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A guide to Italian pasta: an introduction

August 11, 2011


As you probably already know, pasta is an essential part of almost every authentic Italian meal. From farfalle to fettuccine, every shape has a distinctive texture and flavor that brings life to your plate and joy to your palate. You don’t need to be a culinary expert to make a good pasta meal, (even I can do it!) but it’s important to know the basics in order to create the perfect balance of pasta, sauce, and fresh ingredients. After all, the Italians have been perfecting that particular art for years!

It all started in China (ever heard of noodles) originating as far back as 2000 BC. In fact, pasta wasn’t even introduced to Italy until the Arab conquest of Sicily in the 7th century.

Under Italian law, dry pasta (pasta asciutta) can only be made from durum wheat flour or durum wheat semolina. Durum flour and durum semolina have a yellow tinge in color. Italian pasta is traditionally cooked al dente (Italian: “firm to the bite”, meaning not too soft).

Today, as you know, exist thousands of recipes for pasta, all of her shapes and  sizes. My personal favorite is Tagliatelle ai quattro fromaggi. How about yours?

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