If you guys are thinking about buying this cookbook for someone this Christmas: Don’t. It’s not exciting. Maybe it’ll elicit a laugh upon the initial unwrapping, but beyond that, there’s nothing much of value to be gained from it. Case in point is Tomato & Arugula Pasta. Let’s delve into this and explore why no self-respecting cookbook (that you expect people to PAY ACTUAL MONEY for) should include this recipe.
We start by sauteeing garlic in olive oil. A pretty standard beginning to making pasta sauce; nothing to complain about here. This also happens to be one of the best smells on the planet. After a few minutes of gentle sauteeing, I pour in a huge can of whole, peeled tomatoes, sprinkle in some salt and pepper, and bring the whole mixture to a boil. I then turn the temperature down to medium-low, and let simmer for an hour.
AND WE’RE BASICALLY DONE HERE, PEOPLE.
The final steps are to cook spaghetti noodles, adding arugula to the boiling water about a minute before the pasta has finished cooking. Then you mix it all together, grate some Parmesan cheese over, and this is what you have:
Are you kidding me with this? I paid 30 dollars for this cookbook, and this recipe takes up a whole page? Is the addition of arugula to the pasta supposed to be groundbreaking? Is that really supposed to make up for what is literally the most basic version of pasta sauce you could ever conceive? This is, honestly, insane. We’re however-many months into this project, and finally – finally! – I am reaching my breaking point with the cookbook in general. I suppose that’s what happens when you purposely try to make all the tasty-looking recipes first, as you’re then left with all of the shitty ones last (although we still have some duck ahead, which I’m actually looking forward to, because it’s finally winter, and who doesn’t love duck in the winter?). But, still. Come on. Did anyone even TRY with this cookbook? Is there some sort of law that says every cookbook must have 150 recipes in it? If so, fine, I get it, she’s padding her numbers, and that’s acceptable. But if there isn’t a mandatory-recipe law (and, I don’t know about you, but that seems like something I just made up two seconds ago), this recipe has no business being in a cookbook in 2011. An award-winning cookbook, no less! Shameful, shameful business, this.
Happy Hanukkah, Gwyneth, you terrible con artist.