 90 different kinds of pasta: where it comes from, what its name means, what is significant or characteristic about its shape, how long to cook it, and what to serve it with. The book also contains mathematical formulas describing the shape of every kind of pasta in the book. (Let me tell you, friend, you have not lived until you have seen the six formulas which define the shape of a tortellino.)Highly recommended for the gourmet who also enjoys advanced mathematics. Or for the mathematician who gets a kick out of math creatively applied. Or for the calculus teacher who thinks that integrating the shape of macaroni would be a good test question on a final exam. (It would!)