When pasta is on your mind

Italian film director Federico Fellini once said that ‘Life is a combination of magic and pasta’.

We couldn’t agree more. It’s very hard to find a pasta that you don’t like, after all. But there’s so much to pasta that we probably don’t know about.

So, here’s everything you need to know about the Italian world-favourite ingredient.

Here’s the main category — fresh pasta and dried pasta. Fresh pasta’s dough usually consists of eggs and all-purpose flour.

It’s often cut into different strands to make fettuccine, lasagne and pappardelle. If you are a fan of ravioli, tortellini or cannelloni, fresh pasta is the one you’re having.

Dried pasta, on the other hand, is mostly referred to the factory-made ones.

It’s made with golden semolina flour and water. Since they are factory-made, it is also made with all-purpose flour. 

Types of pasta

Penne

This is probably the most commonly ordered pasta. The tube-shaped pasta is usually about two inches long and cut diagonally at both ends. Probably the reason this is popular is that it goes well with almost all types of sauces and toppings.

Farfalle

You probably know this one as ‘bow tie pasta’, thanks to its butterfly shape. It’s great for a salad or in a warm bowl of meat and veggies.

Shells

Depending on its side, it can either be used with the sauce of your choice or stuffed with meats and veggies. The smaller ones go well in soups and stews too.

Pappardelle

A bolognese recipe is incomplete without Pappardelle pasta. Originated in Tuscan, the wide egg noodle is slowly becoming popular in the city too.

Gnocchi

Unlike other kinds of pasta that are made with flour, Gnocchi is traditionally made with potato, egg and flour. It’s a bit heavier because of the addition of potatoes to it. It’s tiny and soft dumpling-like pasta that goes well with rich sauces.

Spaghetti

It’s another favourite among many. While the classic Spaghetti and meatballs is a dish that many of us order, it goes well with pesto sauce too.

Ravioli

The square pillow of dough can be interpreted into many things as long as you have stuffed it with something delicious. It can be anything from cheese, meat, veggies to seafood, and topped with a simple drizzle of olive oil or a sauce of your choice.

Macaroni

The C-shaped tubes don’t take too long to cook and can either be baked or cooked on a pan. Mix it with a variety of cheese and you have the famous Mac N Cheese ready to go.

Fettucine

The egg noodle actually translates to ‘little ribbons’ because of the spaghetti-length it has. Toss it in a sauce that you want with a generous topping of cheese and it’s a match made in heaven that you can’t miss.

How to cook pasta 

Use a large saucepan or a stockpot to boil water.

Make sure that pot is large enough so that the pasta can move freely in the boiling water.

Once you add cold water to the pot, cover it and over high heat, bring the water to a rolling boil.

Add about one to two tablespoons of salt.

Add the pasta to the water and start your timing. If you’re using the packaged pasta, boil it till the time written in the back of the packet.

Make sure that you don’t cover the pot while cooking and boil till al dente (firm to the bite).

Once you get the consistency you’re looking for, drain the pasta. 

Drizzle a little bit of oil so that they don’t stick to each other.

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When pasta is on your mind

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