Rachel Roddy: An A–Z of Pasta Twenty-one letters, fifty shapes, unlimited possibilities

Carton of mixed pasta

Rachel Roddy is a marvellous conduit between the many cultures and kitchens of her adopted homeland and a world that simply cannot get enough of Italy. Her latest book is all about pasta, although she wisely recognised that there was little point in trying to be encyclopaedic. Instead, she chose 50 shapes on which to hang history, culture, personal stories and, of course, recipes and suggestions.

We met just in time for me to get this episode ready for World Pasta Day, today. We talked about the book, obviously, and also about many other aspects of pasta and Italian life. She did divulge what she is thinking of making to celebrate World Pasta Day. I won’t spoil the secret; you’ll just have to listen. What will you be making?


  1. An A-Z of Pasta: Stories, Shapes, Sauces, Recipes is widely available.
  2. So is A Short History of Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce, by Massimo Montanari.
  3. And Oretta Zanini De Vita’s Encyclopedia of Pasta.
  4. After my confession about using up bits of leftover mixed pasta, I looked closely in the shops, and discovered that more than one brand actually sells boxes of mixed pasta. What’s more, they cost exactly the same as whole pasta. I don’t understand.
  5. Transcripts are a bit delayed right now, but there will be one soon.

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