Slim, successful, and soon to marry the man of her dreams, Katie Cravens is leading the life she always wanted. As the face and CEO of Pasta Pronto, a Carbs for the Calorie-Conscious line of frozen food, Katie chooses to live life like one of her Slimline Spaghetti dinners no mess, no surprises, and everything tied up in a neat little package. But when Katie’s fiancé runs off with another woman and a quality control fiasco sends her customers running for the hills, it s time for Katie to make a change.
Her company’s salvation presents itself in the form of a partnership opportunity with the legendary Ristorante Caramelli of Rome, and Katie has no other choice but to jet off to Italy to convince gorgeous, hotheaded co-owner Luca Caramelli that she’s a worthy partner. Gaining Luca’s respect proves harder than Katie could have ever imagined, however, when he insists that she must learn how to cook and how to eat true Italian food before he will ever agree to their companies partnership.
Katie and Luca’s tension in Italy mounts into a fierce public rivalry that erupts back in the States with a nationally televised cooking competition. As Katie tries to channel her inner Mario Batali to win the competition, she must choose between the flavorless prepackaged life that she worked so hard to maintain and the mouth-watering uncertainty of a life chock full of carbohydrates and Caramellis.
What we say – review by Elizabeth Wright:
I must admit when I started Pasta Wars I was almost expecting to be disappointed, as so many books that touch upon eating issues and body image have disappointed me in the past. Yet Elisa Lorello has done the only thing that really needs to be done when writing about this topic; she has written with honesty and from the heart. The unhealthy obsession with food and body image that is present throughout our modern culture is so often talked and joked about, but the cruel reality is much more sinister and can literally ruin lives. Pasta Wars doesn’t just skim over these issues as a way to set the scene of girl meets boy. It delves into the world of Katie’s issues, slowly revealing to both her and the reader just how unhealthy her relationship with food is and why she has come to be that way. You experience the revelation alongside Katie, in a very real and believable manner.
Books that romanticise food fall into two categories for me; those that inspire and make me hungry and those that annoy and make me roll my eyes. Happily, Pasta Wars certainly falls into the former category, and even inspired me to get cooking halfway through reading it. But it is much more than the delectable images of pasta dishes and hunky Italian men. Katie’s journey is realistic and the progress she makes is truly heartwarming. Aside from the refreshingly accurate portrayal of eating and body issues, one aspect of the book that I adore and so rarely see is the fact that Katie heals herself before launching into a new relationship. This isn’t a story of girl meets boy and happily-ever-after. It is about living honestly and healthily, regardless of the dangerous road that popular culture is trying to lead you down.