Pasta by Design

George L. Legendre, Stefano Grazini


Everyone loves pasta, but despite myriad cookbooks no one has ever seen the world’s favorite food presented like this. Created by a team of obsessive designers, this unique book reveals the hidden mathematical beauty that cooks across the globe have taken for granted since Marco Polo.

Pasta’s wonderful, sometimes whimsical, geometrical shapes and surfaces are designed to hold certain sauces or accompaniments, to be beautiful yet functional. Here are over ninety forms of pasta, each shown through especially commissioned photographs, mathematical formulae that accurately describe each shape, and drawings that reveal the hidden genius of our everyday food. Brief texts describe the special attributes of each form of pasta, along with advice on specific uses in cooking.


On first glance, this design-based typology of pasta appears to be a mathematically inclined reference that makes an ideal gift at holiday time. Look a little deeper, however, and you’ll find an amazing cookbook.

— Gastronomica

For each [type of pasta], the book provides a mathematical equation, a mouth-watering picture and a paragraph of suggestions, like sauces to eat it with.

— New York Times

The book classifies 92 kinds of pasta, organizing them into an evolutionlike family tree.

— New York Times

Culinary advice on cooking these forms accompany an artistic presentation suitable for arts and culinary holdings alike.

— The Midwest Book Review


George L. Legendre


George L. Legendre is principal of IJP Architects in London and a leading specialist in complex surfaces.

Stefano Grazini