August 29, 2016
Pasta is never going to go away as a beloved food and that is a good thing because pasta IS good for you when treated properly. What Americans fail to understand is the serving size. I know many Italians who enjoy pasta every day, sometimes twice a day! And they are as trim as a stalk of asparagus. Why? Because of the amount they consume, which in Italy is about 1 cup of cooked pasta. Who is going to look like a blimp eating that? Just look on a box of pasta and see how many a pound will serve. 8. Keep that number in mind.
I was experimenting on new ways to cook boxed pasta and came up with this; instead of water, cook pasta in chicken broth for a really good depth of flavor. And instead of using a deep pot to cook short cuts of pasta like, fusilli or rigatoni, use a large saute pan.
So for the photo below of beet pasta, I put one pound in a large saute pan and added 3 ½ cups of store bought chicken broth, stirred the pasta and brought everything to a boil; then I lowered the heat slightly so everything was boiling but not so rapidly and stirred occasionally until the pasta was al dente and the broth was absorbed.
At that point you have many sauce options; for this one I used extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, chips of a good pecorino cheese, coarse black pepper and a mince of fresh basil and parsley but butter and cheese or blue cheese and a bit of Half/Half are good too and the best part is it can all be mixed in the pan before serving.