Pasta is loved by most. There are so many different types of pasta, a staple dish of Italian cuisine. The extensive variety of shapes, sizes, colors and ingredients can be seen as you peruse the aisles of your favorite market.
So many new and interesting varieties (squid ink, for example) are readily available and restaurants can turn a ho-hum dish into something elegant and unique.
The traditional ingredients are flour, durum wheat flour, semolina, egg, and salt. The gluten free generation can enjoy as well with pasta made from rice flour and quinoa. The possibilities are endless. It goes back to the fact that people LOVE PASTA!
Pasta shapes include all forms of spaghetti, ribbon cuts, short cuts, decorative cuts, minute pastas, stuffed pastas, irregular shaped pastas… and the list goes on. Italian pasta names often end with the masculine plural suffixes -ini, -elli, -illi, -etti or the feminine plurals -ine, -elle etc., all conveying the sense of “little”; or with -oni, -one, meaning “large”. Many other suffixes like -otti (“largish”) and -acci (“rough”, “badly made”) are used too.
Each pasta works well with a specific type of sauce. For example, a thick ragu is typically used with a dense pasta and a light pesto or oil and garlic wash is used with angel hair. Most popular sauces are marinara, meat, alfredo, pesto, vodka (pink cream with a hint of alcohol that is cooked off), clam, primavera, cheese and almost any sauce that is full of garlic.
Do you have a favorite pasta and sauce combination? Be adventurous and try cooking with some new varieties that you haven’t used before. Bow ties (farfalle) work well with both heavy cream based sauces and light oil based sauces. Wagon wheels (rotelle) are fun and need a thicker sauce since the shape doesn’t hold onto one easily. If you love spaghetti, try the quinoa variety. The health benefits are amazing! Penne can be found in many varieties too!
Pasta is served for lunch and dinner and hot or cold. Stop in Parisi’s Deli and see what pasta and sauces we have today. You’ll be happy that you did!