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Blog

Pasta

February 5, 2007

Recently I went to dinner with a friend who instructed the chef not to serve her anything white – no white bread, no white pasta, no potatoes, no rice and no cream. She would eat butter. I don’t know if this is, in fact, due to an allergy, or is a self-imposed way of dieting by avoiding carbs and cream.

Whatever the reason, I couldn’t do it. Pasta is one of my favorite meals, and I rejoice in all the kinds now available. When I grew up it was spaghetti – unless you consider macaroni and cheese pasta, which it is, but that certainly never occurred to me until I was an adult.

I always feel more secure when there is a pan of lasagna in the freezer. Even company appreciates it when they come in from out of town and hungry, or on Sunday night when they have nothing in their own refrigerators to eat.

Fresh pasta is not always the best. In fact, I think many dried pastas are better, particularly for spaghetti. Lasagna is heavenly made with fresh noodles, but is truly an affectation for those with more time than sense. But ravioli’s and many of the other shapes are now not only made commercially but are also available in retail stores made in smaller quantities.

I purchased a pumpkin ravioli, for instance, from Burbages’ grocery, and another similarly filled one from Whole Foods. All they needed was a delicate sauce to complete them, and a salad or green vegetable, to make a whole meal. A wonderful answer to a “desperation meal” for the two of us, particularly since lettuce is growing outside my front door.

Oh, and about that white food – I figured out a way around it. Most of these pastas come in different colors as well. What could be better than spinach fettucine or lasagna? Or a multi-colored pasta like cartwheels or tortellini? One caveat for all pasta recipes. In Italy it is served before the main course, as opposed to a main course itself. And, in the South, it can be, like Mac n’ Cheese, a side as well as a main course. Let knowledge of your eaters be your guide to the question: “How much?”

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