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Old 08-07-2006, 12:30 PM   #11
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Welcome. This is a good place to learn.
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Old 08-07-2006, 12:48 PM   #12
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Hi

Sounds like you are jumping in w/both feet! More brave than I am.



You picked a great place to hang and get advice and answers. There is a great group of knowledgeable people who are willing to offer help. You'll have a great time.


Couldn't agree w/you more. Has helped me to make it another day. Good luck to you.
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Old 08-07-2006, 03:00 PM   #13
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welcome. Glad to hear of your interest. Durham semolina, (durham wheat, half grind) is the standard for dried pastas. THe flavor can't be beat. BTW, this is the wheat grown in North Dakota, and many pastas made in this country are excellent...Creamettes for example, despite the weird name. 00 all purpose is often prefered for home made fresh pasta...much easier to work with. However, if you have a good machine give the durham a try.

Sauces can be simple...garlic, wine, hand crushed san marzano tomatoes, basil shreds. To that add clams or a favorite sausage. DO olive oil garlic sausage and some dark green like brocoli rabe or kale. Make a bolognese with several meats, milk, cheese and hand crushed tomatoes. Traditions, local fresh ingredients, and your creativity are your guides.

Good books for the Italian side would be by Mario Batali, Giada de Laurentis, Lidia Bastianich. Good basic texts are the All New Joy of Cooking, The Essentials of Cooking by James Petersen, THe New York TImes Cook Book and the new Gourmet Cook Book. Of course Julia CHild's mastering the art of French Cooking is still a classic for that country's culinary heritage.

So ask away and cook!
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Old 08-07-2006, 06:59 PM   #14
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Welcome to DC!
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Old 08-08-2006, 03:51 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Robo410
BTW, this is the wheat grown in North Dakota,
Ahem... and also Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Canada. Canada is the biggest exporter of durem in the world. North Dakota borders Manitoba.
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Old 08-08-2006, 05:53 AM   #16
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When I was a girl at school (many years ago now!) - Canada's wheatfields were known as the 'breadbasket of the British Empire'.
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:14 PM   #17
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Welcome to DC, Mike!

I'll start with the easy question first - Type 00 Flour. There is no exact equivalent anywhere else in the world outside of Italy - unless you can find it imported from Italy ... the nearest would appear to be German Type 405. Italy, France and Germany have a much more sophisticated (specific) method of grading flour than we have in the US. For example, in the US - AP flour can be different in different parts of the country ... harder in the North and softer in the South and Pacific Northwest ... and National brands run somewhere inbetween, but not always because some are harder than others. ARRGH!!! In Italy, France, Germany ... when you buy a Type of flour it is consistent ... AP flour in the US is more like a "catch phrase" for a wide varity of blends at best. And, Canadian AP is still different from most US AP. Oh, yeah - Ishel reminded me of something else - Semolina imported from Canada is generally labeled as Manatoba Semolina - to differentiate it origin from Italian grown Semolina.

If you are really interested you might want to read this treatise on flour from The Artisan for a better understanding of why my answer seems vague at best.

Dry pasta commercially made in Italy is Semolina flour and water - by law (I thought I had the page bookmarked but I can't find it right now ... I just remember it took me a couple hours to translate when I found it 2-3 years ago). Homemade pasta seems to traditionally be an egg-noodle - Type 00 flour and eggs in the Northern regions - a mixture of Type 00/ or 0 and Semolina in the Southern regions. Italian cooks such as Lidia Bastianich, Nick Stellino, Biba Caggiano, Carlo Middione, and even Mario Batali say that in the American kitchens - just use AP flour, it's as close as we can get. Like I was unable to find a definitive explanation on Type 00 Flour - there is no definitive "one way" to make homemade pasta recipe. This is a fairly good primer ... but browse around some of these homemade pasta recipes and you will see that while many are similar they are not exactly the same. You might also find some more information by searching our "Pasta, Rice, Beans, Grain ..." Forum and our "Ethnic Food" Forum.

As for a Pasta Machine ... Atlas and Imperia are comperable, about the same price, and made in Italy. Both have similar attachments (although the Imperia seems to have more). As similar as they look - the attchments are not interchangeable between brands. We've had several indepth discussions about these in our "Cookware and Accessories" Forum - most are under the "Cook's Tools" sub-forum but a few might be still be in the "Cookware" or "Appliances" sub-forums.

As for cookbook suggestions for the new cook ... check the "Cookware and Accessories" Forum - under the "Cookbooks, Software, etc." sub-forum. This is a common recurring question.
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Old 08-09-2006, 10:33 PM   #18
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Thanks so much for all the comments and encouragements everyone! I looked at a supermarket today for semolina flour, which was fruitless. I'll try with all purpose, like suggested above.

Yeah, I don't really take to hobbies slowly. When I got into boas, I did all my research and learned all kinds of stuff I never even would've guessed at that probably saved me hundreds in vet bills. When I took up guitar playing, I learned a lot of the ins and outs of the gear and music theory (still working on that...tough subject. My two newest endeavors are Russian Literature (Crime and Punishment anyone?) and cooking.

Expect a post about knives later, particularly about sharpening and washing them.

PS: I chicken noodle soup tonight. This is fun!
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Old 08-10-2006, 03:47 AM   #19
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Oh, Russian Literatures are brilliant!! If you liked Crime and Punishment, try Brothers Karamazov, also by Dostoyevsky, that is my favourite (and also white nights by the same author, short but a beautifully told story!)... I also recommend the poetries of Pushkin
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Old 08-10-2006, 06:32 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by urmaniac13
Oh, Russian Literatures are brilliant!! If you liked Crime and Punishment, try Brothers Karamazov, also by Dostoyevsky, that is my favourite (and also white nights by the same author, short but a beautifully told story!)... I also recommend the poetries of Pushkin
Another person after my own heart! Yevtushenko's poems are also beautiful!
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