A dish of pasta is now often served as a "piatto unico"(one-course meal), but never with salad. This is the typical meal of southern Italians, and it provides a healthy and well-balanced diet based on pasta plus a sauce consisting either of a small amount of meat, or some vegetables, legumes, cheese, or eggs. In Italy, pasta usually means dried pasta.Fresh pasta is eaten far less frequently and is by no means considered of higher quality, rather a different kind of food that can be better or worse, depending on how well it is made. Fresh Pasta: In Emilia-Romagna fresh pasta is made using only eggs and Italian 00 flour.In other region one or two eggs might be replace with water, which produce a rather bodiless and less tasty pasta. In the south the mixture, at the dough stage, are called "sfoglia". Rolling pasta by hand is a difficult and time-consuming job, but there are many machines for making fresh pasta at home. The machine will not only roll, but cut the pasta. Pasta made with eggs is sold fresh or dried, more often than not a good brand of Italian died egg pasta is far better than shop-bought fresh pasta.Dried Pasta: This is commercially made pasta, the composition of which is tightly controlled by law. It must made only with durum wheat semolina and water. Equally important is the drying process, which must be gradual and lengthy. The best pasta is dried up to 80 hours, as opposed to 32 fir the more mass-produced type. The dies through which the mixture is extruded also play an important part; for the best pasta bronze dies are used, giving a rough surface, that i ideal for retaining the dressing.
Dried pasta comes in many shapes and sizes, most of which are best suited to a particular type of sauce. Generally speaking, long pasta, such as spaghetti, is suited to a sauce based on olive oil, because this allow the strands to stay slippery and separate. Thicker long shapes are best dressed with sauces based on butter, cream, and cheese, which also go well with medium-sized tubular pasta. These shapes are also perfect dressed with vegetables or legumes, while the large rigatoni and penne are better for baked dishes. Cooking pasta may be everyday food, but it should be cooked with great care. It must be cooked in a large sauce pan with plenty of salted water: there should be 1 quart of water to every 3 1/2 ounces of pasta, to which 2 teaspoon of salt is added when the water begin to boil, but before the pasta. When the water comes to a rolling boil, the pasta should be added to the pan and immediately stirred. The cooking time differs according to the shape and quality of pasta, and whether it is fresh or dried. When the pasta is( "al Dente") it is drained through a colander, or, for long pasta, by lifting it out with a long wooden fork or a spaghetti server. A little of the cooking water is sometimes reserved to add at the end, should the finished dish seem too dry. This is always done when cooking fresh pasta, since absorb more liquid. Once drained, the pasta is transferred to a heated bowl and immediately dressed;unlike oriental noodles, pasta shouldn't be allowed to sit in the colander or bowl without dressing. Pasta should not be dressed with too much sauce, nor should the sauce be watery. Colored or flavored pasta that is yellow(saffron), brown (fungi), red(tomato), or black (cuttlefish ink) has now become as widely available as the traditional green(spinach) pasta from Emilia.
"Pasta ripiena" Stuffed pasta.Included under this heading is the range of different types of ravioli. The wrapping is made of egg pasta and the staffing is different for each type of raviolo. "Pastina" Only use in stock to make a "minestrina" or soup. There are all sorts of pastina: "Stelline" (little stars), ave Marie("hail Marys"), risi (like grains of "rice"), "farfalline"(little butterflies), "alfabeto"("letter of the alphabet"), anellini('little rings"), and other tiny shapes. "Pastasciutta" A term meanung pasta wich, once cooked has been drained and served with a sauce.
"Pasta in Brodo" is the opposite to pastasciutta , meaning a dish of pasta served with the liquid in which it has cooked. "Pasta alla Norma" In this dish from Catania, the pasta, usually spaghetti, is dressed with a fruity tomato sauce, sliced of fried eggplant, and grated salted ricotta. The dish is so called because it is good enough to compare with Bellini's masterpiece of the same name, which in Catania(the composer's birthplace) is synonymous wit perfection.
A thick hand made spaghetti.Pici is very simple pasta to be made.
All purpose flour mix with water, olive oil and salt.
Made dough rested for a hour and then rolled and cut long strips and rolled under your hand palm to give them the best shape as long thick spaghetti.
Good sauces for it is Italian sausage, sauce or simply with fresh crushed tomatoes, basil and garlic it will give the rustic look of Tuscan cooking, and also very simple and delicious taste, during the hot summer evening.
How to make spinach pastaThe real green color
First thing is to make the green color natural just by blending raw spinach on your kitchen blender
With this ingredients below you can easily made up to 8 serving if you scale the portion 4 to 5 ounces each.
2 cup of "Mondako" Flour
5 whole eggs
1 bunch of fresh wash & clean Spinach
pinch of salt
1 table spoon of regular olive oil
Make sure that you strain the blended spinach before you adding the rest of the ingredients and start mixing in your mixer.
Adding your eggs and flour, start to mix slowly until you will obtain your dough.
Roll the dough with your pasta machine as thin as you like it will depend how you will use for example "Spinach Tagliatelle" or Prosciutto and Parmigiano stuffed tortellini
Than just boiled this Tagliatelle and tossed with fresh "ricotta" just by adding couple ladles of hot water from the pot and olive oil, chopped and peeled tomatoes, garnished with a drizzled of aged balsamic vinegar.