As you shake and stir cocktails galore this holiday season, try to refrain from polishing off every drop of the vodka.
Instead, save some to make this easy and delicious “Penne with Vodka Sauce.”
It’s from “Simple Pasta” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy. This engaging book is by Odette Williams, the Australia-born cook and writer who now lives in Brooklyn.
It is her second cookbook, after the huge success of her “Simple Cake” (Ten Speed Press), a favorite in my house and named one of the best baking books of 2019 by the New York Times.
Like that book, this one is filled with tempting recipes that aren’t overly complicated but deliver on flavor and pure delight.
It’s a book that you’ll reach for again and again to try your hand at dishes that include making your own fresh pasta or to substituting dried instead, as well as accompaniments like salads, cocktails, and desserts.
The genius of this book is not only that the recipes are definitely simple, but encourages you to mix and match cakes with your choice of various frostings and fillings.
There are 10 basic cake recipes — all that you really need, Williams declares. That’s because each cake recipe provides suggestions on flavor variations and topping choices, not to mention baking directions for turning the recipe into cupcakes or mini Bundts or a square or rectangular cake instead of a round one.