a new feature . . .
Welcome to the world of pasta at classicpasta.com.
>>to search the entire site for a specific ingredient, type or any other special request, go to Home and use the search tool on that page.
pasta section is divided into four parts:
(2) instructions on how to make fresh egg pasta with a pasta machine;
(3) a selection of recipes that we call "the basic repertoire": the most famous and classic of the pasta recipes;
(4) a section called "additional pasta recipes", a larger and more comprehensive list of many recipes for all kinds and shapes of pasta.
The latter section also includes recipes for the major sauces.
>>servings: all of these recipes, unless otherwise noted, call for a pound of pasta, which we feel is good for four people for a main course, or 6-8 as a first course, depending on one's appetite.
Cooking and saucing: several key points:
Most importantly, when cooking pasta, make sure you use plenty of water. Otherwise you get stewed pasta. Use four, or better five, quarts of cold water and bring it to a raging boil.
Add salt: lots. Two tablespoons at least. Add the salt to the boiling water before adding the pasta. Let it foam a second and then add the pasta.
Do not add: oil. No matter if some cookbooks or instructions say to add oil to keep the pasta from sticking, don't do it. We could give all the reasons why you shouldn't, but just don't.
Stir the pasta. Use a wooden spoon and give it a healthy stir every now and then, or even more than now and then. Keep the pasta moving in the water. (keeps it from sticking).
The only way to tell when pasta is done to al dente, or just short of al dente as the case may be, is to test it. Taste. Then test and taste again.
Just before draining, take out a cup of the pasta water and set it aside. When mixing the pasta with the sauce (below) you can get a feel whether the sauce might be a touch too thick, or it is not melding well with the pasta. Add some of the water and stir. Some recipes point this out; a good idea is to reserve the pasta liquid always, just in case.
Never, ever, rinse the pasta in cold water. This is an incredible no-no.
Have the sauce heated as the pasta is finished. Put the pasta into the sauce and stir it. Mix it well! Add some liquid if needed. Test for salt.
In saucing, remember that the point of each dish is the pasta, not the sauce. The sauce is the counterpoint. There should be sufficient sauce to lightly coat each strand of pasta -- no more.
Finally, one trick we use: we finish the pasta just a little short of al dente. Then we mix it well with the pasta. Then we cover it, turn the heat up, and give the mixture a hot flash! For about a minute. After the minute, you will find the pasta is really steaming as you serve it up. This is especially true, we find, with egg pastas such as fettuccine. They seem to cool faster. The hot flash keeps them hotter longer.
And a last suggestion: heat the pasta bowls before you serve. This is really a must.
how to make fresh egg pasta (in wonderful detail)
ALL THE TYPES
types of pasta -- a complete reference list
the basic recipe repertoire (these thirteen are always favorites)
MANY, MANY MORE RECIPES:
penne (and other short tubular dried pastas), such as rigatoni, garganelli
FRESH EGG PASTAS
THE GREAT STUFFED PASTAS