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Old 06-03-2011, 10:24 AM   #1
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A "simple" question

This has been bugging me, like some things do that you get in your head and can't shake. And I've got some free time, so I thought I'd ask the group rather than waiting for the member's response to my question...
What is a "simple" pasta?
When someone says they are having simple pasta, do they mean they are having spaghetti, or sauce without meat, or no sauce at all (maybe just butter), or jarred sauce???
Then as I was watching the basketball game, it hit me... do they mean a pasta that isn't stuffed? So in other words, raviolis, baked ziti, those are NOT simple pastas, but rigs, penne, spaghetti... those are simple pastas. Basically pasta you simply boil and toss with some sauce, any sauce.

I've seen folks say they are having a simple salad and I always took it to mean a salad without a lot of ingredients, but maybe I'm wrong there, too. Does the adjective "simple" denote something in cooking talk, or is the term subjective and mean different things to different people?
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Old 06-03-2011, 10:29 AM   #2
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Good question lol I take it to mean some pasta dish that they dont do much to or add much to. If I was going to make a 'simple pasta' it would no doubt be penne with just a drizzle of EVOO and some cheese. IDK though what others think it means :)
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Old 06-03-2011, 10:44 AM   #3
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I think in this case, it's a quick easy recipe. Pasta with a fresh or fast sauce that doesn't have a lot of prep or extended cooking times.
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:50 AM   #4
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i agree. it means "easy"
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:59 AM   #5
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A recipe is described as "simple" when it's easy and doesn't have a lot of ingredients.

A simple pasta would be cooked penne or angel hair mixed with sauteed arugula or spinach and garlic and tossed with fresh herbs and a little parmesan cheese.
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:13 PM   #6
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I think in those cases "simple" tends to mean "humble" or "modest" more than "easy".
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Old 06-03-2011, 02:00 PM   #7
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So it's easy, quick and without a lot of ingredients.
So tonight I might have a simple steak?

I'm thinking it also needs to be a dish that could be quite elaborate. Quick, easy and with few ingredients can describe too many foods that one would never describe as simple. Maybe that is where it becomes subjective, too. What might be a simple dish to one person who makes it a lot might not be a simple dish to another.
Maybe

ETA: maybe this is where humble plays in.
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Old 06-03-2011, 03:36 PM   #8
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HMMMMMMMMMM Come to think of it I rarely use the word "simple" when cooking.
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Old 06-03-2011, 03:42 PM   #9
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I think of simple as something quick and easy with few steps, ingredients are common everyday staples and are few in number.
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Old 06-03-2011, 03:49 PM   #10
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I used to be accused of being a simpleton, but as I grew, I became more complicated....
What does all that mean???
Who knows!!!
I reckon it means "easy" as most of the others have said.
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