I have been working on so much Italian food lately, largely inspired by the latest Adam Seger book which focuses heavily on it. Throughout the last 6 months I have been making my own pizza and I am particularly enjoying gnocchi and risotto. One of the fundamentals of Italian cooking however is of course pasta, and there are some tips which you should always bear in mind when you are trying to make any pasta dish.
If you want to make sure that your pasta is right every time, here are some tips which you have got to follow.
Fresh is Best
Dried pasta is an understandable choice for those who don’t eat it very often and wish to store it for a long time. If however you are looking to make a truly incredible pasta dish, then you have got to buy fresh egg pasta only. The alternative to this is that you make your own pasta and whilst that does require some extra effort and time, it can often be the tastiest option. Fresh pasta is soft and supple and it will cook in no time at all. Another great benefit of fresh pasta is that it is much more flexible which is great for those who wish to make things like ravioli.
Keeping it Simple
If there is one thing that I learned from being in Italy, it is that simplicity is the very best way to approach making food. There are some ambitious dishes which you could buy, but in the main the Italians love to focus on the quality of the food and the simplicity of the recipe. This is why getting the pasta right is so critical, because it is often the driving force behind the dish. Even if you do add some tomato sauce with some chicken, it will be the quality of the pasta that will dictate the rest of the meal.
High Quality Ingredients
The reason that simplicity is recommended is that the focus is on the quality of the ingredients rather than the abundance of ingredients. This is why it is always recommended that when you are shopping for the dish, you should look to splash out a little on some of the best quality ingredients which you can find. This makes all the difference in a pasta dish and even if there are only 3 ingredients, ensuring that they are of the best quality is critical.
The trick to making sure that pasta is perfect is not so much in the cooking, but in the way that it is seasoned. The pan should be seasoned with a little bit of salt when you are first cooking the pasta, and then once it is finished you should lightly sprinkle salt and pepper over the pasta. Getting this balance right is critical for the best tasting pasta that you will find.
Keep working on your pasta and practicing getting it just right.