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Thread: Rules for cooking pasta

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    1 members found this post helpful.

    Rules for cooking pasta



    I didn't even know foreigners did such bizarre things when cooking it. I've never seen Americans do them, but maybe it's where I live.

    See: https://www.thelocal.it/20170717/ten...-al-dente-chef

    Being me, I have a few disagreements, or rather, additions. :)

    It's very important to stir the pasta for a bit right after you put it in the boiling water, even if you have plenty of water, if you don't want it to stick together. I agree though that adding oil is a HUGE no, no.

    Most tomato based sauces, especially ones with meat, benefit greatly from adding a pat of butter and then mixing right before serving. Trust me, it makes a big difference.

    You don't need to make elaborate dishes to use up leftover pasta. My family loves when I fry it in olive oil in a pan. Leftover risotto can be made into patties and cooked the same way. They're right about one thing, like bread, it doesn't microwave well.

    I like mine nice and crispy...I did it for lunch today...


    You can also add new ingredients to change it up....

    Or, as the article points out, do things like pasta frittata, with beaten eggs, perhaps meat or other vegetables added if you choose:


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    Crispy spaghetti? Sounds like an elongated potato chip without the fun (by "fun" I mean salt, sour cream, onion). I prefer pasta that's wet enough so I feel as if I'm slurping up a mouthful of squirmy worms as I eat. I speculate that this could be due to my fierce appetite (I like to eat large portions of food very quickly at the expense of manners ;)) and the fact that my tongue is missing its outer membrane (which increases the friction against the food that slides down the surface of my tongue as I swallow, reducing its velocity and thus making it more likely for me to choke).

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    Oh and also cover it in lots of ricotta cheese!

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    Those 10 "golden rules" seem pretty obvious to me. I have never seen or even heard of anyone in Belgium cook pasta any other way than the one described here.

    There is just one caveat. With some gluten-free pasta (like the Italian brand Schär, one of the leading gluten-free brands in Europe) it might be necessary to rinse a bit the pasta as the water becomes too murky. Anyway with any rice product, be it boiled rice or pasta made with (among others) rice flour, it is a good idea to rinse the rice or pasta, as rice contains arsenic, and that arsenic can be eliminated in big part by rinsing. That's why before making risotto it's also important to rinse the uncooked rice abundantly.
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    The question my wife gets asked in Australia on booking pasta is when to salt the water...........as some seem to think when to salt effects the texture of the pasta.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Those 10 "golden rules" seem pretty obvious to me. I have never seen or even heard of anyone in Belgium cook pasta any other way than the one described here.

    There is just one caveat. With some gluten-free pasta (like the Italian brand Schär, one of the leading gluten-free brands in Europe) it might be necessary to rinse a bit the pasta as the water becomes too murky. Anyway with any rice product, be it boiled rice or pasta made with (among others) rice flour, it is a good idea to rinse the rice or pasta, as rice contains arsenic, and that arsenic can be eliminated in big part by rinsing. That's why before making risotto it's also important to rinse the uncooked rice abundantly.
    I do see the "add some oil" to the boiling water when cooking pasta thing on some American cooking sites and cookbooks, and some of the throw the pasta at the wall to see if it sticks crowd as well, believe it or not. Also, lots of people are told to rinse the pasta after draining.

    So, there are definitely those for whom this would be useful.

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    Oil is only added when boiling Pasta all'uovo (Tagliatelle, Tortellini,..)
    Rinsing the Pasta with cold water prevent the pasta to stick to itself and from over softening after adding hot sauces.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Salento View Post
    Oil is only added when boiling Pasta all'uovo (Tagliatelle, Tortellini,..)
    Rinsing the Pasta with cold water prevent the pasta to stick to itself and from over softening after adding hot sauces.


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    Opinions differ, clearly. I agree with them. :) To me, adding oil even with tagliatelle etc. makes the sauce slice right off. No do I believe in rinsing off the starch. I would only add tap water if it was already on the verge of being too soft.
    http://www.lacucinaitaliana.it/tutor...ri-piu-comuni/

    For tortellini, anolini, ravioli, I still have my mother's old-fashioned scolapasta so I don't have to just dump it right out:




    I am seriously old-school. I still use all the below kind of pieces from her kitchen. Hey, as they say in America, if it ain't broke don't fix it. :)








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    Sorry if it is off-topic, but this is funny. :)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UL0rdPcqEOc

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    Saw this thread again, now I'm hungry

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    Quote Originally Posted by Regio X View Post
    Sorry if it is off-topic, but this is funny. :)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UL0rdPcqEOc
    I've seriously felt like doing the same thing myself at times. :)

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    Got some lo mein :), the Chinese make great pasta as well

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I've seriously felt like doing the same thing myself at times. :)
    Do you have a good recipe or advice for Saltsa Napolitana?

    What ingredients do you use and what spices?

    How do you prepare the Tomatoes for the sauce do you use them as pieces or do you blend them before?

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    I actually don't make it; it's not my tradition. I think the most basic version is just garlic sauteed in olive oil, the tomatoes, some salt and pepper, and basil, either sautéed with the garlic in the beginning, or at the end. People usually put some sugar to get rid of the acidity. Perhaps someone can chime in and give their version with the steps and the cooking time, etc.

    For our own sugo di pomodoro I almost never use fresh tomatoes. I find that the only ones that are sweet enough are the ones I get that are locally grown, but they're only available for a short time at the end of summer. The rest of the time they're shipped in from who knows where, but they must be picked green because they're tasteless. Plus, I either have to blanch them to skin them, and then get rid of some of the seeds, or I have to sieve them after cooking to get rid of all of the skins and seeds, which is all extra work.

    I don't feel guilty because even at home in Italy my family really only uses the fresh tomatoes at the end of the summer.:) People who grow a lot of them peel and can them anyway for the rest of the year.

    Here in America I buy imported San Marzano tomatoes from Campania. They're a variety of plum tomato which is very sweet and has very few seeds. I usually get the whole peeled tomatoes. I find that the flavor is more intense that way, but you can use the crushed variety as well. Where our sauce is different from the Neapolitan one is that we start with a soffrito of chopped celery, onion and carrot (the latter gets rid of the need to add sugar) sautéed in olive oil, then when golden we added a little garlic, then a bit of tomato paste, and then the tomatoes, which I usually crush a bit with my hands before adding, and salt and pepper. I simmer it for at least an hour, break it up more at the end if necessary by using an immersion blender, and finish off with some chopped parsley. I usually make it in big batches, and freeze small containers of it to use for the whole month.

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    As a general Rule, stick with just garlic, or onion when making Tomato Sauce. NOT both.
    And don’t put too much either, especially the garlic.
    If you can taste the garlic, you put too much on it.
    IMO

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    Why should there be rules anyway? You should make it the way you like it

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by davef View Post
    Why should there be rules anyway? You should make it the way you like it
    Because in tomato sauce is superfluous. Pick one: garlic or onion.
    Sure you know what they say about Italians. If they can’t Sing they can Cook ! lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by davef View Post
    Why should there be rules anyway? You should make it the way you like it
    Why? It's because people who have a good palate have experimented for years trying to make certain dishes better and better. Indeed, some recipes are the result of generations of such experimentation. Certain techniques lead to certain results, certain ingredients bring out the flavor of other ingredients. There are courses now teaching cooking based on chemical principles etc., making clear what people arrived at by trial and error.

    Try it the way it's meant to be, and then if you have such a bad palate that you prefer it ruined, go ahead. There are no jail sentences for ruining dishes it took centuries to perfect, although maybe there should be. :)

    Well, there are consequences on a personal level, at least from someone like me. :) I can't tell you how many dating relationships ended for me after going out to dinner with a man with no palate whatsoever: I only eat meat and potatoes; I don't eat anything green; Where's the ketchup while eating pasta! :) Good Lord, when I heard the latter I was tempted to excuse myself to go to the lady's room and never return!

    Seriously, the only thing I really object to is when people call some cockamamie bastardization of an Italian dish by the traditional name. It gives a totally wrong impression.

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    Most Dishes are a Blend of Ingredients, and a Balance of flavors.
    Should not be overpowered by one ingredient or spices, unless the original recipe call for it.
    I think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Where's the ketchup while eating pasta! :) .
    That is a very student thing to eat which reminds me when i was in Malta for my 2nd year at uni. Even just pasta and that's it lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salento View Post
    Because in tomato sauce is superfluous. Pick one: garlic or onion.
    Sure you know what they say about Italians. If they can’t Sing they can Cook ! lol
    lol. Si, e vero.

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    @Angela,Salento

    Thanks for your advices

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by AdeoF View Post
    That is a very student thing to eat which reminds me when i was in Malta for my 2nd year at uni. Even just pasta and that's it lol
    Good grief, Adeo, tell me it ain't so! :) Always have at least butter, oil, garlic, and a piece of parmigiano on hand.

    When my children were young, the first pasta I served them, after pastina with just butter, was spaghetti with a big pat of butter and a handful of grated parmigiano reggiano per 4 oz. serving. Add some of the pasta water to make it creamy. What could be easier?

    Or, saute some garlic in olive oil. If you like "hot", add a bit of flaked red pepper, or if you like salty and savory, 1 anchovy fillet.

    This is the way it should be done, imo, except I use the whole, crushed garlic and let it cook a bit longer before adding the pasta water. I also use real, chopped pepperoncini, but I know some places don't carry it. This is one of those dishes which, imo, Americans ruin by adding parmigiano and not romano.



    Just no ketchup on pasta, please, I beg you! :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Why? It's because people who have a good palate have experimented for years trying to make certain dishes better and better. Indeed, some recipes are the result of generations of such experimentation. Certain techniques lead to certain results, certain ingredients bring out the flavor of other ingredients. There are courses now teaching cooking based on chemical principles etc., making clear what people arrived at by trial and error.

    Try it the way it's meant to be, and then if you have such a bad palate that you prefer it ruined, go ahead. There are no jail sentences for ruining dishes it took centuries to perfect, although maybe there should be. :)

    Well, there are consequences on a personal level, at least from someone like me. :) I can't tell you how many dating relationships ended for me after going out to dinner with a man with no palate whatsoever: I only eat meat and potatoes; I don't eat anything green; Where's the ketchup while eating pasta! :) Good Lord, when I heard the latter I was tempted to excuse myself to go to the lady's room and never return!

    Seriously, the only thing I really object to is when people call some cockamamie bastardization of an Italian dish by the traditional name. It gives a totally wrong impression.
    if ruining dishes leads to prison sentences id be in a jumpsuit by now. :). I have a friend who used to put green "shrek" ketchup on his kraft mac n cheese lol.I can foresee a pig turning down his slop before I start digging my nose in it!



    EDIT:
    Got this from subway:
    Ft long Spicy italian on wheat, double meat, double Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, ranch,chipotle sauce, spicy mustard, Caesar dressing, mayo, olives and hot peppers, toasted :)


    EDIT 2: OMG I ate half the spicy sandwich too fast, now my stomach is burning up!

    Not feeling good right now
    Last edited by davef; 10-03-18 at 01:28.

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