• Mimi says:

    I’m half Italian but I’m not strict about pasta and sauce. But I thoroughly enjoyed the read!

    • Phyllis says:

      Aah…but your nonchalance is probably due to not living in Italy where one islikely to be severely reprimanded! As I said in the post…some shapes are far better suited than others…just think of all those lovely openings in tubes…just ready to accept some kind of ragu or other chunky sauce! Glad you enjoyed the read!!! Pasta makes my hum!

  • Chris Brown says:

    You’re spot on Phyllis! Seeing sauce put on top of naked pasta gives me the creeps and is so 60’s and 70’s. Who would even think these days -when doing a photoshoot- that a look like that would be acceptable? Of course in Japan there is the whole subculture of retro americanized italian food where this is totally normal and has been for decades.

    There’s a whole article/blog post waiting to be done on tv shows and movies that have the worst food combos or wine or whisky props that are absolutely wrong or hopelessly outdated. You know they didn’t hire a real food/wine person to do the props or styling.

    That other recipe stopped me in my tracks when I saw the dried basil – for myself nothing! is way better than using dried. Your thoughts?

    Now, while we are on the topic of pasta …I was at Autostrada for dinner with friends the other evening (my first time). I really liked the place, the concept and the cutting edge style, especially for a neighbourhood resto.
    One thing that came to mind (and it isn’t just there, La Quercia is another example) is that any place that does very correct, super italian, very al dente, minimally sauced pastas…..they are meant to be eaten the moment they are plated as the natural starches in the pasta soak up the tiny amount of moisture in the sauces and render the dish very often quite stiff. If you are chatting and don’t get to it right away it really lessens the enjoyment of a well made pasta….so it struck me that there should be no problem or weirdness in asking your server for a small dish or tiny pouring vessel of hot pasta water to pour over your pasta and stir it around a bit to reconstitute if necessary.
    I know from having chef’ed in an Italian restaurant that it’s exactly what we do when the pasta is waiting to be plated….and it seizes-up so to speak. A splash of the pasta water gets it back on track.
    I haven’t done this yet but I’ve started to obsess about this becoming a thing in places that serve good pasta. Am I nuts? Or is it already a thing? Especially when your little plate of pasta with minimal ingredients and not very large portion size is usually around $20+.

  • Hi! Been thinking of you…and about finding really good candied orange peel because I just don’t feel like making some! And how the heck are you? So used to seeing you at the market! When I saw the dried basil in that recipe I almost fell over…however, they did use fresh parsley…probably not the right kind (am I being snobby?)
    Actually, when I think about it, having pasta cooking water brought to the table is not that crazy…although it would need to be kept hot I would think. It’s either that or over thin it in the kitchen so that by the time it gets to the table it may be the right consistency? Not having worked in Italian kitchens I’m not sure how that would work? And being the pasta-a-holic I am, I also get kind of obsessed when I see things that are so wrong.
    Wondering if you are in town and would like to meet for coffee or something? And fantastic to hear from you. Hope things are going well!

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