Pasta is the food that succeeds, more than any other, in reconciling different customs and cultures and in overcoming cultural and geographical borders, and this is owing to its versatility. Obviously, because of the great variability of latitudes and lifestyles among the places where pasta is used, there is a correspondingly great diversification in the methods in which we propose, conceive of, and cook pasta. This is why their formats and combinations with seasonings – never random – are so important. The forms left to us by tradition and inventiveness in pasta-drawing are the result of long and patient work of elaboration, aimed at fusing and sublimating aspects that are complementary to one another. All the formats originate from the same dough, generated from a drawing-machine: the form owes its variety to the very nature of the technology. But the architecture of the pasta dough is not a random happening: it is designed to be perceived with the mouth, even more so than through the eyes, and to contribute to the formation of taste. Smooth or ribbed, long or short, pasta is a “machine” designed to “capture” the sauce, to hold it, to transport it in the proper quantity to the mouth, to define the flavor of the recipe. The ribbings increase the surface area, to extend the staying power of the sour or sweet notes of the various seasonings; the loops catch small fragments of flavor; the spirals withhold and amplify the density of sauces. Pasta was created as a carrier of sauces, and there are no limits to it in this marvelous vocation. And Italian gastronomic tradition, so widely varied in its regional and territorial products, offers an extraordinary wealth of combinations, worthy of being proposed anew for an international audience, to respond to the hasty and quotidian repetitiveness resulting in unchanging cuisine. Thus was born the idea for a new book on pasta, the fruit of Academia Barilla’s gastronomic experience and of Barilla’s centuries-old technological competencies, to promote 360- knowledge about pasta, giving value to the extraordinary variety of the formats produced today in Italy – at least 300 – combining them in simple and varied preparations, each one tested and experimented with by the chefs at Academia Barilla, along with text and suggestions for excellence in the final result. The volume, large in format and with a carefully-designed editorial program, is structured using the individual formats as the basis. It presents their technical and physical characteristics; reports origins of their names and brief historical annotations, rich with significance; suggests ideal combinations with sauces and seasonings; and proposes traditional recipes from Italian gastronomy, splendidly illustrated using images produced during the preparation. A different and original point of view for discovering how much originality – and taste – is hidden behind a plate of pasta.