Oretta Zanini De Vita was born in Bologna, where she learned the art of pasta making as a child in a local convent school. A respected Italian culinary historian, she has written more than forty books on Italian food and its traditions, including the James Beard Award-winning Encyclopedia of Pasta (2010) and Popes, Peasants, and Shepherds: Recipes and Lore from Rome and Lazio (2013), both translated by Maureen B. Fant. She lives in Rome. Maureen B. Fant, a native of New York, is a writer and translator who came to live in Rome in 1979 believing that her future lay in classical archaeology. She now writes mostly about Italian food. She is the coauthor of Women's Life in Greece and Rome and Dictionary of Italian Cuisine, among others. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Gourmet, and other periodicals, and she lectures on the food of Rome and ancient Rome.
"There are no better experts on the ideology of pasta-the union of a noodle and its proper condiment-than Oretta and Maureen. Sauces & Shapes contains a smart balance of history, tradition, and love. The recipes are easy enough to prepare at home but not yet ubiquitous in American kitchens. It's a work I look forward to exploring." -- Mario Batali, chef/owner of Otto, Babbo, and Del Posto Restaurants, New York "Zanini De Vita and Fant's Sauces & Shapes accomplishes the impressive feat of presenting a thoroughly Italian perspective on pasta in a package that all American cooks can use and understand. Packed with information and advice, their recipes for classic dishes are definitive." -- Mitchell Davis, executive vice president of the James Beard Foundation and author of Kitchen Sense "Sauces & Shapes is the perfect, curated Italian cookbook. If you like Italian cooking, Sauces & Shapes will become a timeless, cherished companion." -- Amanda Hesser, cofounder of Food52 and the author of The Essential New York Times Cookbook "Starred review. Picking up where the Encyclopedia of Pasta (2009) left off, this manifesto on Italian noodles is meant to provide recipes for home cooks preparing dishes in modern kitchens. While the previous work focused on cataloguing and describing Italian pasta, this book is meant to help those out outside of Italy cook like Italians." -- Publishers Weekly "A glorious selection of sauces and soups with suggestions for the pasta shapes that go best with them." -- BookPage "Spend a little time with Sauces and Shapes and instead of asking why anyone might need yet another pasta cookbook, you might find yourself wondering why you would keep all those others." -- Russ Parsons - Los Angeles Times