About a month back I attended a book signing for Alex Guarnaschelli’s new cookbook Old-School Comfort Food at Fish’s Eddys. The book itself is well designed. The nostalgic looking pattern on the bind of the book looks as if it came straight off the walls of your Italian grandmother’s dining room. The photos and typography of the inside are meant to look handmade and worn with love. The random graphic “oil splotches” scattered throughout the pages and scanned copies of recipe brainstorming on graph paper make you feel as if Alex’s life in the kitchen is transparent before your eyes. Starting with stories of cheese soufles, family dinners, embarrassing school lunches, and ending with made-from-scratch recipes, the book from cover to cover is not only a great resource of recipes but a true journey and story of Alex’s world of old school cooking.
Every recipe sang notes to my taste buds, it was hard to decide where to start. My friend and I try to make a rotational lunch schedule where we alternate turns on bringing in a home cooked meal. My turn was next and I knew I wanted to try something from the new cookbook. I skimmed through Alex’s book and narrowed it down to those that would travel easy and last until the following day. The Farfalle Pasta Salad with Beet Vinaigrette and Parsley Pesto was the final decision. This recipe was a combination of my friend’s two favorite things: playful bowtie shaped pasta and the sweet earthy notes of beets. It was perfect.
It has become one of our favorite lunches to this day. The recipe has a very earthy flavor to it. The combination of the parsley pesto, chopped scallions, and beet vinaigrette really makes your mouth sing. Not to mention, the color from the beet reduction transfers to the pasta giving it an absolutely beautiful rosy color.
I highly suggest picking up a copy of Alex’s book to get this recipe along with many other mouthwatering, flavorful recipes and tips.