Different Types of Pasta and Its Uses

23

April, 2018

Pasta with panache: Pasta pickings and saucy partners

 

Buongiorno! One of the easiest items to cook and almost everyone’s favourite comfort food is pasta. Pastas come in a variety of shapes and textures this is because each region in Italy would boast a pasta type and dish that they’re proud to call their own. And while we go through great lengths to not overcook our pasta, we want to make sure the right sauces don’t go past-a our attention. Just like how wine pairing is essential to accentuate food flavours, matching the right pasta with the right sauce could make an ordinary dish, extraordinary. Here are a few pastas, apart from the popular spaghetti, that are worth experimenting with for your next dinner or gathering plans.  

 


Tagliatelle

The tagliatelle (tag-liah-TELL-eh) is a traditional egg-and-flour pasta. Ancient Italian urban myth has it that its chef inventor, Maestro Zafirano, who made it for a high society wedding in the 15th century was inspired by the bride’s golden blonde hair. After all, this long pasta is wider than the fettucine but more narrow compared to the pappardelle.

Sauce pairing tip:

The common pasta pairing principle goes like this – the wider the pasta, the thicker and heavier the sauce it needs to cover the larger surface. Tagliatelle goes well with rich, creamy, and meaty types of sauces. Try the classic carbonara. It also serves well with a garlicky tomato sauce or meatballs with cherry tomatoes sauce.

 

 

 

   

Squid Ink Spaghetti

How about squeezing some dark excitement into your pasta repertoire? Long found as an ingredient in countries situated along the Mediterranean for centuries, this squid ink infused pasta al nero (black pasta) teems with glutamate, infusing it with an umami taste!

Sauce pairing tip:

Longer, thinner pastas go well with a thinner sauce. Squid ink spaghetti pairs well with seafood (like shrimp mussels) cooked with light oil-based sauces that aren’t too salty. Try it with shrimps in a white truffle oil sauce or add some zing to your seafood with some chilli, tomato, and garlic in olive oil.

Farfalle

Commonly known as the bow-tie pasta, the farfalle (far-FALL-lay) pasta is one of the most ancient forms of pasta. The word means “butterfly” in Italian, and its feminine connotation was invented by women in the Emilio-Romagna region who wanted to use up extra pasta dough leftovers.

Sauce pairing tip:

Smooth pastas of the shorter variety go well with smooth cream pairings. But if the short pasta has ridges like the farfalle that traps sauces in their crevices, go for meatier, heavier sauces with vegetables or meat, like the beef and bow tie pasta.

Tortellini

Closely resembling a sensually-shaped navel, legend has it that a curious chef created the tortellini after taking a glimpse of Venus’ navel through a peephole during her stay at an inn. Just like its popular cousin “ravioli”, the tortellini requires skills to produce and is usually filled with meat or cheese.  

Sauce pairing tip:

For stuffed pasta, delicate, simple sauces or broths will do. Give your tortellini dish some garlic basic sauce or try a simple chicken broth.

Gluten-free Fusilli

We couldn’t resist talking about gluten-free pasta. Although healthier, their different texture sans gluten would need extra caution. Because they’re more sensitive and clingier than a needy ex, you’ll need to give them more space and water to boil in. Here are some tips on how to delicately handle gluten-free pasta.

Sauce pairing tip:

Gluten-free fusilli also needs a more generous amount of saucy love as it tends to absorb more liquids. Its spiral shape would match perfectly with smoother sauces, like pesto, that cling to the rivets in the pasta.

With a little exploration of these pastas and their pairings, we are confident you’ll be ready for your next pasta party. If you’d like to find out more, come to our Italian Fair for all things delizioso – happening from 19th to 29th April at all BIG outlets! More info at our event page http://bit.ly/BIGItalianJourney

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Cooking Up A Storm with Gourmet Italian Products

18

April , 2018

Cooking Up A Storm With Gourmet Italian Products

The word ‘gourmet’ may be intimidating to the average household cook, but it simply speaks to a higher standard of taste and excitement in the food we enjoy. In layman’s terms, a ‘gourmet’ is simply a foodie! Most of us pride ourselves on knowing and recommending the best food spots that lie off the beaten path yet serve ‘must-try’ meals.

Home cooking seems to have become increasingly popular as well, no doubt thanks to television programs hosted by celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay, intriguing food shows on Netflix such as Chef’s Table and Inside The Mind of a Chef, as well as countless recipe channels on Youtube. As it’s Italian Gourmet Week at B.I.G. we say the time is ‘il perfetto’ to put your chef’s hat on and cook with the best products Italy has to offer. Here are three recipes to get you started:

Tagliatelle With Black Truffle Cream Sauce (Recipe from saveur.com)

[https://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/tagliatelle-with-black-truffle-cream-sauce]

This dish is so scrumptious that it’s difficult to taglia-tell you about it; you’ll just have to try it for yourself! The word ‘tagliatelle’ means ‘to cut’, which reflects this type of pasta’s long, ribbon-like shape. If you’d like to make the pasta from scratch, let the always-entertaining Chef Gennaro Contaldo of JamieOliver.com show you how to do it right. Alternatively, you can pick up a bag along with all the gourmet products in this list at B.I.G.!

SERVES 6
INGREDIENTS:
1 (1-oz.) black truffle
3 cups heavy cream
8 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 oz. chanterelle mushrooms, halved
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dry white wine
1 tsp. minced thyme
1 lb. dried tagliatelle
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1⁄3 cup grated parmesan
1⁄4 tsp. dried lavender
3 oz. watercress, trimmed
Grated Pecorino Romano, for garnish

 

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Mince one-third of the truffle and stir into cream. Cover and chill for 6 hours.
2. Melt butter in a 12 inch skillet over medium-high. Cook mushrooms and garlic until golden, 6-8 minutes. Add wine and thyme; cook 8 minutes.
3. Add reserved truffle cream; simmer until thickened, 10-12 minutes.
4. Cook tagliatelle in salted boiling water until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain pasta; add to skillet.
5. Add parmesan, lavender, salt, and pepper; toss to coat. Garnish with watercress and Pecorino Romano; shave remaining truffle over the top.

Ultimate Caprese Salad (Recipe from bonappetit.com)

[https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/ultimate-caprese-salad]

Also known as Insalata Caprese (which simply means ‘the salad from Capri’), slice your way to an exuberant yet simple salad dish consisting of tomatoes, fresh buffalo mozzarella, and fresh herbs flecked with tangy balsamic dressing. It doesn’t take very long to prepare, so whip it up and enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:
1 pint mixed cherry tomatoes, preferably heirloom, halved
7 tablespoons (or more) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Flaky sea salt
2 pounds mixed medium and large tomatoes, preferably heirloom, cut into thin slices and/or wedges
8 ounces buffalo mozzarella or mozzarella, room temperature, torn into pieces
Coarsely ground black pepper
Small basil leaves and toasted country bread (for serving)

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Toss cherry tomatoes with 1 Tbsp. oil in a small bowl; season with salt.
2. Arrange tomato slices on a platter, slightly overlapping; season generously with salt.
3. Arrange mozzarella over tomatoes; lightly season mozzarella with salt.
4. Spoon cherry tomatoes over salad and drizzle with 6 Tbsp. oil; season with pepper.
5. Let stand 30 minutes to let flavors meld and release juices from tomatoes and mozzarella.

Creamy Vegan Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Gnocchi (Recipe from thissavoryvegan.com)

[https://www.thissavoryvegan.com/creamy-vegan-sun-dried-tomato-pesto-gnocchi/]

Try vegan delight packs a punch with bold flavours and the creamy deliciousness of gnocchi and cream. For those who are gnoc-too familiar with gnocchi, it is a dumpling-like pasta made with flour, potato, eggs, and cheese – try it once and we guarantee you’ll be back for more. Pair this dish with your favourite Italian wine to have a Ve-nice time!


SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS:
2 tbsp sun-dried tomato pesto (see ingredient list below)
1 package gnocchi (16 oz)
1 tsp corn starch
3/4 cup + 2 tsp plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk separated
1 tbsp vegan butter
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic diced
salt & pepper to taste
fresh basil, vegan parmesan for topping (optional)

For the Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto:

2 cups fresh basil
8.5 oz jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
3 cloves garlic
1/2 lemon juiced
salt & pepper to taste
red pepper flakes (optional) to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Prepare Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto by combining all ingredients in a food processor and blending on high, scraping down the sides as needed. Adjust seasoning according to taste.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook gnocchi according to package instructions, and once cooked, drain and set aside.
3. While water is coming to a boil, place a pan on the stove over medium heat. Add butter, olive oil and garlic to the pan. Saute until butter is melted and garlic is fragrant.
4. Combine corn starch and 2 tsp. of milk in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
5. Add remaining almond milk, corn starch mixture and pesto to the pan. Stir until sauce begins to thicken. Turn heat off.
6. Add cooked gnocchi, salt and pepper to the pan and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
6. Serve with fresh basil and vegan parmesan on top.

We hope you have as much fun making these recipes as we did! Remember to drop by B.I.G. during our Italian Fair from 19th April to 29th April to stock up on everything you need for the recipes above. Check out the cooking demonstrations to learn more about Italian cooking http://bit.ly/BIGLatest. Be bold and mix things up by modifying the ingredients to suit your personal taste. As Julia Child says, cooking well doesn’t mean cooking fancy. Buon Appetito!

 

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