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Mellempris italiensk billetpris

Mellempris italiensk billetpris



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Romanos Macaroni Grill har to andre steder i Las Vegas i nærheden bortset fra restauranten i Henderson. En af de mere populære italienske kæder, der giver Olive Garden et løb for deres penge, tilbyder Macaroni Grill traditionel italiensk mad i lidt fornemme omgivelser.

Menuen har lidt mere variation end andre italienske franchise -spisesteder, og der er et ret fint vinkort. Frisk brød leveres til hvert måltid, og servicen har været fremragende, hver gang jeg har spist der. Macaroni Grill er et godt sted til et roligt måltid i løbet af dagen, selvom det bliver overfyldt senere på aftenen.

Hvis du leder efter et godt sted for italiensk mad, kan du prøve Macaroni Grill. Du kan også bestille online via deres websted www.macaronigrill.com og afhente din ordre. Hvis du skal mødes, vil de også tage højde for visse områder. Tjek deres hjemmeside for detaljer og god apetit.


Parmesanpriserne er ved at stige - prøv disse substitutter i stedet

Vi talte med en ostespecialist om de bedst mulige swaps til parmesan.

Da verden gik i lås sidste år, blev mejeriindustrien hårdt ramt. Restaurantlukninger forårsagede et brud i forsyningskæden, og mælkeproducenter måtte gentænke deres mælkeproduktion. Efter lidt mælkedumping steg mælke- og aposs -produktionsomkostninger, hvilket førte til mindre mælk. Forsyningskæden har mere eller mindre udlignet sig nu, men sidste år & aposs lag har et aktuelt tab: lagret ost, især parmesan.

Som navnet antyder, tilbringer alderen ost en seriøs tid, godt, lagring, før den når butikker eller restauranter. Parmesan kræver 10 måneders alderen. Den nedsatte mælkeproduktion fra sidste forår betyder, at priserne på parmesan i de næste seks måneder forventes at stige betydeligt.

Parmesan har så mange anvendelsesmuligheder i køkkenet, at det ikke ville være en underdrivelse at kalde det et køkkenklammer. Så hvis du ikke ønsker at betale store penge for parmesan, kan det meget vel være værd at forgrene sig til en anden ost. Jeg talte med en ostespecialist om de bedste erstatninger for parmesan i dens mange forskellige anvendelsesmuligheder, fra pastagarn og ostebordstøtter til den dejligt boblende smeltede ost i klassisk italiensk-amerikansk billetpris.


Primi piatti (første retter) er vores yndlingsmad. Nico er italiensk og hans veganske pasta og risotto opskrifter er ikke af denne verden. Vi sørger også for, at de er enkle, sunde og miljøvenligt.

Bliver veganer betyder ikke at opgive din yndlings godbidder. Tværtimod! Her finder du et udvalg af vores yndlings desserter. De er alle sammen ægfri, mælkefri og super lækker!


Angelo Civita Farnese

Du kan bare finde dig selv med tåre-øjne, når du smager den omhyggeligt tilberedte, gammeldags komfortmad, denne familieejede restaurant har været kendt for siden 1924. Her på Providence's Federal Hill er der kun en restaurant, der har serveret nogle af de samme elskede retter i 95 år, og opskrifterne og priserne har ændret sig lidt i disse år. Hvis du aldrig har prøvet tripe, er dette stedet at være eventyrlysten, især da dette er en af ​​husets favoritter, der fås i en halv størrelse portion.


Mellempris italiensk billetpris - Opskrifter

Dette var på min liste over spisesteder, og det skuffede ikke i forhold til et par andre steder, jeg gik. Stedet er lille, men maden leverer. Ejeren og personalet er alle meget søde. Det virkede som om alle i Sydney er meget flinke. Prisen er rimelig i forhold til kvaliteten af ​​maden, der serveres. Højt anbefalet. Jeg havde Linguine alla Bolognese og bruschetta. Lækkert.

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Baseret på høje TA-vurderinger forudbestilte vi denne lille, men populære caffe til en tidlig middag.
Vores madvalg var veltilberedte traditionelle pasta- og kødretter, og lokalbefolkningens støtte var indlysende, herunder take-away service. Ved prissætningsstandarder i Sydney var maden meget god værdi og generelt havde vi en meget god oplevelse.

Jeg gik med den daglige special, som var Linguine Al Gamberi. Rejerne var friske og smukt kogte og Linguine lækker!

En meget imødekommende italiensk, som vi ikke kunne fejl. Hvidløgsbrødet var fantastisk, og vi valgte en hvidløgs- og chili rejerlinguine fra specialbrættet, som havde sine smag perfekt afbalanceret. Anbefalede.


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Selvom pasta ikke er helt så gammel, som italienerne gerne vil, er den blevet dokumenteret sikkert i Italien før 1295, da Marco Polo vendte tilbage fra Kina. I 1279 blev en kurv med tørret pasta registreret i en genoværsk soldats bobeholdning, hvilket indikerede, at den blev anset for værdifuld. Det anvendte ord var macaronis, et ord, hvis afledningshistorikere kæmper om. Den, der normalt er givet, er makar, græsk for "velsignet", som i nadvermad. I Italien i dag makcheroni refererer til rørformet tørret pasta i Amerika makaroni er synonymt med "albuer" for offentligheden, men ikke for mange producenter, der bruger det til at henvise til tørret pasta lavet af bare mel og vand. Producenter bruger nudel at henvise til en dej med æg, som kan sælges frisk eller tørret. Spaghetti, hvilket betyder "små snore", bruges ofte generisk til tørret pasta uden æg. Marco Polo talte om lasagne, som derefter betød "nudler", for at beskrive det, han så, hvilket indikerer, at han alligevel allerede var bekendt med maden.

Marco Polo -myten har nægtet at dø. Italienerne beskylder amerikanerne for at bekendtgøre det, begyndende med en indflydelsesrig artikel i et 1929 -nummer af Macaroni Journal (nu Pasta Journal), et amerikansk fagblad, som har inspireret utallige reklamer, restaurantdækkere, kogebøger og endda film. (Fra 1919, Macaroni Journal lejlighedsvis publicerede artikler, der påstås at give pastaens historie, normalt - men ikke altid - mærkning af de mindre sandsynlige som lore. 1929 -historien begyndte, "Legend has it ...") I filmen fra 1938 Marco Polos eventyr, Gary Cooper peger på en skål nudler og spørger en kineser, hvad han kalder dem. "På vores sprog," svarer manden, "kalder vi dem spa få."

I århundrederne efter var Marco Polos rejsepasta fortsat en luksus i Italien. I 1400 blev det produceret kommercielt i butikker, der beholdt nattevagter for at beskytte varerne. Det vermicelli, som tørret pasta blev kendt, blev æltet til fods: mænd trådte på dej for at gøre det formbart nok til at rulle ud. Slidbanen kan vare i et døgn. Dejen skulle derefter ekstruderes gennem gennemborede matricer under stort pres, en opgave udført af en stor skruepresse drevet af to mænd eller en hest.

Denne lidt gamy procedure blev ikke brugt til andre slags dej, men kommerciel pastadej har aldrig været normal dej. Melet der bruges til at lave det - semulje - er granulat, ligesom sukker, og har en varm gylden farve. Semulje laver en halmfarvet dej, der skal æltes i lang tid, og derfor har det altid været langt mere almindeligt inden for kommerciel end i hjemmelavet pasta. Semulje formales af hård hvede (Triticum durum durum betyder "hårdt"), et meget hårdere korn end almindelig hvede (Triticum vulgarum), som bruges til at lave almindeligt mel. (Jo hårdere kornet er, jo mere energi kræves det til at fræse det.) Al hårdhed gør fastere kogt pasta end almindeligt mel, men ikke alle hårdheder er ens i hårdhed eller kvalitet. Den slags durum, der formales til semulje, og hvordan en producent fremstiller og tørrer dejen, bestemmer pastaens fasthed, når den er kogt.

Durumhvede var velegnet til jorden og vejret på Sicilien og Campania, regionen omkring Napoli, og derfor udviklede pastaindustrien sig der i det attende århundrede og førte den italienske produktion ind i dette århundrede. Napoli havde et perfekt klima til tørring af pasta. Skiftet mellem milde havbrise og varme vinde fra Vesuvius sørgede for, at pastaen ikke tørrede for langsomt og dermed blev mugnet eller for hurtigt og dermed revnede eller knækkede. Antallet af pastabutikker i Napoli gik fra tres til 280 mellem årene 1700 og 1785. Unge engelske aristokrater, der foretog den store tur i det attende århundrede, blev vist byen, hvor pasta hang overalt for at tørre - i gaderne, på altaner, på tage . Napolitanske gadesælgere solgte kogt spaghetti fra boder med kulfyrede ovne, der arbejdede med skåle med revet Romano-ost ​​ved siden af. Kunderne ville følge eksemplet med barkerne, der løftede de lange tråde højt og faldt dem i munden. De store turister antog, at gaflen endnu ikke var fanget i Italien, hvorimod det var venetianerne, der i det sekstende århundrede havde introduceret gaflen til Europa.

Englændere gik hjem fulde af Italien og blev kendt som macaronier for deres udenlandske påvirkninger. I midten af ​​det attende århundrede makaroni henviste til en overdreven frisure samt til dandyen iført den, hvilket kan være grunden til at Yankee Doodle stak en fjer i hatten og kaldte effekten makaroni. (En pingvinart med en orange-farvet kam kaldes makaronipingvinen.) Doodle kommer fra et tysk ord, der betyder "simpleton" - den samme definition som nudel havde dengang (ærlige, stivelsesholdige fødevarer som dumplings har længe haft et dårligt ry). Sangen "Yankee Doodle" blev brugt af briterne til at latterliggøre de amerikanske kolonister, der adopterede den i selvforsvar.

Macaroni kom til Amerika med englænderne, der serverede den bagt med ost og fløde, som også var populær i det nordlige Italien, og i rige søde bagte vaniljesaus. Thomas Jefferson krediteres for at have introduceret tørret pasta uden æg til Amerika, men ligesom Marco Polo -legenden er dette en romantisk fiktion. Han tog notater om fremstillingsprocessen under en rejse til Napoli og gav endda en ven i Italien ordre til at købe ham en "makronimaskine". Han sendte sig selv to kasser med pasta i 1789. I 1798 havde en franskmand åbnet, hvad der måske var den første amerikanske pastafabrik i Philadelphia, og det var en succes. Overklassens amerikanere købte også pasta importeret fra Sicilien, som havde snob appel.

Andre fabrikker åbnede, prisen faldt, og ved borgerkrigen var makaroni tilgængelig for arbejderklasserne. Bøger fra perioden indikerer, at den almindelige måde at servere den var tilberedt til den var blød - normalt mindst en halv time - og bagt med ost og fløde. Macaroni og ost kan altså, ligesom mange andre retter, som englænderne bragte til kolonierne, betragtes som en gammel amerikansk ret. I midten af ​​1880'erne, ifølge Karen Hess, madhistorikeren, inkluderede kogebøger udgivet så langt fra øst som Kansas opskrifter på makaroner, nogle involverede en tomat- og kødsovs. En forfatter i Philadelphia gik ind for makaroner som en fødevare, der var "mere værdifuld" end brød. Amerikanerne tog det dog ikke i stort antal. Det mistede sin cachet, når masserne havde råd til det, og de fashionable restauranter i New York serverede det ikke - eller nogen anden italiensk ret - selvom mange af dem blev drevet af italienere.

Den enorme bølge af italiensk immigration, der begyndte mod slutningen af ​​århundredet, var i sidste ende ansvarlig for, at pasta blev en fast bestanddel af den amerikanske middelklasse, men immigranterne satte først resten af ​​Amerika fra selve ideen om pasta. Fra 1880 til 1921 kom mere end fem millioner italienere til Amerika, tre fjerdedele af dem fra regionerne syd for Rom, og både deres antal og deres underlige måder virkede truende. Harvey Levenstein, professor i historie ved McMaster University, i Ontario og Joseph Conlin, professor i historie ved Chico State University, i Californien, skriver en bog om den mad, italienske immigranter spiste i Amerika. De siger, at socialrådgivere og ernæringseksperter var forfærdede over immigranternes pasta, hård ost, grøntsager, frugt og - værst af alt - hvidløg. Madvidenskab, en ny disciplin i 1890'erne (underholdende beskrevet i Laura Shapiros nyligt udgivne bog Perfektion Salat), erklærede, at de fleste frugter og grøntsager, især grønne grøntsager, havde en lille næringsværdi og kostede for meget.

Italienerne ignorerede rådet om at spise rigtigt. De dyrkede enhver jord, de kunne og dyrkede grøntsager og krydderurter, som de ikke kunne finde i Amerika, de konserverede grøntsager, de brugte, hvad husøkonomerne syntes var rystende summer på små stykker importeret hård ost. Da reformatorer forsøgte at oprette madlavningskurser i italienske kvarterer, fandt de få elever. Læger klagede over, at italienerne ikke ville komme ind på hospitaler, fordi de betragtede maden som uspiselig.

Italienerne ændrede dog deres spisevaner, selvom de gjorde det af nødvendighed, ikke fordi ernæringseksperter fortalte dem det. De spiste færre sorter af frugt, grøntsager og ost, end de havde været vant til, på grund af besværet og omkostningerne ved at få det, de kunne lide. De spiste meget mere kød, fordi det var ekstremt billigt og rigeligt efter deres standarder. De fik smag for kager og rige desserter. De spiste også mere pasta, som på grund af omkostningerne havde været en ferieret for mange syditalienere. De krydderier, de brugte, var primært de klassiske i Campania, selvom de sicilianske immigranter i begyndelsen i 1910 var flere end de campanske. Levenstein og Conlin forklarer, at campanierne allerede var etableret som købmænd, og at tomatpuré, oregano og hvidløg var lettere at få fat på end krydderier, der er typiske for andre regioner - såsom pinjekerner, vild fennikel og safran til sicilianere eller ingefær til immigranter fra Basilicata, regionen øst for Campania.

Af en eller anden grund startede det italienske-amerikanske køkken med en base af campansk mad, minus mange slags grøntsager og oste og plus en masse kød. Således fremkomsten af ​​spaghetti og frikadeller, en ret ukendt i Italien. Det havde sandsynligvis sin oprindelse i flere bagte napolitanske pastaretter, serveret på religiøse festivaler som karneval og jul, der brugte frikadeller, der ikke var større end valnødder og også efterlyste ingredienser som skinke og kogte æg. Således også stigningen af ​​de overdådige portioner og afhængigheden af ​​hvidløg, varme peberflager og oregano, krydderier, der syntes at blive mere og mere fremtrædende, efterhånden som immigranterne blev assimileret i amerikansk kultur. Levenstein og Conlin påpeger, at italiensk-amerikanere entusiastisk omfavnede den amerikaniserede version af deres mad og fortsatte med at tænke på det som maden i det gamle land.

Selvom hundredvis af små pastafabrikker åbnede i de små byer i Italien, foretrak italienerne at købe importeret pasta, men dyrt, fordi den var fremstillet af hård hvede. (Amerikanske landmænd voksede ikke hårdhed før i dette århundrede.) Første verdenskrig stoppede importen, og mellem 1914 og 1919 steg antallet af amerikanske pastaproducenter fra 373 til 557. Salget blev hjulpet af en ny generation af fødevareforskere, hvis opdagelse af vitaminer fik dem til at anbefale at spise pasta. Pasta var også billig på et tidspunkt, hvor fødevarepriserne steg. Opskrifter på spaghetti og tomatsauce begyndte at dukke op i dameblade. Amerikanske møllere fandt en ny anvendelse til mel, hvis forbrug var faldet, da befolkningen flyttede til byer og begyndte at spise "bedre" kostvaner, som ikke var baseret på brød. Møllerne sponsorerede "spis mere hvede" -kampagner i begyndelsen af ​​1920'erne og promoverede makaroner som "den guddommelige mad" (med henvisning til ordets formodede afledning fra det græske ord for "velsignet"). Pastaproducenter begyndte at bruge hård hvede, som de annoncerede for at have et højere proteinindhold end blød hvede (det er, men ikke meget). Campbells, Heinz og andre producenter frembragte dåse makaroni med tomatsovs og sluttede sig til fransk-amerikansk, som i 1890'erne var begyndt at sælge dåse spaghetti og understregede, at den brugte en fransk opskrift. Tilberedning af pasta længe nok til at det sikkert kan institutionalisere det, der allerede var en længe etableret praksis, som italienerne stadig håner amerikanerne-at overstege pasta og dermed frarøve den dens smag og interesse.

Nu var det acceptabelt at promovere italiensk mad, selvom pastaen var grødet og tomatsovsen var fuld af sukker og salt. En typisk opskrift på tomatsauce udeladt hvidløg og bestod af dåse tomatsuppe med. Worcestershire sauce tilsat. I 1927 begyndte Kraft at markedsføre revet "parmesan" -ost i en papbeholder med en perforeret top og foreslog, at osten skulle serveres som topping til spaghetti med tomatsauce. Spaghettisalget var større end salget af ægnudler og løb et stærkt sekund i popularitet til albue -makaroner, kaldet simpelthen makaroner, som allerede var konventionel i salater.

Indsatsen til forfremmelse virkede. Det årlige forbrug pr. Indbygger gik fra nær nul i 1920 til 3,75 pund ved udgangen af ​​årtiet (sammenlignet med halvtreds pund i Italien). Restauranter stod for meget af denne stigning. Cafeterier, der blev enormt populære i tyverne, serverede en masse spaghetti og tomatsauce. Italienere over hele landet åbnede "spaghetti-huse", der serverede spaghetti og frikadeller til arbejdere. I slutningen af ​​tyverne var italienske restauranter blevet de mest populære etniske restauranter i amerikanske byer, et forspring, de nu har på landsplan. Depressionen gjorde spaghetti mindre en mulighed end en nødvendighed, og spaghetti og frikadeller begyndte at dukke op regelmæssigt på millioner af amerikanske borde.

Netop da pasta var ved at blive næsten lige så almindeligt et måltid i Amerika, som det længe havde været i Italien, bad en italiener sine landsmænd om at stoppe med at spise det. I begyndelsen af ​​trediverne blev Italien forfærdet, da F T. Marinetti, grundlæggeren af ​​futuristisk poesi og maleri, udgav sin Manifest af futuristisk køkken, der opfordrede til et forbud mod al pasta med den begrundelse, at pasta var ansvarlig for "den svaghed, pessimisme, inaktivitet, nostalgi og neutralisme", han så rundt omkring ham. Italienere, der burde være tynde, jo bedre at køre i "ultralette aluminiumstog" bør kun spise ris som stivelse. Macaroni var et "symbol på undertrykkende sløvhed, pludrende overvejelser og fedt-mave-indbildskhed." Knive og gafler ville også gå. Retter, der kombinerede mærkelige ingredienser valgt for deres farve, såvel som deres smag, ville undertiden blive spist og nogle gange bare passeret under diners næse for at vække hans nysgerrighed. En kogebog sammensat af Marinetti og Luigi Fillia, en kunstner, og udgivet i 1932 indeholdt retter, der i dag lyder næsten velkendte: vinter-kirsebærrisotto et opslag af tunfisk, æbler, oliven og japanske jordnødder, der skal serveres på et koldt æg -og syltetøjsomelet og en undermoden dadel fyldt med flødeost og likør, pakket ind i rå skinke og et salatblad, og serveret med syltet chilipeber og små stykker parmesanost. Futuristerne forudsagde nouvelle cuisine. Italienerne var ikke interesserede i de bizarre forslag og var rasende over tanken om at opgive pasta. Selv amerikanere blev foruroliget. American National Macaroni Manufacturers Association sendte Mussolini et telegram af protest.

Mussolini forbød ikke pasta. Han startede snarere dyrkning af hård hvede i det centrale og nordlige Italien i et forsøg på at gøre landet selvforsynende. Fabrikker i nord begyndte at lave pasta i 1930'erne, og elektriske tørretunneler erstattede hav- og vulkanske briser. Napoli blev støt mindre vigtig ved fremstilling af pasta, og i dag er provinsen Campania kun den sjette største producent af pasta i landet.

Jeg besøgte for nylig en række pastafabrikker i Italien for at lære, hvordan pasta laves, og hvilke mærker der er de bedste. Skuffende nok lignede ingen af ​​de fabrikker, jeg så, de industrielle revolutioners røgfyldte templer, der var afbildet på kasser. Pastafabrikker i dag er anonyme og moderne, og deres indehavere tager generelt ikke imod ture. Den unge mand, der guider mig gennem Braibanti, en fabrik i nærheden af ​​Parma, stoppede i sine spor, da jeg bad om at gå op ad trappen til en maskine for at se på tilsætning af vand og æg til dej til tørrede ægnudler - en af ​​de få dele af fremstillingsproces, der gør en forskel i kvalitet fra mærke til mærke. "Hvorfor vil du lige se det?" spurgte han iskoldt.

Heldigvis kunne jeg se fremstillingsprocessen i en skala, der gav mening for mig - på den lille og dejlige fabrik i Martelli, som mange cognoscenti betragter som den bedste eksportør af pasta i Italien. (Virksomhedens eneste kollegaer er små fabrikker i nærheden af ​​Napoli, hvis produkter er svære at finde selv i Italien og næsten er ukendte her.) Fabrikken er i fire eller fem værelser i to middelalderlige bygninger i Lari, en toscansk bakkeby 20 km fra Pisa . Bygningerne er i skyggen af ​​et slot fra det tolvte århundrede på toppen af ​​bakken. Slottet vises på de muntre, lysegule pakker, hvis tekst er skrevet i, hvad der ligner en meget pæn barnehånd.

Jeg ankom en lørdag eftermiddag for at finde Dino og Mario Martelli og deres koner, Lucia og Valeria, og pakkede maccheroni. Kvinderne bar gule forklæder, der matchede pakkerne. Disse fire er de eneste ansatte. Dino og Marios far og onkel startede forretningen i 1926 ved at købe en lokal pastamaskine. I dag bruger brødrene det samme udstyr, som virksomheden havde i 1940'erne, før tørretunneler med høj temperatur blev populære. Martellis laver kun fire former - spaghetti spaghettini eller tynde spaghetti maccheroni og penne, diagonalt skårne riflede rør opkaldt efter fjerpenne. Martelli -fabrikken har kun én "pastalinje", som maskinen, der blander, ælter, ekstruderer og tørrer dej, kaldes. Den på Martelli er lille - cirka otte fod høj, syv fod bred og atten fod lang.

Brødrene blandede et parti dej til spaghetti for at vise mig processen. De køber durum fra Canada, USA og andre steder og får det malet på en mølle i nærheden, så det bliver frisk. Italienske producenter er kendt for deres evner til at blande mange durum for at opnå den farve og tekstur, de søger. Amerikanerne er sjældent så diskriminerende. Denne forskel står mere end noget andet til Italiens overlegenhed i forhold til amerikansk pasta.

Blanding og æltning tager fra tredive til fyrre minutter på Martelli, i modsætning til de tyve sædvanlige på andre fabrikker siger Martellis, at lang æltning forbedrer smagen. Dejen tvinges med stort tryk gennem huller i en af ​​fire matricer, som hver er formet som en stor hockeypuck, valget af matrice bestemmer pastaens form, når den ekstruderes. Hvis stifter er ophængt fra ledninger i hvert hul, vil pastaen være hul, efter at den er presset gennem matricen, hvor hullet er større, hvor dejen kommer ind, end hvor den forlader, så rørets to sider er forbundet, når dejen strømmer ud. Hvis hullerne er hakket, hvor dejen kommer ind i dem, bliver pastaen buet. Martellis bruger kun bronzemodeller, fordi den ru, porøse overflade, disse skaber, giver bedre sovsabsorbering. Teflon-foret matricer, som de fleste producenter bruger i dag, producerer smukke, polerede overflader, der ikke holder sauce godt. Martellis er omhyggelige med ikke at lægge for meget pres eller lade dejen stige for højt under ekstrudering, for ikke at proteiner i semuljen denatureres, hvilket gør det kogte produkt blødt.

Hvor længe og ved hvilken temperatur pastaen tørres er også vigtig for kvaliteten af ​​kogt pasta. Martellis bruger kun en automatisk tørretumbler til det første tørretrin, som varer cirka en time. Pastaen forbliver i tunnelen i flere timer for at gøre det muligt at udjævne fugtigheden i midten og på overfladen. Brødrene bærer det derefter på pæle eller skærme til et af flere tørreskabe, der har tiltalende døre af træ og glas. Andre producenter sender pastaen gennem en anden og meget længere tunnel i mellem seks og otteogtyve timer, ofte ved temperaturer så høje, at de risikerer at denaturere proteinet. På Martelli forbliver pastaen i skabene, der har buede, tinbeklædte vægge for at distribuere luft fra små ventilatorer øverst i to dage eller mere (pastaen, der er tilbage til Naples vind, kan tage op til en uge at tørre). De forholdsvis lave temperaturer forbedrer smagen kraftigt, ifølge Martellis, der hævder at være de eneste producenter tilbage, der bruger tørretumbler. De er uden tvivl de eneste producenter, der tørrer pasta i skabe, der har udsigt til miles af toscanske bakker og dale, der kun er afbrudt af vinstokke og slotte.

Når pastaen er tør, bevæger den sig gennem det, der ligner en vasketøjsskakt, til den tilstødende bygning, hvor den pakkes og kasseres. Martellis skærer ikke spaghetti og spaghettini som et tegn på deres håndværk, de efterlader det afrundet, hvor trådene har hængt på stængerne. Butikkens produktion er lille, men familien hævder at kunne lide det på den måde. Martelli pasta er en luksusvare i Italien, hvor den sælges i et par gourmetbutikker og i Amerika, hvor den kan købes i køkkenskønskerne Williams-Sonoma og hos Dean & amp DeLuca (telefonnummeret til postordreservice er 800-221-7714).

Mine besøg på andre fabrikker i Italien og USA bekræftede de forskelle, Martellis havde påpeget. Æltningen var hurtigere, matricerne var teflon, tørretunnelerne var så lange, at de rum, der holdt dem, lignede lydfaser. En fabrik, jeg besøgte-den mest bestemt højteknologiske-var Fini, som består af en lang, lav hvid struktur, der støder op til en bygning fra det sekstende århundrede, der indtil 1974 husede fabrikken. Oprindeligt et kloster, det er nu kontorbygningen, og ved hovedindgangen fører store glasskydedøre til et kapel, som har en udskåret Madonna i en niche, toppet med en blå neonhalo. Den nye fabriksbygning er næsten overvældende luksuriøs. Gulvene er terrakotta-fliser, væggene hvide stuk, og der er døre og skranker i rustfrit stål overalt. Et opbevaringsrum har hylder i træ fra gulv til loft, der er afsluttet lige så omhyggeligt som bibliotekshylder og fyldt med hjul af parmesanost. Modena, en by midt mellem Bologna og Milano, hvor Fini ligger, har den højeste indkomst pr. Indbygger i enhver by i Italien, så luksus er måske ikke overraskende. I centrum af byen har Fini to fremragende madbutikker og en restaurant, der betragtes som en af ​​de bedste i landet til traditionel italiensk mad.

Fini laver kun ægpasta. Dejen ekstruderes i lange ark, der derefter enten skæres i lange bånd, som sælges tørret eller stanses i former, der fyldes og sendes frosne, for at blive solgt enten frosne eller optøede. Fyldene er lavet af den samme kvalitet af parmesanost og kød, som Fini sælger separat (virksomheden åbnede ved århundredeskiftet som leverandør af spekemat og pølser).

Forskellene mellem Fini og Prince, en af ​​de største producenter i USA, var lærerige. Æggene er for eksempel friske på Fini og på enhver italiensk fabrik, jeg besøgte: Mine italienske guider lavede meget af, hvor ofte deres æg blev leveret, og hvor svært det er at holde lagertankene pletfri og ved den rigtige temperatur. Guiden på Prince viste mig blokke af frosne æg og sagde, at æg i pulverform ofte bruges, en kvinde i Prince's testlaboratorier fortalte mig, at frosne og pulveriserede æg er standarden i Amerika. Guiden pralede af hastigheden på de italienske tørretunneler med høj temperatur, som Prince havde installeret. Den amerikanske fabrik syntes langt mere bekymret for volumen end for kvalitet.

At smage på italiensk pasta kan snart blive dyrere, end det er, hvis amerikanske pastaproducenter har deres vilje. De italienske producenter, jeg besøgte, antog, at jeg var kommet for at diskutere en grim handelskrig, der finder sted mellem USA og Det Europæiske Økonomiske Fællesskab om italiensk pasta. Kontroversen begyndte i 1975, da EF begyndte at subsidiere eksport af pasta, for at sige, at den kunne kompensere for den højere pris, som producenterne betaler EF for europæisk durum. "Restitutionen", som EØF kaldte det, gjorde det muligt for italienerne at konkurrere med amerikanske producenter om billig pasta, ikke kun smarte mærker.

Dette var for meget for amerikanske pastamagere, der kunne tåle dyr import, men ikke billige. I 1981 protesterede deres handelsgruppe, National Macaroni Manufacturers Association, stærkt mod den amerikanske handelsrepræsentant. Det anklagede importører for at underbære amerikanske producenter med hele 25 procent på engrospriser og 15 procent på detailhandel. Gruppen, der blev grundlagt i 1904, stod over for sit første varme politiske spørgsmål i sit liv. I 1983 omdøbte det sig til National Pasta Association, flyttede fra Palatine, Illinois, til Washington, DC og fortsatte kampen. Det mødtes med ringe succes. I februar 1985 beskrev NPA sig selv i Pasta Journal som "grebet af en følelse af hjælpeløshed."

Bare to måneder senere begyndte kontoret for den amerikanske handelsrepræsentant at lede efter en måde at hævne en told, som EF havde pålagt amerikanske citrusprodukter for at fremme citrusindustrien i Middelhavet. Det Hvide Hus meddelte, at medmindre USA kunne nå til enighed med EØF om citrusafgiften, ville det pålægge en told på 40 procent på europæisk pasta uden æg og en 25 procent -told på pasta med æg for at træde i kraft i slutningen oktober. EF hævede desuden ikke citrusafgiften, mellem juli og oktober øgede EF sit pastatilskud med 176 procent. Den amerikanske told trådte i kraft efter planen og har forårsaget en furore i Italien, der ser sig selv straffet for et problem (citrustariffen), som den ikke har noget at gøre med. Producenter af dyr italiensk pasta er især kede af, at taksten beregnes efter engrospris frem for vægt. Dette gør mere ondt på deres produkter, end det gør ondt på den billige import, som de amerikanske producenter satte sig for at begrænse.

I dag er der en standoff: EF har slået told på amerikanske citroner og valnødder (hvilket ikke hjælper Italien) det fortsætter med at subsidiere pasta, og det er usandsynligt, at tolden på amerikansk citrus snart fjernes. National Pasta Association forpligter sig til at hænge på sin ret skæve sejr. Så snart taksten trådte i kraft, sendte den reklamelitteratur (ledsaget af pakker med indenlandsk pasta) til kongresmedlemmer, der fortalte dem at huske, at amerikansk pasta skal beskyttes. Inden tolden blev pålagt, forudsagde NPA, at italiensk pasta uden kontrol kunne kræve en markedsandel på 20 procent i 1988 eller 1989 - noget ekstremt usandsynligt, da den kun havde en markedsandel på 4,5 procent på det tidspunkt. Prices of Italian pasta in stores have remained competitive, in part because of the EEC subsidy and in part because of discounting by importers. The volume of Italian pasta imported into the United States is as high as it was before the tariff, and American manufacturers are taking note. Prince, for example, is already making a line of "President's Silver Award" pasta, priced at roughly double the price of its other pasta and packaged in a black box—this year's sign of an upscale product.

Italian brands of pasta, whatever they cost, taste better, I think, than most American ones—they have a clean, slightly nutty flavor and above all a texture that stays firm until you finish eating. Taste and texture make all the difference in pasta, but judging by what most American restaurants and home cooks serve, they are unknown attributes of pasta in this country. Many people are surprised to learn that dried pasta can have any flavor at all, let alone stay firm and taste lighter than what they are used to. I recently advised a woman who regularly served truffled omelets and caviar and blinis to her children while they were growing up to buy an imported Italian pasta, something she had never done. The brand she found at her supermarket was Spigadoro, a commonly distributed import whose quality Italians rank solidly in the middle. "I was so knocked out by the difference that I kept cooking a little more until the box was gone in one night," she reported.

Italians criticize Americans for adding soft flour to pasta, and with reason. One American manufacturer boasts in block letters on its packages, "SEMOLINA plus FARINA" (farina is a blend of common wheat flours). This, as one importer of Italian pasta put it, is like boasting about mixing diamonds with rocks. Pasta made with common flour, which is less expensive than semolina, leaves the cooking water white with starch, and quickly turns soggy on the plate, even if it is drained when it seems to be what Italians call al dente—literally, "to the tooth." Italian manufacturers almost never add common flour to pasta: the practice is illegal and a company must go out of its way to cheat. American manufacturers can add flour or not as they please, because there are no laws restricting them to semolina. Even so, many American manufacturers, such as Prince, Ronzoni, and Hershey Foods, which markets six brands of pasta, use only semolina.

You can't tell from looking through the cellophane much about how dried pasta will cook or taste. It should have an even buff color gray could mean the presence of soft flour. Don't be alarmed if you see tiny black spots. Semolina is milled much more coarsely than ordinary flour, and flecks of bran usually show. A finely pitted, dull surface is far preferable to a glossy one. It suggests that the pasta was made with a bronze die and will hold sauce better.

The regions in Italy famous for the quality of their dried pasta are Campania and Abruzzo. Two of the best brands, Del Verde and De Cecco, are made in Abruzzo. Fortunately, these are also the two most widely distributed imports. Other good brands include La Molisana (from Molise), Braibanti, most of which is marketed as Sidari (from Emilia), and Colavita (from Mouse). Gerardo di Nola, made in Campania, is a cult brand that I've never been able to find. You should buy or order Martelli at least once, if only to have a standard against which to judge other dried pasta. If you can't find any of these brands locally, try any Italian brand available. Besides Spigadoro, made in Umbria, a widely distributed standard Italian brand is Barilla, made in Emilia Barilla is the world's largest pasta manufacturer.

Gauging portion sizes trips up nearly everyone. The standard portion in Italy, and the size recommended on packages, is two ounces. This is fine for a first course to cut the appetite without killing it. I find three ounces an ideal portion for a main course, but hungry people might prefer four. I use a scale, because 1 cannot judge by eye, and the trick of putting my thumb to my index finger doesn't work when measuring short pasta. Neither does using liquid measures. A half-cup of farfalle, or bows (farfalle means "butterflies"), is not the same as a half cup of ziti, or ridged tubes (ziti means "bridegrooms" in southern Italy the shape 'as traditionally served at weddings in Sicily). "Portion measurers" for long pasta, usually flat wooden oblongs with holes, are useless, because the size of the portion will vary with the thickness of the pasta.

To cook pasta you need a lot of water, so that it will come back to the boil soon after you add the pasta, so that there will be more than enough water for the pasta to absorb (pasta usually doubles in volume when cooked), and so that the pasta will keep moving as it cooks and not stick together. Start with a gallon for the first quarter pound and add one quart for each additional quarter pound. When the water reaches a rolling boil, add a tablespoon of salt for each gallon of water, which will season the pasta (you can add lemon juice if you prefer to avoid salt). Cooks differ on whether or not to add oil to the water to prevent sticking. Italians think that it makes pasta absorb water unevenly. Harold McGee, the author of On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, finds this unlikely, and also thinks that oil won't keep the pasta from sticking unless you add it to cooked pasta. But he does say that oil reduces the foam on the surface and helps prevent water from boiling over. Barbara Kafka suggests in her book Food for Friends that you put several tablespoons of oil into the pot just before you drain it this will discourage sticking without making the pasta so oily that the sauce slides off.

Add the pasta all at once. Bend long pasta into the water with a two-pronged cooking fork or a wooden spoon. Separate any kind of pasta, so that it doesn't stick, before the water comes back to the boil, and keep it moving as it cooks. The water should be at an active, if not passionate, boil. Don't leave the room.

(Italians say never ever break long pasta as you add it—you should learn to eat it like a man. This means not twirling it against a spoon, a practice fit only for milquetoasts, but instead securing two or three strands with a fork and twirling them against the edge of a plate. This is accomplished more easily in the wide, shallow soup bowls in which Italians serve pasta, but it is quite possible to do on a flat plate. There will be dangling ends. Accept them.) Start timing when the water comes back to the boil. Test after three minutes for dried pasta with egg or five minutes for dried pasta without. The only sure way to test is by biting into a piece. If you wait until it sticks when thrown against a wall—a custom I had always assumed was Italian but can find no Italian to own up to—it will probably be overdone: Breaking a piece apart to examine the interior is also chancy. Pasta is done when the color is uniform, but since it continues to cook after you drain it, you need to know exactly how tiny a dot of uncooked dough should remain in the center before you drain. I have never seen an Italian cook hold a piece of broken pasta up to the light. Everyone tastes the pasta he is making until it is slightly firmer than he wants it to be, and then drains it.

Rather than drain pasta in a colander, Italian cooks usually lift it out of the pot with tongs or a strainer. In this way the pasta stays wet, so that as it finishes cooking out of the pot, it has water to absorb otherwise it would stick to itself immediately. If you intend to make pasta with any frequency, look for a pot with a colander insert, which will enable you to lift all the pasta out at once. Ignore instructions to add cold water to the pot to stop cooking, because the water left on the drained pasta won't be hot enough to evaporate and will make the pasta slimy. For the same reason it is a bad idea to rinse the pasta after it is cooked—a cardinal sin in Italy. If you use a colander, be sure that it is solidly placed in the sink, that there is nothing in the sink that you don't want bobbing near your pasta, and that you take your glasses off first.

After cooking, good pasta should look moist rather than gummy. All the pieces should be separate and have a uniform texture, but they won't if you undercook the pasta. The water should be clear. If it is floury, there was ordinary flour in the pasta. Save some of the water the pasta was cooked in. Even if it looks clear it will have some starch, which can be useful for thinning a sauce and binding it at the same time. The cooking water can also be useful for adding to the pasta as it finishes cooking, in case you drained it too much.

However you drain cooked pasta, transfer it right away to a warm bowl. The plates should be hot too. Now is the time to add some oil or butter if you are afraid that the pasta will be sticky. This is also the time to add hard grated cheese if you are using it, because it will melt evenly. Don't use too much—a teaspoon or two per portion should suffice—and think twice before using any. Cheese is contraindicated for many sauces. When it is used, it is as a seasoning. The best is Parmesan, and the best Parmesan is Parmigiano-Reggiano. Some cheese stores try to pass off Argentine cheese as the real thing, but it is salty and flat by comparison with the nutty, dry, mellow original. (American Parmesan does not bear even a passing resemblance to Italian.) Look for "Parmigiano-Reggiano" on the rind: it is stamped on every square centimeter. Buy small pieces with rind on—they will keep better—and grate only as much as you need. It is difficult to find a good version of the other common grating cheese—pecorino Romano, which is made of sheep's milk.

Add about two thirds of the sauce you intend to use and gently stir it in. Don't lift the pasta two feet over the bowl as you stir, or it will cool off. And don't add too much sauce. It should just coat the pasta, with no excess at all. Pasta doused in sauce revolts Italians, who when they see it suddenly understand why Americans say that pasta is fattening. (A recipe for baked ziti in Pastahhh, an NPA newsletter, calls for one and a half pounds of meat, one pound of ricotta, a half pound of mozzarella, and two cups of white sauce for one pound of pasta—American abundance carried to a perilous extreme.) Two tablespoons of a thick sauce or a quarter to a third of a cup of a liquid one should suffice per portion. Put the last spoonful on top of each serving, so that the diner can see what the sauce looks like and have something to do.

Another way to mix sauce and pasta is to drain the pasta when it is harder than al dente and heat it for no more than a minute with the sauce. This is helpful for fish-and-wine or stock-based sauces, which do not coat pasta readily: the pasta will absorb sauce as it finishes cooking.

Don't waste a second trying to make the plate look any better. Pasta dishes should be served immediately and thus do not lend themselves to presentation, which may be one reason why the French came only recently to pasta. For example, when you see a photograph like one that appears in The Joy of Pasta, showing spaghetti surrounded by a neat circle of carrot batons and slices of artichoke sprinkled with red pepper flakes, you can be sure that the dish tasted terrible. It took too long to arrange. Gourmet, which recently ran a picture of a plate of homemade pasta on its cover for a story called "Pasta à la Francaise," resorted to pretty china and carefully strewn sprigs of dill to make it look nice. You need never worry about serving a beautifully composed plate of pasta—only about being served one.

Most American books on pasta give plenty of good recipes for dried pasta but say outright that the really classy kind—the only kind fit for showing off the most luxurious and painstaking sauces—is fresh. Pasta shops and high-priced lines of fresh pasta have reinforced this idea. Fresh pasta, however, is another kind of dish altogether and one that many discerning people don't prefer. The legions of Americans making pasta by hand may be the same people who made French bread fifteen years ago. Both practices are anomalous to Europeans. French housewives never make bread they buy it. And very few Italians make or even buy homemade pasta anymore.

I asked a fashionable Milanese woman, Lucia Mistretta, about fresh pasta not only is she an excellent cook but her husband, Giorgio, writes restaurant reviews and guides. Without missing a beat she gave me the authentic recipe for egg pasta as prepared in the region of Emilia, which is famous for it (100 grams of flour to one egg), and cited regional variations and alterations for filled shapes. She then explained that she always serves dried pasta, even at dinner parties, because it's what she thinks of as true Italian pasta, and that nearly everyone she knows, even in Emilia, considers fresh pasta a rare exception to the rule of dried. "If it's a rainy Sunday and I can't think of anything better to do, I might make fresh pasta," she said. "And if I told my guests that I had made pasta by hand, we would all understand that I meant with the rolling machine."

Even after mastering fresh pasta, which takes patience, you might well decide that dried is more interesting to eat, besides being a great deal more varied and less time-consuming to prepare. Still, if you ever want a lasagna with the proper very long, thin, wide noodles, or a delicious filled pasta, or if you want to try sauces using wild mushrooms or game—examples of many that are traditional only with fresh pasta—you must learn to make your own.

Exotic fillings in bright-colored pastas are an area of fierce competition among chefs all over the country. For example, within a ten-minute walk of my house, in Boston, which is neither in nor near an Italian neighborhood (and is distant from any center of gastronomic innovation), there is a traditional Tuscan restaurant, the Ristorante Toscano, where Vinicio Paoli makes tortelli filled with wild boar a fresh-pasta shop, Pasta Pronto, where Richard Bosch makes lobster ravioli (news a few years ago, now standard), and a nuova cucina restaurant, Michela's, where Todd English makes tomato agnolotti filled with goat cheese, wild leek, and porcini mushrooms. I have responded to the challenge of having so many talented cooks in such close proximity by putting filled pastas to one of their most important tasks—using up leftovers. Even subjected to such an indignity, ravioli, say, or tortellini are always impressive.

Once you have made pasta that is neither mushy nor rubbery and you have experimented with the ways different shapes and thicknesses combine with different sauces. . . the end of this sentence is not "you'll never accept substitutes." You'll accept substitutes gladly, if you can find good ones. But only after you have succeeded in making fresh pasta will you be able to judge what's available commercially.

I made pasta every night for a few weeks and became proficient. It was an uphill struggle. I got myself into trouble by insisting on learning how to perform each step without the aid of a machine. The hardest thing to learn to do by hand was rolling out the dough. Marcella and Victor Hazan, in Mere klassisk italiensk madlavning, are so persuasive about the superiority of hand-rolled pasta that I was determined to experience for myself the small but crucial variations in thickness, and the enhanced absorption of sauce they promise. Luckily, a master pasta maker agreed to let me watch him. At the end I came to a few conclusions about what should and should not be done by hand.

Sandro Fioriti, a chef from Umbria who has made Sandro's, his delightful restaurant in New York City, famous for its pasta, spent four hours with me one Saturday afternoon and taught me more about making pasta than I thought there was to learn. We mixed pasta by hand, in a processor, and in a mixer with a dough hook kneaded pasta by hand, with dough hook, and in a rolling machine, the kind most people use at home rolled pasta by hand and in a rolling machine and cut pasta by hand and with a rolling machine. We also compared Italian with American flour. Fioriti was unfazed by so much work before a long night in his restaurant. He is a giant of a man with arms the size of a teenager's legs, and a dozen batches of pasta (big ones—most of them contained a dozen eggs) are nothing to him.

The results of the many comparisons we made pointed to the absolute necessity of doing one thing by hand—and to my joy, it wasn't rolling. It was cutting. Fioriti put two dishes of tagliatelle in front of me, one cut by machine and one cut by hand. They had both been rolled by machine. He ladled a bit of tomato sauce over each. The sauce stayed where it was over the hand-cut noodles, which slowly but surely absorbed it when I mixed them. The sauce on the machine-cut noodles immediately slid to the bottom and wanted to stay there even as I tossed the noodles. I felt like I was watching Brand X in a paper-towel commercial.

Fioriti explained. The rolling machine works like a wringer. Pasta dough is rolled between two steel cylinders that can be adjusted so that the sheet becomes progressively thinner. The rollers have some play, in order to accept a thick ball at the beginning (at the machine's widest setting it completes the job of kneading). The rollers do not compress the dough and make its surface slick, as many purists argue. What does do this, Fioriti explained, is using the machine's cutting attachment, because its serrated rollers have no play at all. All of the pasta at Sandro's is rolled by machine and cut by hand, and purists say they like it.

You can buy a rolling machine, then, with a clear conscience, if you promise never to use the cutting attachment. The brand with the best reputation is Imperia Atlas is another good one. Buy the machine that makes the widest sheet, even if it is a bit more expensive (rolling machines cost from $20 to $40), because it is much more convenient. Machines come with a removable crank and a C-clamp to anchor them to a counter. Electric extruding machines don't work the dough long enough, and the pasta they make is often gummy and unpleasant.

At home I was able to reproduce the results that Fioriti had achieved. The pasta cut by hand, whether it was rolled by hand or by machine, absorbed sauce, and the pasta cut by machine repelled it. I couldn't see much difference between the pasta stretched by hand and the pasta stretched by machine. Yes, there were variations in the thickness of the hand-rolled pasta and yes, they were noticeable. But I don't think they were worth the effort of stretching and swearing at the dough. The uneven edges and different widths that result from hand-cutting are artistry enough.

I pass on two pieces of advice for making homemade pasta: the first few times you try, have something else ready for dinner, and don't work in front of strangers. For good recipes turn to Mere klassisk italiensk madlavning, by the Hazans, The Fine Art of Italian Cooking, by Giuliano Bugialli, and The Authentic Pasta Book, by Fred Plotkin—my favorite book on pasta. Plotkin offers very good (and largely authentic) recipes, written for one or two portions, which I find a great convenience, and a running travelogue that could make anyone long for Italy.

There are many variations, of course, to the basic pasta dough. Of the colored pastas, which are beginning to look like paint samples, I condone green, because you can taste the spinach in it. Red is suspect, on the grounds of being trendy, but Plotkin does have an appealing recipe for tomato-and-carrot dough in his book. Anything else is out of the question. Don't be misled when you see beet pasta or squid-ink pasta on a menu. There will be beets or squid ink in the dough, all right, but only for the color. You won't be able to taste them at all, unless they also appear in the sauce (yet both have flavors worth tasting, especially the briny, musky, rich flavor of squid ink).

Handmade noodles come in three basic widths. The widest measures about a quarter of an inch and is called tagliatelle (tagliare means "to cut") in the north and fettucine (from the word for "ribbon" or "band," the kind used for tying cartons) in the south. The next widest measures at most an eighth of an inch and is called tagliarini, tagliolini, or, incorrectly, linguine—the name properly refers only to dried pasta. Narrower cuts are rare because they're not easy to do by hand. The finest of all is called capelli d'angeli or angel's hair. For whatever noodle you choose, allow five or six ounces a portion fresh pasta contains much more liquid than dried and portions weigh more before cooking. The classic sauces for fresh pasta are cream and butter and cheese, or a simple tomato sauce, or any ragu. The idea is to display the noodles, and the usual way is with a rich sauce without sharp flavors or hard textures.

Fresh pasta cooks in anywhere from a few seconds after the water returns to a boil for thin noodles to ninety seconds for very wide ones. Several minutes more will be necessary for fresh pasta that you have allowed to dry by storing it, covered, out of the refrigerator. The noodles should not taste like raw dough and should have only a hint of a bite. Don't expect them to be al dente. The danger is letting them become soggy or having them outright fall apart.

The central question of fresh pasta is, Is it worth it? I ask myself that every time I sit down to another bowl of it, and the answer is that I don't like homemade noodles that much. There is a certain purity to eating fresh pasta, in biting into something uncoated and uncrusted yet distinct. I don't long for this sensation, but you can certainly feel proud of yourself for having achieved it.

For perfectly acceptable dried egg noodles that you can lie about having made fresh, look for the Italian brands Fini or Dallari, or Al Dente, made in Michigan. Avoid egg noodles from large American producers, who are required to put only 5.5 percent egg solids in the dough and who rarely use fresh eggs Italian producers are required to put in 20 percent egg solids and may not use powdered eggs. On the basis of most of the fresh pasta I have bought from pasta shops, I recommend going to them for cheese, anchovies, tomato paste, canned tomatoes, and dried pasta.

The best reason to make pasta at home is that doing so lets you choose your own fillings for ravioli, tortellini, and many other shapes. I'm always proud of myself when I bite into a filled pasta I have made. The tenderness of the pasta against the savory, sometimes chewy filling seems suave and satisfying. Most filled pastas require no sauce at all, just a bit of melted butter and herbs. Plotkin gives helpful instructions on cutting and filling different shapes, an elementary procedure so do Bugialli and Hazan. They also give recipes for fillings, though these are easily improvised.

Unfortunately, there are few commercial filled pastas to brag about. Most of the boxed ones rely on cheddar cheese for their fillings, which is cheaper and easier to use than ricotta or Parmesan. Two Italian companies have been experimenting with more elaborate filled pastas, using cheese and vegetables, because the United States forbids imports of domestic Italian pork. This law has been in effect for nineteen years. The result has been a boon to vegetarians. Fini now exports more spinach-and-ricotta tortelli than any meat-filled pasta, and Bertagni, a firm in Bologna, has (at the instigation of Louis Todaro, one of its American distributors) begun making porcini mushroom, pesto, pumpkin, fish, and gorgonzola fillings in addition to its usual spinach and cheese ones. The Bertagni specialty filled pastas, which are shipped frozen and marketed either frozen or defrosted, are excellent, and are the closest thing to having pastsificio down the street. (The Bertagni dried filled pastas are only so-so.) Fini's filled pastas, which, like Bertagni's, were created in collaboration with the company's American distributor (in Fini's case Giorgio De Luca), are also quite good.

Italians have codified which sauce goes with which pasta, and the code allows for a good deal of exchange. Luigi Veronelli gives a short outline in The Pasta Book, which was recently published here. In the broadest terms, long shapes go with tomato sauce and short shapes go with meat and vegetable sauces. Here are some more-specific and breakable rules for sauces that go with dried pasta without egg. For long thin pastas, such as spaghettini and vermicelli (which are nearly identical) and linguine and trenette (also nearly identical): fish and seafood sauces. For these pastas plus thicker long pasta, such as spaghetti, perciatelli (from the word for "pierced," because it is hollow), and bucatini (thicker than perciatelli, also hollow): cream, butter, and cheese sauces tomato sauces sauces with strong flavors such as hot pepper, garlic, anchovies, or olive paste. For short pastas, such as rotini (spirals), ziti, penne, and rigatoni (big ridged tubes), and hollowed-out pastas, such as lumache (snails), conchiglie (shells), and elbows: meat sauces and vegetable sauces, because the shapes catch meat sauce and enable yo to pick up chunks of vegetable and pasta at the same time. For very short pastas: sauces with dried peas, lentils, chick-peas, or fava or other beans (the combination of pasta and beans is usually found in soup). For flat pastas, such as farfalle and rotelle (wheels): sauces with cream or cheese or delicate vegetable sauces—such as ricotta and spinach, asparagus, and puree of winter squash with nutmeg.

Many of these and similar guidelines make sense. But it appears that the real reason there are so many shapes of dried pasta without egg, especially the hundreds of fanciful ones, is less to enable pasta to go with specific sauces than to provide variety in something that Italians eat once or twice a day. "It's like shoes," Eugenio Medagliani, a manufacturer and retailer, of cookware, explained to me at his store in Milan. Medagliani is an amateur scholar and has assembled a luxurious dictionary of pasta shapes. "There are hundreds of different types, even though you just want to walk comfortably." Despite all the variations, commercial pastas fall into easily identified groups: long and short, flat and round, with and without holes.

It is less easy to codify the hundreds of Italian pasta sauces. Most books on pasta are arranged by type of sauce—for example, the scholar and food-magazine editor Vincenzo Buonassisi's Nuovo Codice della Pasta, which contains more than 1,300 recipes, and Veronelli's book. These books also have chapters on filled pastas and pastas baked with sauce. I was taken with an explanation of the families of pasta sauces which appeared in CIAO, a bimonthly newsletter on Italian food written by Nancy Radke (a year's subscription costs $14 write to 136 Sky-Hi Drive, West Seneca, New York 14224), and I have used it as well as the books as a basis for the list that follows.

Most Italian pasta sauces call for olive oil rather than butter or cream, which is good news for anyone concerned about cholesterol. Recent studies claim that olive oil is more healthful than any other fat. Use a light, medium-priced olive oil for cooking and add a dash of expensive imported olive oil just before serving (two excellent brands are Ardoino and Mancianti).

Ragu is the most famous sauce and the one we think of as spaghetti sauce. A good ragu takes a long time, as readers of Marcella and Victor Hazan's Classic Italian Cooking know—the ragu it offers takes at least three and a half hours to cook, and the Hazans recommend five. Many ragu sauces were once made with large pieces of meat braised until they fell apart, but now almost every ragu sauce uses either meat in small cubes or ground meat. Like stews, ragu calls for cheap cuts, which benefit from long cooking. All kinds of meat and poultry are used, and also unsmoked bacon (pancetta) and sausage. A ragu starts with a sautéed mixture, called a battuto, of onion, carrot, celery, parsley, and sometimes garlic and herbs such as sage and rosemary. The meat is then added and browned very lightly. Wine and sometimes milk are added and slowly evaporated. In most ragu sauces the next ingredient is tomatoes, which are cooked down slowly, but sometimes wine and broth are the only liquids. The sauce can be thickened with tomato paste or grated cheese or both. Sometimes it is enriched with cream. It is served either with fresh pasta, which absorbs it well and thus shows it off, or with short tubes of dried pasta, which trap the sauce in their ridges and holes.

Fish sauces also start with a battuto, sometimes just with garlic and often with hot red pepper flakes. Seafood is then added and heated until it is barely cooked. If the sauce is to be white, white wine is added and evaporated, and after the addition of an appropriate herb, such as basil, oregano, or mint, the sauce is ready. If the sauce is to be red, the seafood is reserved on a covered plate while the tomato is added and cooked down then it is heated briefly with the sauce before being mixed with pasta. Many new recipes start with butter and call for cream at the end, a French influence of which most Italians disapprove, on the grounds that it masks the flavor of the fish. Cheese does not go with fish sauce.

Vegetable sauces are among the richest in variety. The battuto often includes hot red pepper and a large dose of olive oil and, if the recipe is from the south, anchovies. Although tomatoes are often used as the base of the sauce, they are not essential. Often the liquid is broth. For example, try a sauce with a sliced and sautéed onion with hot pepper flakes, and blanched broccoli florets, or blanched slices of zucchini and carrot, or cubes of grilled eggplant and olives (I'm getting into the territory of the Chez Panisse Pasta, Pizza, and Calzone Book, which seems to start every recipe with something grilled). This is another group that has had to withstand the butter-and-cream brigades, whose decisive victory was pasta primavera, a dish of disputed paternity popularized by the New York restaurant Le Cirque. Italians make many dishes with pasta and vegetables but almost never use so many vegetables in one sauce, and they rarely bind the sauces with cream, as the French chef at Le Cirque does. Last year The New York Times published the "definitive" recipe for pasta primavera as it had evolved during ten years of popularity at Le Cirque. Many people spent hours preparing the seven vegetables it called for, and seemed pleased—for weeks I heard reports from people who asked if I had made it yet. I never intend to make it, although I would love to order it in situ. At home I'll stick to one or two vegetables at a time.

Much as I disapprove of adding tomato by rote to every sauce, tomato certainly is useful for filling out sauces and for dressing pasta on its own. It is, after all, the basis of most Italian sauces, even if Italians claim that Americans rely too heavily on it. The standard tomato sauce (pummarola) typically begins with onion and perhaps a bit of garlic softened in olive oil. Carrot added to this mixture will counter the acidity of canned tomatoes celery adds body. If you like, you can add a bit of white wine after the vegetables have softened, and cook until it is evaporated, but this detracts from the fresh flavor of the sauce. Then add tomatoes—with their liquid if you're using canned—and fresh basil if you can find it. Oregano is an herb used only in the south. It is by no means automatically paired with tomatoes, the way parsley or basil is. If you are intent on adding it, add only a pinch. Simmer the sauce for no more than twenty minutes. Puree in a food mill. Many famous sauces start with this sauce and add just a few strong ingredients: puttanesca uses anchovies, olives, and capers Amatriciana uses pancetta and hot pepper.

Italians do put cream in sauces, although many of their white sauces are based on balsamella, or béchamel—the sauce of milk, flour, and butter—and many others use butter and cheese. Some common white sauces are simply melted butter and herbs, and melted butter and cheese, and combinations of soft and hard cheeses. Cream sauces frequently include ham, peas, mushrooms, or sausage.

Aglio-olio, or garlic-oil, sauces usually involve hot pepper and garlic sautéed in oil until it colors lightly but not until it browns (browned garlic would make the sauce bitter). These are not served with cheese if cooked, though they are if uncooked, as in pesto (made with basil and pine nuts and Parmesan cheese) and tocco de noxe, a walnut-and-Parmesan sauce that has lately become fashionable. Aglio-olio sauces are usually served with long strands of pasta that allow excess oil to drip off. Radke counsels against bows and corkscrews and other shapes that can spew oil unexpectedly onto your shirt.

Perhaps the most welcome group is uncooked sauces, which can recall summer at any time of year. The best-known is probably fresh tomatoes and basil and olive oil, perhaps with cubed mozzarella. A good and little-known one is olive oil, lemon juice, parsley or basil, and, if you like, hot red pepper or garlic this sauce is usually served with spaghetti. Olives, anchovies, and capers are the usual condiments for uncooked sauces. A source for elegant and easy sauces that require little or no cooking is Cucina Fresca, by Evan Kleiman and Viana La Place. These two Los Angeles chefs (both women) offer many pasta salads, which are virtually unknown in Italy. (Macaroni salad of the kind that starts with mayonnaise and pimento—"The Middle West is paved with it," reports one man who grew up there—deserves to be unknown everywhere.)

I nominate for consideration in future books an invaluable group—larder sauces that can be assembled with no notice. Aglio-olio belongs at the top of this list, and olive and anchovy sauces next. Many food shops now stock olive paste—finely chopped olives steeped in olive oil. A bit of this makes an excellent pasta sauce. I find that almost any kind of leftovers, with a little doctoring that might involve a sautéed onion or a few herbs or some tomato paste or stock or cheese, can be turned into a pasta sauce—not an authentic one, perhaps, but one I would serve with a trumped-up Italian name and no apologies.

That so many cooks are putting things in and over pasta which no Italian would recognize or go near with a fork should not be cause for scorn or even raised eyebrows. Many Italian chefs, too, are experimenting with pasta, and causing controversy. The difference, of course, is that they have been eating pasta all their lives and that they have long experience with appropriate ways to treat it.

Americans have taken some wrong turns on the road to making pasta the national dish. The most conspicuous error is overcooking, which began so early and has become so customary that it will probably be the last to go. One sign of hope is the decline of canned pasta, which made the softest possible version seem normal. Dried pasta becomes more and more popular every year—sales have risen by an average of four percent during each of the past ten years. Importers such as Todaro and De Luca report increasing sophistication among their customers, who want more and more variety in the shapes and colors of pasta. Perhaps most important, pasta has become popular all over America, not just on the coasts and in cities.

Given enough time, Americans might be responsible for the next classical era of pasta. They have already established serving pasta as a one-dish meal all over the world—even among middle-class Italians, who speak of it no longer as a sign of bad breeding or poverty but as an American-inspired convenience. Per capita consumption of pasta is still only 11.2 pounds a year in the United States, as opposed to sixty in Italy. But the gap could close. Maybe someday the argument over the origin of pasta will turn on the insistence of Americans that pasta as the world knows it was introduced in the United States.


Vegetar

Find vegetarian recipes for every occasion, from easy veggie lunch ideas to dinner party inspiration.

Vegetarian dinner recipes

Fill your dinner plate with veg and enjoy one of these filling meat-free suppers. Tuck into veggie chillis, curries, pasta dishes and more.

Vegetarian lunch recipes

Simple, vibrant veggie lunch recipes that will keep you full until dinner. Tuck into soups, salads, wraps and more delicious veg-packed dishes.

Quick vegetarian recipes

Rustle up a sumptuous veggie meal in half an hour or less. We've got pasta, curries, stir-fries and a whole host of other speedy vegetarian and vegan dishes.

Healthy vegetarian recipes

Need nutritious dinner ideas? Go meat-free with tasty recipes that are good for you, including pasta dishes, healthy salads, warming soups and stews.

Vegetarian chilli recipes

Discover our best ever vegetarian chilli recipes, packed with vegetables and beans for a meat-free take on a favourite. Serve with rice, grains or tacos.

Vegetarian casserole recipes

Turn on the oven and create a meat-free stew or slow-cooked casserole for your next veggie supper.

Vegetarian kids’ recipes

Veggie recipes for all the family.

Vegetarian curry recipes

Make a comforting veggie curry for dinner, like a dhal or dopiaza. Use storecupboard ingredients including lentils and chickpeas, fresh veg such as aubergine and cauliflower, or paneer cheese.

Vegetarian stir-fry recipes

Whip up a meat-free feast in no time with delicious veggie stir-fries packed with wholesome ingredients and vibrant Asian flavours to excite the senses.

Vegetarian salad recipes

Try a vibrant and substantial salad for a side dish or mains. Use seasonal veg in allotment salads, summer sharing platters and comforting winter bowls.

Vegetarian comfort food recipes

Snuggle up with one of our indulgent, warming meat-free dishes, from soup, lasagne and stew, to deluxe one-pots and lots and lots of cheese.

Low-fat vegetarian recipes

Pack in the goodness with these vibrant veggie meals that are low in fat but full of flavour. Feast on hearty chillis, speedy stir-fries, veg-packed soups and more.

Vegetarian pasta recipes

From creamy cacio e pepe and lentil bolognese to veggie lasagne, our plant-based pasta dishes are sure to satisfy vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

Vegetarian burger recipes

Ditch the meat and try one of our veggie burger recipes at your next barbecue, or for a filling midweek meal. They're packed with protein, fibre and flavour.


Vatican City — Food and Restaurants

Visitors to Vatican City typically leave before sunset, so nightlife here is virtually non-existent. Yet visually stunning night events aimed primarily at worshippers often occur on special holidays such as Easter and Christmas. Eating options are limited to a handful of on-site eateries at the museums, with many diners hitting the adjacent Rome neighborhood of Vaticano for meals before or after a visit to the Vatican. Food at the Vatican, as with food at any major tourist location, can be substandard and inflated in price, with Italian fare such as pizza and pasta dominating the menus.

Bars and Pubbing in Vatican City

There is a single bar in the Vatican Museums which closes at 4:00 p.m., in conjunction with the museums’ closing time. Otherwise, drinkers need to head to the nearby Vaticano neighborhood, a few blocks from the Vatican. This Rome district has a tourist-orientated selection of bars to choose between, with other, farther afield Rome districts such as Testaccio and San Lorenzo offering the best of the Italian capital’s bars and pubs.

Dining and Cuisine in Vatican City

Food in Vatican City is largely Italian fare, consisting of various pasta, polenta, and risotto dishes. Visitors can start their meal with an antipasto, or appetizer, followed by a small first course (primo) and a second main course (secondo). These courses are often followed by cheese, fruit, or a sweet dessert like tiramisu (a cocoa, mascarpone, and coffee layered dessert), as well as coffee and liquor. Lunch is typically the only meal that visitors to the Vatican enjoy on site, as breakfast and dinner is usually eaten in Rome. Lunch venues are at their busiest here from midday to 2:00 p.m.

Dining within the Vatican Museums is possible at the café-style eatery or the pizzeria, which specializes in pizza. These venues, which are only open during museum hours, are the only two eateries serving the museums. Other nearby options include the upscale Hoi Restaurant Rome (Via Tunisi 1/B (at the corner with Via Sebastiano Veniero, 62) 00100 Rome), which serves a wide menu of seafood, Italian, and Japanese fare. Its location in front of the Vatican Museums means it’s popular, and has prices to match its popularity and location. Old Bridge (Vatican City wall between San Pietro and the Vatican Museum) is a much cheaper option. PratiSiciliainbocca (Via E. Faa di Bruno 26, Rome) is a reasonably priced Sicilian restaurant in Rome’s tranquil Prati district, not far from Vatican City. Insalata Ricca (Via Fulcieri Paulucci de’ Calboli, Rome) near Piazza Manzoni is an Italian chain restaurant that offers standard fare at affordable prices.


Mid-Priced Italian Fare - Recipes

Hello everyone! I haven't posted in a very long time but this past year has been SO busy. I've had some readers ask me if I'm okay and the answer is definitely Ja! We moved to Arizona from Michigan and between getting our house ready to list, Covid, quarantine and actually selling, packing and moving I was pretty much preoccupied! But we finally made it out here and hopefully life can start getting back to normal.

There's still lots to do because we bought a new house and still have to move into it. I need to do a total kitchen renovation on this new house and hope to post about the process. If you want to watch the renovation process, follow me on Instagram - I will be microblogging over there mostly instead of here.

I am hoping to give cooking classes out here in Arizona like I did in Michigan - so if you are in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area, please shoot me your email to be on the mailing list for classes next year. I usually give a pizza making class and a pasta making class.

I know everyone did a lot of cooking during quarantine and maybe developed some new awesome kitchen skills (did you contribute to the national yeast shortage?) Maybe you are keeping those skills up and that's a great thing.

Hope you are making it through this challenging time and we can come out on the other side with nogle normalcy!


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