As a true Neapolitan, I have to explain THE dish of the Italian kitchen: pasta. To start off, a summary of the things you absolutely need, to make a beautiful plate of “pastasciutta”.
The water has to be decalcified, and you will need 1 liter of water for 100 grams of pasta. Use a deep large pan. When the pasta is ready, do not throw all of the water away, save half a cup, so you can use this for the sauce.
For the best result you have to use sea salt, 10/12 grams per liter water. Add the salt when the water begins to boil.
The pasta should be a gold yellow color without any white cracks. You will need approximately 100 grams per person. Do not add the pasta to the water until it boils completely. Stir the pasta carefully and regularly and taste the pasta when you get close to the end of the cooking. Leave the lid on the pan during the cooking.
The cooking time of the pasta depends on how much you are preparing. Stick to the cooking time the pasta brand recommends, and taste the pasta when you get close to the end of the cooking time, this way you will know exactly when it is ready.
Choosing the right pasta depends on the pasta sauce:
Thick and rich sauces (for example ragout) go well together with short, coarse pasta. Light sauces (for example with fresh tomatoes) go well together with spaghetti and small pastas like ‘farfalle’(butterfly). Pasta has to be served hot and reeky! And.. pasta is a dish that you eat when it is served, so start right away and put your manners aside for a traditional Italian dish.
By: Salvatore Cascone