Francine Segan inspired me to become a food writer. I don’t remember what show it was. I don’t even remember exactly what the topic was. What matters is that I vividly remember watching her talk about food with such passion and such incredible knowledge that she pulled me in and held my attention with an iron grip to which I gladly gave in. It was at that moment that Francine Segan pushed me to test my own limits and push past what I am educated to do, full speed ahead into what I am passionate about, and dip my toes into the waters of food writing. I have adored every moment spent pursuing my passion, and am eternally grateful to her for inspiring me to challenge my limits and broaden my horizons.
In her most recent cookbook, Pasta Modern: New & Inspired Recipes From Italy, Francine Segan challenges the limits of what most of us think of when we think of pasta – dishes laden with tomato sauce, meats and cheeses, passed down from generation to generation. That’s not to say there is anything at all wrong with those dishes, but there is also nothing at all wrong with experimentation, and Pasta Modern teaches us that pasta can take many delicious left turns. With chapters devoted to Savory Chocolate & Coffee, Pasta for Dessert, Vegetarian and Fruit, Francine Segan delves into unusual and creative pasta preparations that push the limits of what we expect pasta to be.
I would never have dreamt that tossing perfectly al dente Monograno Felicetti shells in cocoa powder and confectioners’ sugar would create sweet little boats to cradle dollops of decadent fillings. Luckily, Francine Segan had exactly that dream! Her Chocolate-Stuffed Shells are perfect cocktail party dessert fare. She suggests a list of whimsical fillings like semifreddo, peanut butter and jelly, and whipped cream and fresh berries. I opted to fill mine with chocolate and butterscotch pudding, and just adored the tasty little treats!
Francine Segan learned how to make the Bucatini Dome straight from the Garofalo pasta kitchen. She shares clear, step-by-step instructions for this magnificent creation in Pasta Modern, and I am proud to say that I can tell you first-hand that her instructions will lead you straight to success! Not only is the Bucatini Dome a feat of engineering, but it also demonstrates that sometimes all you need is a few quality ingredients to create a perfectly delicious dish. Made with Garofalo bucatini, sharp provolone, butter and fresh vegetables, this creation will impress your dinner guests, and is perfect for adults and children alike.
In Pasta Modern, Francine Segan challenges the limits of traditional pasta preparations, and inspires us to try dishes we may never have dreamt about. On a personal note, I want to publicly express my gratitude to her for inspiring me to pursue my passion and push my own limits. Whether it is the confidence to attempt a Bucatini Dome, or the fortitude to pursue your dreams, Francine Segan should be an inspiration for anyone seeking to broaden their culinary horizons.