Newsletter 30: Pasta
Fresh Pasta or Dried?
There is the misguided conception that fresh pasta is better than dried. If you want to enjoy cooking and eating pasta at its best, focus more on buying good-quality dried pasta. Yes, it does cost more, but we’re not talking about great luxury here; we’re talking about a main meal for two people that might cost €2 instead of €1.
Pastas which may be better bought fresh are ravioli, stuffed pasta shapes and tortellini, which are of a far better quality than most of the dried packs. Once you taste quality dried pasta, it will be very hard for you to return to the industrially produced alternatives. It’s not just the flavour: it also helps you to achieve that al dente texture that is the mark of well-cooked pasta. Poor quality often ends up sticky and soggy.
When you buy your pasta, make sure it says pasta di semola di grano duro. The other modern misconception is to serve more sauce than pasta. Good pasta should be enjoyed for itself, with a small amount of concentrated sauce used to merely dress it.
Pasta ajo e ojo (garlic and oil spaghetti)
The following recipe proves that pasta is so delicious when it is simple and savored for its own right. Make the dish truly gourmet with a good quality olive oil. Maybe use that special bottle you received as a gift and you’ve been saving for “something special”.
2 cloves of garlic chopped very finely
2 tbsp parsely
9 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
Bring to the boil and large pan filled with water. Boil the pasta. Pour 8 tbsp of the oil in a pan. Add the garlic and salt and let it sweat on very low heat. Remove from the heat when the garlic starts to colour. When pasta is al dente, drain and place in a large bowl. Add the garlic oil and mix well. Add the final tbsp oil, the pepper and the parsley, mix again and serve at once.
Pasta ajo e ojo (spaghetti bit-tewm u z-zejt)
Din ir-ricetta turi li l-ghagin huwa tant tajjeb meta huwa semplici. Ghamel dan il-platt verament specjlai billi tuza zejt taz-zebbuga verament tajjeb. Forsi ghandek xi flixkun specjali li qlajt u kont qed izzommu ghal xi okkazjoni specjali.
2 sinniet tewm imqatta' fin
2 imgharef tursin
9 imgharef zejt taz-zebbuga ta' kwalita' tajba
Poggi borma b’hafna ilma fuq in-nar, zid ftit melh malli l-ilma jiftah jghali u ghalli l ghagin. Ferra 8 imgharef miz-zejt f’kazzola, zid it-tewm u ftit melh u qalli ghal ftit fuq nar bati. Itfi n-nar malli t-tewn jiehu kulur dehbi. Kif l-ghagin ikun sar, nehhih mill-ilma, qattru sew u poggih go skutella kbira. Mieghu zid iz-zejt bit-tewm u hawwad sew. Zid il-bzar, it-tursin u l-imgharfa zejt taz-zebbuga li fadal. Servi mill-ewwel.