Q&A with Carmela Hayes, Cookbook Author of “A Passion for Pasta”

We chatted with Carmela Hayes all about her “passion for pasta” and what we can expect from her highly anticipated new cookbook, which will be available in May. She also shared her tips for pasta pairings and her favorite ingredients. Read on for the full interview!

1. We’re so excited for your new cookbook, A Passion for Pasta coming out next month! What kinds of recipes will we be able to find there?

I am incredibly excited too. You will find a variation of fantastic regional recipes all encompassing ‘Pasta’. Many recipes may be familiar but I am sure that some will most definitely be new and encourage the reader to try something new.

2. With such a zealous cookbook title, we know pasta is important to you. Can you tell us exactly what pasta means to you?

I eat pasta every day as well as work with it, write about it and teach with it. Pasta is most certainly my passion. I wasn’t able to include all the recipes I wanted too in this book, so as you can imagine I am eagerly anticipating a possible follow up.

3. We know the book features regional pasta recipes – can you give us a brief overview of how different regions prepare pastas differently?

The South of Italy uses a large base of slow cooked sauces and lots of vegetable with locally grown or purchased meat, whilst the North has the same benefits they also have influences from the surrounding bordering. The influences in the mountain cuisine is simply exquisite.

4. What are some of your favorite foods to pair with pasta?

I love a slow cooked rib ragu/sugo or on the opposite side of the scale a lighter option of an excellent Extra Virgin Olive Oil with some fantastic seasonal vegetables and a generous grating of either ricotta salate or Parmigianno.

5. With spring in full swing, what fresh season ingredients do you most like to utilize in your pasta recipes?

With Spring I love to use wild asparagus, lightly fried and tossed with pine-nuts, oil, pasta and Parmesan. Simple yet so reassuringly delicious.

About Carmela Hayes:

Carmela is a passionate cookery tutor. Carmela is known as a pastaia and is also an event cookery demonstrator, recipe developer, food writer and author of two beautiful cookery books ‘A Passion for Pasta’ released 2nd May 2017 and ‘Southern Italian Family Cooking’ OUT NOW. Cooking simple, inexpensive, seasonal, flavoursome dishes whilst using good quality seasonal ingredients is her mantra. The most basic and mouth-watering of Italian dishes can take minutes, from an easy spaghetti dish to a slow cooked meat based sugo dishes. Eating and enjoying snacks and meals around a kitchen table is paramount with friends and family so with good reason the pasta courses that you will learn from Carmela and her Italian cooking classes will put you in great stead for whatever you decide to cook and for whom.

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