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View Poll Results: Do you break your spaghetti/linguine prior to cooking?
Yes, almost always or always 27 35.06%
No, never or barely ever 41 53.25%
Less than 50% of the time 6 7.79%
More than 50% of the time 3 3.90%
Voters: 77. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-29-2013, 01:43 PM   #161
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I never use oil. Theory is that the oil coats the pasta and the sauce wont cling to it. Regardless, as you've proven for yourself, it's a waste of oil.

Boiling with lots of water and stirring regularly will do the trick.
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Old 09-29-2013, 01:44 PM   #162
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Originally Posted by Mad Cook View Post
Going off at a tangent - when boiling pasta do you add oil to the cooking water or not.

I always used to because the books I'd read and the odd television programme said I should but the aforementioned Mrs Susca laughed at me when she came into my kitchen and caught me at it. Her theory was that if you have a goodly supply of boiling water in the pan in the first place you don't need oil. I tried it without found she was right so haven't done it since but there have been a number of times on FN lately when the demonstrators have insisted that with oil is the only way to go.
For us, only highly salted water (seawater like), no oil for dried pasta. Lightly salted for fresh, especially pasta that has added ingredients. Such as andouille gnocchi.
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Old 09-29-2013, 01:46 PM   #163
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I am reviving an old thread and I have a question for you. When I get meatballs that are too big for one bite I just cut them with my fork. Is that wrong? They aren't so hard that you actually need a knife, but maybe cutting with a fork is bad manners. I like to cut all meatballs at least in half, even the little ones. Then I twirl some spaghetti around my fork, stick the tines of the fork in a piece of meatball, and get spaghetti and meatball in one bite.
If you need a knife to cut your meatballs, you're making them wrong. Meatballs should be soft and tender.
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Old 09-29-2013, 02:02 PM   #164
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I always break off a piece of the meatball or sausage with the side of my fork.

And I have never put oil in my pot of pasta water. And I don't know any Italian grandmother or mother that did either. Some folks do it to keep the pasta separate when you drain it, thinking that all the oil will coat it. Not so. If you immediately put a small bit of sauce over the pasta and toss, it will keep the pasta from sticking to itself. Putting oil in the water is just a waste of good olive oil.
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Old 09-29-2013, 02:57 PM   #165
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Fork only. No oil.
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Old 09-29-2013, 03:09 PM   #166
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Anyway I can get it in my mouth...
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Old 09-29-2013, 03:41 PM   #167
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Originally Posted by Addie View Post
I always break off a piece of the meatball or sausage with the side of my fork.

And I have never put oil in my pot of pasta water. And I don't know any Italian grandmother or mother that did either. Some folks do it to keep the pasta separate when you drain it, thinking that all the oil will coat it. Not so. If you immediately put a small bit of sauce over the pasta and toss, it will keep the pasta from sticking to itself. Putting oil in the water is just a waste of good olive oil.
"Putting oil in the water is just a waste of good olive oil." My view entirely
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Old 09-29-2013, 03:45 PM   #168
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If you are at home without an audience and if your partner doesn't mind you can eat your spaghetti and meat balls with your fingers if you like. If you're in a restaurant it's unlikely you'll have a knife for the pasta course but in any case (on my side of the pond, at least) so it's considered perfectly good manners to cut your meat ball with your fork. In Italian restaurants over here, in my experience, the waiter often takes away the knife and leaves you a spoon and fork if you choose pasta.

Am I right in thinking that in America you cut up your food and then transfer fork to right hand and scoop? (Source=Old black and white film where the American secret agent in France was given away because the Gestapo saw him do this) whereas we cut as we go so have knife in right hand and fork in left with points pointing down throughout the meal. Would a Brit in America be considered uncouth for doing it like this?

Aren't good manners and perceptions thereof odd.
Yes some do eat this way. I was taught the continental style, fork in left hand tines pointing downward and the knife in the right, cutting the food as you go. Once you start doing it this way it makes a lot of sense, no switching back and fourth and the utensils feel more like an extension of your hands.

My husband cuts up all of his food at once when we are at home but in a restaurant he eats continental style, I only noticed this recently.
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Old 09-29-2013, 04:40 PM   #169
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
...

We had a Danish exchange student once who I think was a little OCD about it. I noticed that he would cut and shape his food into little rectangles that fit perfectly on the fork. He even ate a burger with a knife and fork.
Danes prefer to eat their sandwiches with a knife and fork. This what the sandwiches look like:

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Old 09-29-2013, 10:39 PM   #170
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPa View Post
I am reviving an old thread and I have a question for you. When I get meatballs that are too big for one bite I just cut them with my fork. Is that wrong? They aren't so hard that you actually need a knife, but maybe cutting with a fork is bad manners. I like to cut all meatballs at least in half, even the little ones. Then I twirl some spaghetti around my fork, stick the tines of the fork in a piece of meatball, and get spaghetti and meatball in one bite.
You worry too much. Just cut them in half or make them smaller. Most spaghetti joints I been have pretty big balls.
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