Clearing up a dirty rumor about Pasta.

I’m a little miffed. Weird, right? Me? Miffed? BAH. There are a few blogs that I like quite a bit and look at on a regular basis (who will remain unnamed). I see Italian recipes all the time. Unfortunately, the mass majority of the ones that actually don’t exist (traditionally) in Italy involve what Italy is most famous for: Pasta. Things like Fettuccini Alfredo, Rice and Sausage filled Peperoni (Bell Peppers), Pizza with more than two toppings and any cheese other than Mozzarella… just to name a few. More on these later, but for now, I’m going to pass along an Italian secret not many Americans (or any other nationality for that matter) know about.

Pasta doesn’t require sauce.

I KNOW! Blasphemy, right?! Tomato Sauce, Pesto, 4 Formaggi, Squid Ink… you name it… they’re all good. But in Italy, a very typical way to eat pasta is just by itself with a little Olive Oil, Garlic Paste, Peperoncino (chili powder), and nothing else. In fact, that is my husband’s favorite way to enjoy pasta. Tonight, I used Spaghetti al Tartufo (Spaghetti made with pieces of Truffle inside). No Chili Powder, but instead topped with a little Grana (Grana Padano). Nothing special. But DAMN were they good. And light! The calories in a plate of pasta with oil and Grana are equal to a half a peanutbutter and jelly sammich. No joke.

Here is what you’ll need:

Any kind of strip Pasta like Spaghetti, Linguine, Pizzoccheri, or Fettuccine.
Water (at least 2 liters)
Salt
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano, or Grana Padano
Garlic Paste or smooshed fresh Garlic
Black Pepper
Olive Oil

Add at LEAST a tablespoon of Salt to the water and get it boiling. A trick to excellent pasta is not using salt after they’re cooked. It will make your pasta gummy. Salt your water enough, and you won’t need to add it later!

Dump in your pasta. With Spaghetti, you’ll give it 4 minutes. Bigger pasta like Fettuccine need 6.

Test a piece of pasta on a cold plate. Cut it with a fork. If it sticks to the fork, it needs another minute. If it mushes, you’ve gone too far. You want the fork to just pop it in two. None if this hucking it at the ceiling to see if it sticks! Thats witchcraft and tomfoolery!

Strain your pasta and return it to the pot.

If you make pasta for just two people, add about three tablespoons of oil, and a half a teaspoon of garlic mush. Toss the pasta around with a fork until you don’t see any more garlic.

Serve in a bowl or on a plate and top with some graded Grana or Parmigiano.

ENJOY the SIMPLICITY!

Love Peace and Bacon Grease, friends! Visualize whirled peas!

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