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All About Pasta

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201 replies to this topic

#181 hathor

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Posted 02 December 2007 - 01:34 PM

One day at Ital.Cook in Jesi, Lidia Bastianich came in to observe the school, and she got into a 'discussion' with our chef from Emilia Romagna....they eventually agreed to disagree. Ms. Bastianich was pro par-boiling and the ER chef said it was not needed.

If the fresh pasta sheets are very thin, then parboiling makes a delicate layer of pasta very troublesome. In my humble opinon.
But, I do like the idea of trying it both ways and seeing what you think and what you like better.

#182 chezcherie

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Posted 02 December 2007 - 01:58 PM

this may be my "princess and the pea" issue, but i think a quick parboil changes the taste as well as the texture. from raw flour to cooked flour, i guess...even though the heat of the sauce cooks the pasta enough to make it palatable, i "think" i taste a difference, and so, i do.
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#183 pedie

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 09:48 AM

Thanks all, for the comments. I am going to try the par-boil. I often use Lidia's books as a reference and saw that she belongs to the "par-boil" school of thought!

Now does anyone have any favorite ingredient suggestions? My mouth fondly remembers a lasagna prepared in Italy by some cousins...layered with slices of prosciutto ham, peas, sliced hard-boiled eggs, some tomato pieces (not sauce) and bechamel, grated cheese. Simple and divine. Having grown up on the heavy Italian-American Lasagna, my mouth didn't know what to make of this light, silky dish.
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#184 hathor

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 01:41 PM

American lasagna and Italian lasagna are two entirely different families...related, cousins perhaps, but there are certainly different mamas in the kitchen!

#185 divina

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Posted 04 December 2007 - 12:27 AM

the first lasagna I ever learned was from my Italian American friend Rocco's mamma. ( no not the TV Rocco) but the did have the local Italian restaurant.

There is no one recipe for anything.
but hers had layers of ricotta.

I was in Naples one summer, and ordered lasagna.. it was layered with sliced ham, hard boiled eggs!!!
not light summer fare!

Farther south you go the more these meals get heavier!

Look at the Timballo in Big night!

So yours was an ITALIAN lasagna!
My Italian girlfriend from Naples, breaks raw eggs , beats them lightly and then pours them on top of the uncooked lasagna, it enriches the dish and she says, holds it together better when cutting!

#186 salutistagolosa

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 10:20 AM

There is no one recipe for anything.

couldn't agree more: the idea is, make a sauce as you would for a pasta, only keep it with more moisture, and then use it alternating it to your pasta layers, adding either parmesan, or mozzarella, or bechamel (or combinations of the above). One of my favourites is with artichokes (no tomato). Juast have fun. And, unless your sheets are ultrathin, I would too recommend htat you boil your pasta first.

#187 Culatello

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 09:05 PM

I disagree , I stick to pre cooking the pasta , I personaly never did it but have tried the fresh and dried pasta non pre cooked lasanga and find it pasty & raw .

the reason we pre cook it is to remove some of the starch and to give it the Prima cotura .to start the cooking process

but i speek IMHO only.

do what pleases you
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#188 DTBarton

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Posted 31 December 2007 - 08:53 AM

I always pre cook the lasagna noodles a bit. I find if I don't, it messes up the moisture content, and texture, of the finished product, i.e. the noodles absorb almost all the moisture in the dish.

I like to make a lasagna with bechamel flavored with wild mushrooms, a little diced sauteed pancetta, and a layer of cheese similar to a cheese ravioli filling, fresh ricotta, mixed with egg, parmesan, romano, black pepper and a little chopped parsley.

#189 StevenC

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 02:28 PM

Anytime I've eaten flat pasta like tagliatelle in Emilia-Romagna, I've noticed--and enjoyed--that they manage to cook it very al dente. The preparation seems to be almost ubiquitous in Emilia-Romagna, and even in some overseas restaurants specializing in authentic cucina emiliana. (There is/was a place on Park Ave South in New York called Via Emilia that served pasta with the same texture.) But you don't often see the same texture with egg pasta in other regions of northern Italy. For example, you don't find it at all with pappardelle in nearby Tuscany, where the noodles, though tasty, are much softer to the bite.

How do they do it? Do they use durum flour instead of the usual doppio-zero? Do they knead the dough for a much longer time? Do they always allow the pasta to dry before boiling? Do they shorten the boiling time?

#190 Kevin72

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 02:42 PM

E-Rians pride themselves on hand-kneading and rolling their dough and getting it so thin you can read a newspaper through it. So I'd imagine there's a much longer kneading time and level of care that goes into the product, and pasta rolled and cut by hand has a great deal more texture even than homemade pasta put through a roller.

It may be that way elsewhere, but it really seems to be an art form in Emilia-Romagna. But they do use OO flour and eggs.

#191 hathor

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 04:30 PM

Ciao Steven (and Kevin!)

Typically you only find the hard durum wheat in the south and on the islands.
Shorter boil time would affect texture.
Maybe it's a special ER chicken that lays those eggs! :laugh: :laugh:

#192 Adam Balic

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 09:51 PM

Is this the same sort of al dente texture you get from dried durum pasta or that sort of bouncy, almost gelled texture you get in well made, high egg content fresh pasta? Al dente texture is not normally associated with this type of fresh pasta.

I'm pretty sure you couldn't get an "al dente"' texture from a fresh flat pasta made from soft wheat flour and eggs alone, so I wonder if the egg content and skill of the pasta maker is the key?

#193 StevenC

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 02:41 PM

Is this the same sort of al dente texture you get from dried durum pasta or that sort of bouncy, almost gelled texture you get in well made, high egg content fresh pasta? Al dente texture is not normally associated with this type of fresh pasta.

I'm pretty sure you couldn't get an "al dente"' texture from a fresh flat pasta made from soft wheat flour and eggs alone, so I wonder if the egg content and skill of the pasta maker is the key?

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The texture is difficult to describe. It's not the same texture as dried durum pasta cooked al dente, but it does offer much more resistance to the bite than, say, floppy pappardelle in meat sauce. I've only really found it in Emilia-Romagna. Maybe the effect is the sum of several little differences--more extensive kneading to develop the gluten, less time in boiling water, less time in a saute pan with the sauce.

#194 Dan Ryan

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 01:35 PM

Hey Steve,

I presume you've tried the obvious steps of 50% durum flour, rolling a bit thicker (5 on the imperia, rather than 6) and using a massive pot of boiling water for maximum control?

I always like the 50-50 approach myself, particularly for the flat stuff. Would that be any nearer the texture you're describing?

#195 Maureen B. Fant

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 03:23 PM

Is this the same sort of al dente texture you get from dried durum pasta or that sort of bouncy, almost gelled texture you get in well made, high egg content fresh pasta? Al dente texture is not normally associated with this type of fresh pasta.

I'm pretty sure you couldn't get an "al dente"' texture from a fresh flat pasta made from soft wheat flour and eggs alone, so I wonder if the egg content and skill of the pasta maker is the key?

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Right. Al dente is not really relevant to Emilian egg pasta, which is quite tender. It is made with soft wheat flour (tipo 0, I am told on good authority, is actually preferable to the more common tipo 00) in the proportion of 1 medium egg to 100 grams of flour, and no water if you get the flour and eggs in perfect balance. It has to be rolled out with a wooden rolling pin on a wooden board, which give it a grainy texture. The steel rollers of a machine are too smooth for a perfect result. Roman fettuccine are chewier, and some people like their rusticity, but nobody has ever suggested they were a superior product. Hard wheat is used in the industrially made tagliatelle, but not the handmade Emilian ones. As far as I know.
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#196 Adam Balic

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 12:27 AM

"tipo 00" is almost meaningless in this context as it is a measure of refinement, rather then protein or gluten content. Protein content for different 00 flour can vary by as much as 5-6%.

#197 divina

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 03:36 AM

how about something simple like short cooking time!

#198 Kent Wang

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 06:51 AM

What is the difference between egg and eggless pasta?

I recently bought some dried egg pasta by De Cecco and thought that the texture was a bit more crisp, but not as chewy as I usually expect from al dente eggless pasta.

#199 mgaretz

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 08:34 AM

I'm not a pasta expert or connoisseur by any stretch of the imagination, but since getting my pasta attachments for the Kitchenaid a few months ago, I have tried a lot of combinations.

What we've settled on is a 50/50 mix of unbleached white flour and whole wheat durum. 50 grams of each and one extra large egg (and a pinch of sea salt). So far I haven't needed to add any water or flour. The whole wheat durum is a relatively fine grind (but not as fine as normal flour) and this gives the pasta just the right amount of surface texture even with the metal rollers.

I add the flours and the salt to the bowl of the stand mixer and run for a minute with the normal blade to mix. Then I add the eggs and mix on low until all the flour at the bottom of the bowl is mixed in and the motor starts to work a bit harder. I knead by hand just for 30 seconds or so, make a ball and roll it into a log. Then I cut the log into equal sections (3 sections per egg) before processing through the rollers.

I get the durum at the Indian grocers. It's Golden Temple brand in the beige bag with orange side stripes. Be sure to get the right bag - they have many different kinds, most of which are blends of normal flour and durum. This is called Whole Wheat Durum Atta Flour. Sells for $4-5 for 5.5 lbs. Golden Temple is a Pillsbury brand and the flour is from Canada.

#200 Kevin72

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 02:43 PM

Way late to this but . . . .

Eggless pasta, made with durum or semolina, is more common in the southern part of Italy, whereas egg pasta with 00 (soft wheat) flour is more prevalent in the north. Per Mario Batali and I'm sure many others, you want egg pasta with butter and cream based sauces, and durum (dried) pasta with oil based sauces.

There's a lusciousness or a "bite" to egg pasta that I think you lose if you get it dried, so it's better to go the fresh route. Which means making egg pasta yourself, since ironically the "soft" fresh pastas typtically available are made with semolina.

#201 Okanagancook

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 02:05 PM

Made squid ink pasta for the first time. Very interesting aroma. I wanted to make a sheet of plain pasta rolled with a sheet of squid ink pasta but couldn't find anything on google describing when to roll the two sheets together. So I rolled out one sheet of each until the second to last setting on the pasta roller. I did not use any flour in between rolling so the two sheets would stick together. I had to be careful to keep the sheets roughly the same size and not too wide otherwise the final sheet would be too wide for the machine. Then I placed one sheet on top of the other and rolled them together lightly with a rolling pin. Then I put them through the pasta machine twice on each of the last two settings. They stuck together nicely. I recently purchased a pasta tree (Marcato) from Creativecookware.com. Fantastic thing. There is a plastic piece that you place under the pasta roller to catch the pasta strands. Then the piece fits over the tree making it easy to hang the complete pasta. Here are some pictures.
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#202 Okanagancook

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 05:14 PM

Update, must have rolled the pasta too thin because they are spontaneously breaking where they hang over the pasta tree bars. Dang it. Raining pasta.





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