Pasta is generally made from grains. There are all types these days from brown rice to durum wheat. Durum wheat is considered the best and comes from Italy. Pasta is almost always served as a separate course in Italy, not as a side dish like we see in many eateries in the United States. Regions of Italy may call the same pasta by different names.
Pasta can be classified into two categories. Fresh, which uses eggs and is quicker to cook, and dry pasta, which doesn’t have eggs.
Pasta is easy to make. You need 2-6 quarts per pound of pasta. The reason why pasta often sticks is because most people don’t add enough water. Remember to add salt.
Bring your water to a boil; add pasta, stir, and return the cover to pot. Follow the directions of the package until done. Do not rinse your cooked pasta with cold water. You don’t want to wash off the starch. The starch will act as a glue to your sauce. Another mistake Americans often make is they over-sauce their plate. Don’t drown your pasta in sauce, that’s not right. Since pasta is all about the sauces, below is a simple chart to stir you in the right direction.
The Shape Names of Pasta Sauces
|STRAND PASTALong and thin||Angel hair, thin spaghetti, vermicelli, capellini||Great with oil-based sauces and light thin broths.|
|STRAND PASTALong and wide (get your mind out of the gutter)||Fettuccine, spaghetti, linguine, pappardelle, lasagna, tagliatelle||Heavier sauces, cream sauces, alfredo and light tomato sauces.|
|SHAPED PASTAShort and girth like.||Ziti, penne, fusilli, farefalla,shells (manicotti) , rigatoni, macaroni||Chunky sauces, meat sauces casseroles, primaveras, cheese sauces, pasta salads,|
|SHAPED PASTATiny||Orzo, small shells, ditali.||Soups, stews, salads,|