Pasta: What you like
#1
I am making some pasta now, but pasta is more than just "pasta". It is its shape, how it is cooked, and what is added to it.

Since I am making it right now, and I put a lot of water in the pot to accommodate the amount I am making, I am on "overflow" alert for the next few minutes.

But, in between those instances, I am writing this.

What is your favourite shape, size, and preparation of pasta?

Now, most people I see are boring when it comes to pasta. They make what their mom made. Fine, if one's mother made a variety, but not the best basis for finding what one really would like.

For me:

* Penne rigate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penne_rigate). Note, these are pasta tubes, furrowed, with angled cuts.
* Al dente (which is firmer than what I see many people making, but I gauge the cooking by the bite)
* No salt or anything added to the water.
* Only with a tasty olive oil and possibly seasoning as a topping
* Usually with vegetables added. I like to get a mix of vegetables in, and the frozen "blends" are a good way to get such mixes. The reasons for the above are a basic dietary set of guidelines I follow to maintain health, ease of preparation, and minimal cleanup. Also, the penna rigate is chosen because it is easy to eat with a fork, but also easy to get many pasta-lettes at once as well as vegetables.

EDIT: I also like rice noodles, however, I consider that a different topic. Rice based pasta is big in parts of Asia and it is very different from pasta from Europe.


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#2
Penne rigate, al dente, with home-made pesto.

Otherwise lasagna in a lasagna.

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#3
I like pasta in many forms, but I think my two favorites would be lasagna and stuffed shells (sorry, i don't know what their real name is).   The pasta should be very lightly salted while cooking, though it's not really necessary if it'll be cooked with sausage later.   I prefer slightly al dente.   If there's going to be sauce (and there has to be with lasagna!) it should be on the spicy side (but not hot) and definitely NOT sweet.
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#4
(02-01-2012, 07:19 PM)su Wrote: Since I am making it right now, and I put a lot of water in the pot to accommodate the amount I am making, I am on "overflow" alert for the next few minutes.

If you take the lid off once the water comes to a rolling boil you can avoid overflow.
(02-01-2012, 07:32 PM)The Curt Jester Wrote: stuff shells (sorry, i don't know what their real name is)

Manicotti. Cannelloni if it's just a large stuffed tube.
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#5
Are you making the pasta from scratch?

I just made fettuccine last night. Once you get the dough right it goes very fast. The key to rolling it out is using small amounts of dough at a time. This time I rolled the noodle out to a 5 on the pasta roller.  Then I cut into wide fettuccine noodles. the nice thing about fresh pasta is that it cooks in about 2, maybe 3 minutes. One important thing to do boil the noodles in salted water. Salted water adds to the strength of the noodle. You will have a less chance of them turning into mush.

Once I cooked all the noodles I threw in some frozen peas for about 2 minutes, and added them to the sauce. The sauce made was an Alfredo.

Melt some butter, add minced garlic, add cream and heat, turn off the heat and add your cheese. I used a grated parmigiana and asiago mix. Poured the sauce over the pasta and mixed it through. The sauce took about 6 minutes, pasta about 20 minutes,

Pasta uses very little ingredients. It produces a very tender result with a light texture.
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#6
(02-01-2012, 08:10 PM)verenaerin Wrote: Are you making the pasta from scratch?
No, from  wheat.

But seriously, from a box. Ease of preparation and minimal cleanup are important to me.

Quote:Pasta uses very little ingredients. It produces a very tender result with a light texture.

Sounds like a good dinner you all had.

(Or lunch, or breakfast, as the case may be)
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#7
(02-01-2012, 08:06 PM)piabee Wrote:
(02-01-2012, 07:19 PM)su Wrote: Since I am making it right now, and I put a lot of water in the pot to accommodate the amount I am making, I am on "overflow" alert for the next few minutes.

If you take the lid off once the water comes to a rolling boil you can avoid overflow.

No, I can't.

I do not cook pasta with the lid on.

I just have that much water in the pot.

Now, you may say "why not get a bigger pot?", but I say "I will eventually".
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#8
Penne and fettuccine.
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#9
Penne rigate, angel hair, orechiette, farfalle, and egg noodles- the wider, the better. I can't stand mushy pasta, and I'm not above removing my portion from the family pot early, if need be. As for preparation, pesto is always nice, though butter, garlic, and cheese, or just olive oil and cheese is my favorite. Sauteed vegetables with a little bacon has been a classic family pasta dish for as long as I can remember.  :)

Wait... Does spaetzle count? If spaetzle counts, then it takes precedence over all of the above, especially if served with homemade pork or beef gravy.  :grin:
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#10
Penne with arrabiata sauce. Third gen Italian American and I prefer the one dish my mom (British isles and German descent) perfected. I do have traditional recipes for homemade pasta of all kinds, gnocchi, lasagna, etc. All of which I enjoy as well.
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