Pasta: Sauces and Shapes

I haven’t really talked about it over here on this portion of my writing sites. I have been working my way through NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this month. Basically, this means the amount of fiction I write in a normal month is now on steroids. The month of November is devoted to writing a minimum of 50,000 words of fiction.

This has eaten up some of my time that I would be devoting to much of the other writing and work I normally do, but not by much.

I made the mistake of stopping at one of the libraries I normally frequent recently. Wouldn’t you know know, I found a new book to love in the process. The book is “Sauces and shapes: Pasta the Italian Way.”

20131118-184459.jpg Amazon Link

We have talked in the past about pasta. I even offered my version with a video at one point. If you haven’t noticed by now, pasta is one of my favorite things to make.

I tend to be a bit selective with the recipes for pasta and sauces I bring into my house. Maybe I am an elitist when it comes to pasta. But I want to say right now this book is worth the price. I will be adding it to my collection as a reference source soon.

Because of my limited time right now, I haven’t had the time I would like to fully dig through this monster. At this point I have been thumbing through. But I do have a couple highlights I want to share so far, a couple things that I will be exploring over the next few weeks or so. I may even have a few new videos come out from what I find.

Pasta Grattata: This one is intriguing. Instead of rolling out the pasta with a rolling pin or pasta roller, you use a grater to grate small chunks of pasta that you might use in soup.

Ferretto: A thin dowel or knitting needle used to make fusilli pasta. Before I saw this I thought that the only way of making small tube pasta was with an extruder. By this logic that would mean that tube pasta is a fairly recent invention. But you know, people are creative. Much of the conveniences we have for cooking were developed from crude tools that were labor intensive. With this tool the pasta maker is able to make tube pasta by rolling it out and around the tool.

Pasta acqua e farina: The only way I have ever been shown for making pasta is the egg pasta method. Traditionally this makes sense. Eggs were readily available in most households and were fairly cheap, even today flour and eggs are still fairly cheap. But there used to be a time when the eggs were another source of income for a family. This pasta is made with just flour and water. Though it might not be as decadent as the egg pasta we are accustomed to it does have the benefit that it is vegan friendly.

As I dig through this book I will explore these and more. Be ready there should be some interesting dishes coming soon.

Time for a pint…

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