Italian Cooking is not only pasta and sauce, it is also a way of preparing a meal. Unlike French cooking, Italian cooking is very different in that it is not very precise; ingredients are not cut evenly or delicately and they are not lightly sauteed. Italian cuisine is robust and hardy. There are no real set recipes; anything that is available at that time is used. Ingredients are chopped roughly and usually sauteed until they are caramelized.
When I think of Italian food, like most Americans, I immediately picture pasta with a sauce. But this is just a small sample of the tremendous variety of Italian cuisine including regional side dishes and desserts as well as hundreds of different main course meals. Many of my recipes, however, are pasta because I enjoy it so much. Pasta can be purchased dried or it can be made at home. Unfortunately, even though homemade pasta is far superior in taste than the dried store version, it does require some special equipment.
Whether fresh or dry, pasta is cooked in boiling water for a few minutes. Directions may say, ‘ready in 8 – 10 minutes’ in which case boil it for no more than 8 minutes, the minimum amount of time because it will keep cooking after you drain the water from it.
Once pasta is cooked, drain it by pouring water and pasta into a colander making sure not to rinse the pasta with cold water to cool it down. This seems to change the texture. To combine it with the sauce, pour the pasta into the sauce and heat for a minute. This will ‘marry’ the pasta and sauce creating a wonderful taste blend.
It is now time to get Cooking