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Old 09-03-2006, 07:50 AM   #1
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Pasta sauce question

Today i made a creamy pasta sauce, flavoured with garlic, basil, and black pepper.
I also had some chillies. I did not add them to the pasta sauce, becasue i was afraid they would over power the basil. And i did not want to ruin my delicious fresh basil.
Have u ever put basil with chillies, to flavour pasta sauce. If so, how did they taste, together?
Mel

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Old 09-03-2006, 08:26 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel!
Today i made a creamy pasta sauce, flavoured with garlic, basil, and black pepper.
I also had some chillies. I did not add them to the pasta sauce, becasue i was afraid they would over power the basil. And i did not want to ruin my delicious fresh basil.
Have u ever put basil with chillies, to flavour pasta sauce. If so, how did they taste, together?
Mel
Since dried basil isn't even close in flavor and texture to fresh basil I only use fresh. I don't add chilies to basil because the freshness of the basil flavor would be compromised. If anything I may sprinkle a few hot pepper flakes over the dish but that's it. Creamy pasta sauce with fresh basil, garlic and black pepper as you describe is good just the way it is.
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Old 09-03-2006, 08:44 AM   #3
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Many Thai dishes combine basil and peppers. I think those dishes tend to go pretty heavy on the basil though.
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Old 09-03-2006, 09:42 AM   #4
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Yea, what GB said.....
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Old 09-03-2006, 09:49 AM   #5
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I put basil in with my peppers to make salsa. I'm not fond of cilantro, so I use basil instead. I know it's not authentic, but it tastes good to me.

By the way, I've seen a lot of Italian cooks use a few dried crushed chilies in pasta dishes.
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Old 09-03-2006, 10:55 AM   #6
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I would never put chiles in my pasta sauce, and neither would any other self-respecting Italian. My sainted Sicilain grandmother would roll over in her grave. You never know what degree of spiciness your guests will like. That's why there is always a shaker of crushed red pepper on the table of every Italian restaurant.
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Old 09-03-2006, 11:12 AM   #7
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You never know what degree of spiciness your guests will like.
I can't really agree with this. I often know what level of spice my guest like. If I am cooking for my family then I know they like it hot. If I am cooking for my wifes family then I know they like some heat, but not as much as my family. If I am cooking for a certain buddy of mine then I know he used to not like the heat, but has since grown to enjoy it and can handle as much as I can (which is a good amount).

I agree that if you are cooking for people and you don't know what they can handle then you need to be careful, but to say you never know what degree your guests can handle just doesn't work for me.
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Old 09-03-2006, 11:13 AM   #8
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Thanks for all those replies.
I really like the ones about keeping a shaker of chillies on the table, and the one about sprinkling a few dried chillies on the finished dish. I think i will do those ideas.
Mel
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Old 09-03-2006, 11:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caine
I would never put chiles in my pasta sauce, and neither would any other self-respecting Italian. My sainted Sicilain grandmother would roll over in her grave. You never know what degree of spiciness your guests will like. That's why there is always a shaker of crushed red pepper on the table of every Italian restaurant.
There are as many ways to make pasta sauce as there are italians. I've got nothing but the highest respect for myself and see nothing wrong with making a sauce that would include chili pepper. I also believe there are any number of ways to ascertain if your guests like a little heat in their sauce. Communication comes to mind...
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Old 09-03-2006, 05:45 PM   #10
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If you like chiles, then add them to your sauce. Just a few sniffles at a time!
I add them to my pasta. In fact, I've got several Sicilian recipes which specifically call for chiles. How they got there, I don't know, although I'd imagine it was the "Conquistador" route of the 16th century.

What ever rocks your boat!
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Old 09-03-2006, 05:59 PM   #11
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I'm making a pasta sauce tonight from the cookbook Marcella Says... by Marcella Hazan, who for my money is the best Italian cookbook author writing in English. Her recipes are very authentically Italian.

This recipe calls for sauteed eggplant, tomatoes, 2 teaspoons of chopped fresh chili peppers or 1 teaspoon of crushed dried red chili pepper, mozzarella, Romano, and several fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces and added just before serving. I think it will be delicious.
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Old 09-03-2006, 06:09 PM   #12
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i believe there are some good points here.... i am a chef at an italian restaurant and i do tend to think that in italian cuisine particularly, there arent many recipes which pair the both of them in a sauce - my inclination is that they could work somewhat well together as long as the sauce isn't too spicy... in regards to CAINE'S post, you are totally off my friend, i am with verablue and with every born-and-raised italian i have had the privilege of working with in a kitchen.... in the provinces of BASILICATA and CALABRIA in Southern Italy (not too far from the mentioned province of SICILY) the use of chilis in sauces is well-known... off the top of my head, the "Spaghetti All'Arrabiata" a classic and very well-known recipe comes to mind exclusively calls for the use of peperoncini since "arrabiata" means angry or fiery which is what the chilis seem to emit, a fieryness... and there is extensive use of these peperoncini on pizzas made in napoli (naples) where i find it pairs well with salted anchovies and black olives over a light coating of tomato passata.... the list goes on... when eating anywhere, people are already trusting the cooks decision in choosing the menu, the degree of saltiness, the consistency of a sauce, the degree of "al dente" in the pasta, so how would it be any different to trust the degree of spiciness?

and in other cuisines such as thai cuisine, as GB pointed out, that dish you mention is "pad kaprow" - in which the two main ingredients other than your meat are the fresh thai basil and the chilis.... i worked in a thai restaurant and they seemed to pair it excellently, however, in their cuisine they particularly look for a balance of salty-sour-sweet-spicy so there is also a hint of sugar which brings this dish more into balance than in an italian dish, so in the thai dish even though it is spicy as ****, the sweetness elevates the subtleties of the thai basil and allows it to come through beautifully!!!

cliveb, i later realized you were talking about a cream-based pasta sauce rather than tomato-based.... in this case, i think you could be better off going ahead and experimenting w the use of both since the dairy will tame the spiciness a bit and allow the basil to come through... i think as long as you keep the spiciness of the chilis to a minimum, you will have a great dish - perhaps not an italian one, but a good one nonetheless!!
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Old 09-04-2006, 07:39 AM   #13
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"pasta sauce as there are italians. "

does every pasta sauce have to be Italian???? Use what you like in a pasta sauce.
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Old 09-04-2006, 07:56 AM   #14
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I think in a cream sauce, I would not have added the peppers. In a red sauce, yes.
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Old 09-04-2006, 08:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjs
"pasta sauce as there are italians. "

does every pasta sauce have to be Italian???? Use what you like in a pasta sauce.
Best point I have seen here yet! Karma coming your was cjs.
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Old 09-04-2006, 09:07 AM   #16
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CJS and GB

My response concerning pasta sauce and italians was a result of the original comment about pasta sauces and self respecting italians.

I am aware that it doesn't take an italian to produce a pasta sauce, nor are
all pasta sauces italian in origin or flavour.

And I couldn't agree more...put whatever you like in your sauce
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Old 09-04-2006, 09:11 AM   #17
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I think cjs's comments (and please correct me if I am wrong cjs) were just general comments and not directed at any one individual person.
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Old 09-06-2006, 07:16 AM   #18
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just a general comment... yes ;)
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Old 09-06-2006, 06:21 PM   #19
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...cliveb, i later realized you were talking about a cream-based pasta sauce rather than tomato-based.... perhaps not an italian one, but a good one nonetheless!!
Sorry to disappoint you, but the sauce is made with broccoli, chillies (hot pepper) and whole garlic cloves. The sauce is cooked until it's a mush. And, believe it or not - it's delicious!

True what you sat, though. Cream will soften the heat of the chilli peppers. Milk products are best when you are "burned" by hot chillies.

And Cjs - how about a Peanut/Basil Sauce with Shrimp for pasta? Mmm - !!
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:44 PM   #20
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Sorry to disappoint you, but the sauce is made with broccoli, chillies (hot pepper) and whole garlic cloves. The sauce is cooked until it's a mush. And, believe it or not - it's delicious!
i have seen a true italian recipe very similar to this which call for tagliatelle tossed in a sauce which does contain broccoli (cooked until as soft as mush like you say, as this is the way italians prefer their vegetables - "al dente" is reserved for their pasta), peperoncini, mashed anchovies, garlic and olive oil.... sometimes with the addition of gamberi or shrimp.... however, no cream in this preparation - another note, they boil the broccoli in salted water until very soft, then take out the broccoli and set aside, the they boil the pasta in the same water they used to cook the broccoli... the broccoli is tossed in the pan with olive oil garlic, mashed anchovies and garlic - then the pasta when done, is tossed in as well
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