Plated by Elana Karp and Suzanne Dumaine is a spin-off of the menu plan subscription service. The cookbook includes a variety of options from kitchen basics to weeknight dinners to meals for a crowd. The photographs included are beautiful and mouth-watering.
I tried out the recipe for Cheesy Baked Penne. It includes seasonal vegetables and a creamy tomato sauce. I used the Tomato Sauce alla Vodka and homemade ricotta cheese recipes included in the book. The base of the sauce is a homemade marinara (recipe included in the book) that is similar to a big batch recipe I use. It is nice to have a good recipe that makes a smaller amount. Overall the baked penne was good. The flavors went together well. I did alter the suggested seasonal vegetables and included eggplant. My husband is not an eggplant fan but ate a second helping of the penne.
I have several things I like about the book. The "Flavoring" section includes many wonderful recipes for dressings, sauces, and other basics. I love that many of the recipes include suggestions for seasonal additions. This allows cooks to use what is available and makes the recipes adaptable for any time of the year making them budget friendly.
The book does have a few deficiencies though. The Pizza for Every Season recipe begins with store bought pizza dough. If I am going to make pizza at home, I want a homemade crust. I would have preferred to see a homemade pizza dough recipe. Some of the ingredients include vague measurement and instructions. A new cook that needs a very detailed recipe might be frustrated by this. One example of this is the recipe for homemade ricotta. Much more thorough recipes are available online. Some of the ingredients (sushi grade tuna) may be very difficult to find if you live outside of a large city.
Overall most cooks will find this cookbook useful. It covers a variety of cooking styles and food types. Cooks of all experience levels will find something that interests them.
disclosure: I received this book from Blogging for Books but was not otherwise compensated for this review. All opinions are my own!