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Old 01-25-2012, 11:10 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
I did that today, the sprinkle with flour and toss it around a bit. Worked a treat. The excess flour just fell off. Thanks for the suggestion.
I'm glad it worked for you. The main trick for this is really, really large amounts of very high-boiling water and lots of stirring. You don't leave the room ... it is not dried pasta, it will cook in no time flat.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:03 PM   #22
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Please, don't hate me, but I feel the patriotic need to behave like a sort of encyclopedic pest here...
About pasta, in Italy we basically have two different products: dried pasta (we call it just pasta) and fresh pasta (pasta fresca or pasta all'uovo).
Dried pasta (from big large scale producers, like Barilla or Buitoni, and from small producers, which sometimes are more careful about the selection of wheat varieties), which is made with flour made from "grano duro" wheat variety (Triticum durum wheat), grown in southern and central Italy. This is the classic spaghetti, penne, farfalle, and so on kind of pasta.
Fresh pasta is a different product. The difference is not simply in the dry/fresh alternative, but in the fact that it is produced with a softer kind of flour, made from the Triticum aestivum wheat variety, which is grown mainly in northern and, again, central Italy, with or without eggs. The most diffused pasta fresca types we use in Italy are lasagna, tagliatelle, fettuccine and many kinds of filled pasta, like ravioli, tortellini and agnolotti, just to name a few.
However, to add further confusion (we're Italian after all ), we also make home made "pasta fresca" with grano duro, too, for example to make orecchiette (Puglia region), strangolapreti (Naples), cavatiddi (Sicily), malloreddus (Sardinia) and so on. And to drive you mad, you can also find industrial made "pasta all'uovo", which should be pasta fresca, well dried and sold in commercial packages…

Ok, now I’m going to prepare some good old spaghetti all’amatriciana!
Ooookay. I'm taking notes! Give us a yummy pasta recipe!!!
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:25 PM   #23
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Ooookay. I'm taking notes! Give us a yummy pasta recipe!!!


Kathleen, pick the pasta shape you prefer: spaghetti, penne, rigatoni or conchiglie?

And I'll post a recipe for you!
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:34 PM   #24
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Why can't you just serve any pasta you like with any pasta sauce recipe that you like? I'm not Italian. I don't understand why you can't just pick a sauce off of one list and a pasta off another list. I'm sure that it's just that I'm not familiar with Italian food apart from ordering off local restaurant menus.
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:42 PM   #25
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Why can't you just serve any pasta you like with any pasta sauce recipe that you like? I'm not Italian. I don't understand why you can't just pick a sauce off of one list and a pasta off another list. I'm sure that it's just that I'm not familiar with Italian food apart from ordering off local restaurant menus.
I am with you on this one. I don't like linguini. The only long pasta I like is angel hair. For all other meals I use rigatoni or penne. The Italians have a whole process of what pasta goes with what sauce. It is all about the sauce clinging to the pasta.
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:47 PM   #26
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I always order angel hair at my favorite pasta restaurant, because I think it tastes more tender and it's easier to get on my fork than linguini or other pasta. But I might seriously consider linguini if ordering clam sauce and I don't understand why. I'm sure I'm a foodie and certain that I'm an enthusiastic amateur chef but I don't have any lock on understanding why we make these selections. I'll be interested in hearing advice and suggestions as to why we'd want to decide.
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:48 PM   #27
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There are combinations that are traditional, as Luca can tell you. But let taste be your guide. For example, I'm a small/thin pasta lover, and not big on heavier and baked pasta dishes. Don't hate them, just not my favorites. But, basically, I like thinner/smaller pasta with lighter sauces. In the summer, when I have tomatoes in the garden (or at the market) that are to die for, I just chop them with basil; or say just fresh vegetables with olive oil, garlic, and peppers. For these dishes I like angel hair, thin linguini, small extruded pastas. For salads, small extruded pastas. In the winter, heavier, long-cooked tomato sauces, heavy cream sauces, and I'd never bake a small pasta.

But mostly, that's just starting point. Do what YOU like, and if you're making the pasta yourself, even more important.
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:50 PM   #28
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I always order angel hair at my favorite pasta restaurant, because I think it tastes more tender and it's easier to get on my fork than linguini or other pasta. But I might seriously consider linguini if ordering clam sauce and I don't understand why. I'm sure I'm a foodie and certain that I'm an enthusiastic amateur chef but I don't have any lock on understanding why we make these selections. I'll be interested in hearing advice and suggestions as to why we'd want to decide.
Angel hair is probably my favorite pasta, but don't order it in restaurants because it is too darned easy to over-cook. There's like one minute between al dente and mush. I'm dying for linguini with clams, but the only time I can get clams around here is during the holidays when I don't cook much except for party and potluck food.
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Old 01-27-2012, 04:28 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
Why can't you just serve any pasta you like with any pasta sauce recipe that you like? I'm not Italian. I don't understand why you can't just pick a sauce off of one list and a pasta off another list. I'm sure that it's just that I'm not familiar with Italian food apart from ordering off local restaurant menus.
You surely can, Gourmet Greg.
You can eat tomato and beef based sauces, or every other sauce, with short and long pasta, fresh and dry. I'm trying to think hard about it, but I just can't imagine a sauce which you CANNOT match with a pasta shape.
However, Italian cookery is heavily rooted in our ancient local traditions, so every place in Italy has its favorite pasta types and its favorite sauces. For example, the traditional basil pesto comes from Liguria, and they serve it typically with the trenette pasta, which is, obviously, a kind of pasta which has been created in Liguria. The same thing is true for other pasta/sauce marriages, like Rome's bucatini all'amatriciana, Apulia's orecchiette con le cime di rapa, Emilia's tagliatelle al ragł.
But you can surely prepare orecchiette al ragł, or bucatini al pesto. You're just moving forward from our traditional, local way of cooking.
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:11 AM   #30
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Kathleen, pick the pasta shape you prefer: spaghetti, penne, rigatoni or conchiglie?

And I'll post a recipe for you!
Either spaghetti or rigatoni! I love both!
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