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Pasta Basics
Everything you need to know about the different types and shapes of pasta, how to cook pasta, how to make fresh pasta at home, the kind of equipment you will need to make homemade pasta and matching your pasta to a congenial sauce.
Types of Pasta
Pasta is the generic Italian name for many noodle-like pastes or doughs that are made in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.  The two main types are fresh pasta, or pasta fresca, and dried pasta, or pasta secca.

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Pasta Shapes
No one really knows how many pasta variations there are. This is a list of some of the most commonly available pasta shapes and suggestions for pairing various types of pasta with sauces.

Pasta Shapes  >>
Fresh Pasta Dough
Find recipes for basic egg pasta dough, dough made with flour and water, semolina pasta dough, and dough flavored with vegetables, seafood, and herbs.

Pasta Dough Recipes  >>
Gluten-Free Pasta Dough Recipe  >>
How to Cook Pasta
Since dried pasta and fresh pasta require different cooking times, it is important to know the difference.

Tips for Cooking Pasta  >>
Making Fresh Pasta Dough
Mixing, Rolling, and Cutting Pasta Dough
The mixing, rolling, and cutting instructions provided are meant to be a guide to the various methods available to you depending on the type of equipment and recipe you are using.

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Pasta Making Equipment
Most pasta can be made with equipment you probably already own.  However, procedures can be made easier, time can be saved, and your overall skills improved if you have some additional items.

Pasta Making Equipment >>
Pasta Sauce Recipes
It is very important to give thought to matching pasta type and shape to a congenial sauce to achieve a successful dish.

Pasta Sauce Recipes  >>
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FINISH PASTA IN THE SAUCE
Drain your pasta about 2 minutes before the recommended cooking time. Save about 1 cup of the cooking water.  Transfer the pasta to the saucepan or skillet with the sauce and allow it to cook for 2 minutes.  This lets the pasta absorb flavor from the sauce and helps the sauce to cling to the pasta.  Use this method with any simmered sauce (not pesto or carbonara).  If the sauce seems to thick, thin it with some of the reserved pasta cooking water.
USE THE BEST FLOUR
Semolina, made from the finest durum wheat, is commonly used to make pasta, but it also makes a magnificent loaf of bread.  You can make ravioli, lasagna, fettuccini and other pastas with the same flour professionals use!   If you use a pasta maker, you'll be delighted with the superior results you achieve with the addition of semolina flour.
This flour makes all the difference in the world when it comes to making fresh pasta.  The dough is silky smooth, easy to stretch, and tastes great.  If your pasta using typical American all-purpose flour is always a little disappointing, you should try this flour.