That minimalist mindset underlies “Simple Pasta: Pasta Made Easy. Life Made Better.” (Ten Speed, $28.99). Williams traces her long-standing love affair with homemade pasta to a neighborhood restaurant she frequented as a child growing up in a coastal steel town near Sydney. Only in recent years did she learn how easy it was to make from scratch. Now, she’s practically evangelical in convincing others to follow her lead.
She walks us through three basic doughs — egg, gnocchi, semolina — with pictorials on how to shape and fill them. Then she offers a selection of classic and contemporary sauces for mixing and matching (Nonna’s Homemade Passata; Charred Broccoli, Cashew, and Pecorino Pesto) and “crunchy bits” (basic bread crumbs, garlic bread).