"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > General Cooking
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-22-2011, 08:46 PM   #1
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 340
Why do they keep sauce and pasta apart?

A few days ago I went to an Italian restaurant, ordered a spaghetti marinara (I cook this at home very often, just wanted to see how a restaurant does it). When they brought the food in, I realized that the marinara sauce is on TOP of the spaghetti, which is completely white and has no sauce. I was like really, why don't they toss the spaghetti into the sauce when it was still steaming hot, and continues to absorb the sauce into itself?

And then today when I watched DDD, I noticed that in one of the restaurants they featured, they also served marinara sauce OVER the pasta instead of mixing it at the best opportunity. I wonder why they do that - that's not the proper way of serving pasta, besides the fact that it might look prettier under the camera?


P.S.

Today I had some KILLER pizza in a VPN certified pizzeria. I drove tens of miles there to eat!




__________________

__________________
Hyperion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2011, 09:10 PM   #2
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Park Drive Bar/Grill Los Angeles
Posts: 9,641
Here's a great short video:

__________________

__________________
roadfix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2011, 09:19 PM   #3
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41,395
I think the sauce is on top as you describe it for presentation purposes. It's a nicer looking plate than if it was all tossed together.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2011, 09:28 PM   #4
Executive Chef
 
Selkie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 3,796
It's also done that way because the sauce is made at the beginning of the day and kept hot separate, while it's best if the pasta is cooked fresh by the individual order as needed. After the pasta is cooked, it's not going to soak up any sauce anyway. A properly made sauce will cling to the outside of the pasta, but not soak in. Throwing a ladle of sauce onto a plate of pasta only takes a moment, but mixing it together as you describe takes time... time a busy kitchen staff doesn't have.

Now, I mix mine together in a bowl so that all of the pasta is coated before being served, but that's me and the way I was raised to eat spaghetti by a non-Italian mother who found storing one bowl of pasta in the refrigerator easier than two bowls, one of pasta and the other of sauce. And I'm not a busy restaurant!
__________________
"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." - James Beard
Selkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2011, 09:49 PM   #5
Head Chef
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,722
I believe this practice may have come about when sauces became available in cans and were advertised on televison. It just looks better that way. Americans came to expect it to be served that way . Our mothers served it that way so we expected to get it served that way in restaurants. I know that was true for me as a child. To this day if the sauce is already mixed with the pasta it tastes like leftovers because my mother mixed the sauce and pasta together after the meal when she was getting ready to store it in the fridge. Any pasta with the sauce already in it was leftover from the meal before. I know that the proper way to serve it is mixed in the kitchen but for me it just tastes like leftovers. Maybe it's an American mid-west thing.
__________________
joesfolk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2011, 06:02 AM   #6
Traveling Welcome Wagon
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Somewhere, US
Posts: 15,919
Quote:
Originally Posted by joesfolk View Post
I believe this practice may have come about when sauces became available in cans and were advertised on televison. It just looks better that way. Americans came to expect it to be served that way . Our mothers served it that way so we expected to get it served that way in restaurants. I know that was true for me as a child. To this day if the sauce is already mixed with the pasta it tastes like leftovers because my mother mixed the sauce and pasta together after the meal when she was getting ready to store it in the fridge. Any pasta with the sauce already in it was leftover from the meal before. I know that the proper way to serve it is mixed in the kitchen but for me it just tastes like leftovers. Maybe it's an American mid-west thing.
I never thought about it that way, but that makes sense! I serve spaghetti with the sauce on top and as I twirl the spaghetti I take up sauce with it. Then I mix the rest of the sauce with the spaghetti noodles to reheat the next day.
__________________
Barbara L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2011, 06:21 AM   #7
Master Chef
 
Snip 13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Brakpan, South Africa
Posts: 5,431
We get our pasta and sauce mixed up in our restaurants. I keep mine separate till I serve it because the liquid gets absorbed by the hot pasta and becomes dry. I prefer my pasta saucy but I guess it's just a personal preference thing.
Having it separate also means I can use leftover sauce for another dish and I use leftover pasta to make salads for the kids lunchboxes.
__________________
Odette
"I used to jog but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass."

"I hear voices and they don't like you "
Snip 13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2011, 07:40 AM   #8
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Mostly in my head
Posts: 2,665
For me, it all depends on the type of pasta and the thickness of the sauce whether I mix the sauce in or serve it over top. For spaghetti, angel hair, linguine and fettuccine I serve the pasta on top. For rotini, rigatoni, penne, shells, and wheels I mix it in. For bowtie I tend to do either. For really thick, almost tomato paste like sauce I always mix it in, regardless of the type of pasta because it doesn't mix well on the plate. For really thin sauces I always serve it over top regardless of the type of pasta so it doesn't get soggy.
__________________
Just because something has a duck bill doesn't mean it's a platypus. It might just be a duck.
Roger Miller: You can't roller skate in a buffalo heard, but you can be happy if you've a mind to.
purple.alien.giraffe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2011, 09:22 AM   #9
Master Chef
 
Constance's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Southern Illiniois
Posts: 8,175
Mario Batali adds his cooked pasta to the sauce in the pan, sometimes even adding a spoon full of the pasta water, and lets it cook together for a minute or too.

The Italian-Americans around here serve their pasta already mixed with the sauce, and so do I. It makes a BIG difference in the taste!
__________________
We get by with a little help from our friends
Constance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2011, 09:37 AM   #10
Master Chef
 
Chief Longwind Of The North's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA,Michigan
Posts: 9,229
I agree with PAG. If I'm making the classic midwest goulash (slumgullion), I mix the sauce with either elbow macaroni, or with pasta spirals. Lasagna is built with the sauce cooked in. Spaghettie, fettucini, and such is put on the plate, and then sauced. Rigatoni somethimes has the sauce on top, and sometimes mixed before serving. Manicotti is served in my house filled with a meat, cheese, and sauce mixture, sometimes with mushrooms, and then sauced on the plate as well.

It also depends on the kind of sauce. White sauces, such as Alfredo, Mornay, or Veloute' or Bechemel based sauces are generally mixed in. But then again, it depends on my mood, and the texture I'm looking for. I have even been known to cook pasta products in a good marinara, for maximum sauce absorption. For pot lucks, the sauce is always mixed into the pasta.

To me, cooking is not only about technique, which allows you to create yummy foods, but about artistic expression as well, which allows you to create new textures, flavors, and presentations. The two disciplines are required for good cooking.

I believe that to follow in another's footsteps allows you to learn how to make something, while experimenting with foods, and really learning how they interact with each other changes you from a cook to a gourmet cook. Cookbooks are mere starting points on the culinary journey.

Saucing pasta before it is served, or after it is plated should be governed by the end result you desire. Pre-sauced pasta just tastes different, and looks different than pasta sauced on the plate. Neither is more correct than the other. Both can be used to create a great presentation. Both can be made to create outstanding flavor and texture.

You only have to think about what you want in the particular meal before you start cooking it. Then, you will make the proper decisions about how to present it.

Seeeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
__________________

__________________
“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- http://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
Chief Longwind Of The North is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
pasta

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:02 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.