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(Huffington Post)   Why expensive pasta tastes better than the cheap stuff   ( huffingtonpost.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Pasta, pasta, perfectly cooked spaghetti, Al dente, al dente pasta, Spaghetti, traditional bronze-extruded pasta, Cooking  
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410 clicks; posted to Discussion » on 10 Aug 2018 at 10:20 AM (10 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



24 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2018-08-10 09:28:36 AM  
Taking shortcuts with food nearly always leads to a decreased quality of the end product. I make a lot of jam in the summer - it's amazing the number of people that don't make jam or understand the chemistry involved to make it set properly that have "suggestions" about the recipe that will totally ruin it.

No, I will not make a batch just for you using Splenda. I have standards and you're an idiot.
 
2018-08-10 09:35:47 AM  

LordZorch: Taking shortcuts with food nearly always leads to a decreased quality of the end product. I make a lot of jam in the summer - it's amazing the number of people that don't make jam or understand the chemistry involved to make it set properly that have "suggestions" about the recipe that will totally ruin it.

No, I will not make a batch just for you using Splenda. I have standards and you're an idiot.


My wife went on a jam making spree this summer.  Having never made it before there have been some missteps but hey, you get to eat the mistakes?  In my opinion, she doesn't have it where it sets up properly.  But I'm not going to argue with her, since she's the one who's doing it all for fun.
 
2018-08-10 09:48:38 AM  
we use cleaner pots.  duh.
 
2018-08-10 09:51:41 AM  
I always get this stuff when it's on sale. I can definitely taste the difference.

img.fark.netView Full Size


No substitute for fresh pasta if you have it in your area. Totally worth it for special occasions.
 
2018-08-10 09:53:42 AM  
Fusilli Jerry.
 
2018-08-10 10:05:53 AM  

NewportBarGuy: I always get this stuff when it's on sale. I can definitely taste the difference.

[img.fark.net image 734x551]

No substitute for fresh pasta if you have it in your area. Totally worth it for special occasions.


We have DeCecco here, too.  You can see the difference compared to Primo or Unico or other cheap mass-produced brands.  DeCecco is rough-looking.  It is quite a bit more expensive though.

That said though everybody talks about al-dente pasta -- pasta that's toothsome, a bit firm.  I actually like my pasta softer.  I don't want that "salt of the pasta", I want fully cooked all the way through.  Maybe I'm a pasta philistine for liking it that way, but my wife and I both prefer it -- and she's Italian.

Rougher pasta does hold sauce much better though.  I do buy fresh once in a while, and that stuff is great.  VERY different flavour to the dry stuff, and I almost always use fresh when I make my Alfredo sauce.  (From scratch, natch; store-bought Alfredo is terrible no matter which brand you buy.)
 
2018-08-10 10:11:13 AM  
More semolina, less rat shiat?
 
2018-08-10 10:12:20 AM  
My wife got a smart pasta maker, so we pretty much only eat and serve fresh at this point.
 
2018-08-10 10:15:46 AM  

Psychopusher: NewportBarGuy: I always get this stuff when it's on sale. I can definitely taste the difference.

[img.fark.net image 734x551]

No substitute for fresh pasta if you have it in your area. Totally worth it for special occasions.

We have DeCecco here, too.  You can see the difference compared to Primo or Unico or other cheap mass-produced brands.  DeCecco is rough-looking.  It is quite a bit more expensive though.

That said though everybody talks about al-dente pasta -- pasta that's toothsome, a bit firm.  I actually like my pasta softer.  I don't want that "salt of the pasta", I want fully cooked all the way through.  Maybe I'm a pasta philistine for liking it that way, but my wife and I both prefer it -- and she's Italian.

Rougher pasta does hold sauce much better though.  I do buy fresh once in a while, and that stuff is great.  VERY different flavour to the dry stuff, and I almost always use fresh when I make my Alfredo sauce.  (From scratch, natch; store-bought Alfredo is terrible no matter which brand you buy.)


If the ability for pasta to hold sauce is what you want, you should finish your pasta in a pan or skillet with your sauce and a little bit of your pasta water. Heat it up medium and stir well. The starch in the pasta water functions both as a binder and an emulsifier/thickener for the sauce.
 
2018-08-10 10:22:58 AM  

RexTalionis: If the ability for pasta to hold sauce is what you want, you should finish your pasta in a pan or skillet with your sauce and a little bit of your pasta water. Heat it up medium and stir well. The starch in the pasta water functions both as a binder and an emulsifier/thickener for the sauce.


That's actually not a bad idea.  There's a sauce I use that tends to be on the watery side and needs a lot of mixing in the bowl to incorporate properly if I don't want a puddle of reddish water at the bottom.  Mixing in some of the pasta water would help bind everything together -- and stop my wife complaining when I use flour in the sauce itself to accomplish the same thing.
 
2018-08-10 10:29:13 AM  

Psychopusher: RexTalionis: If the ability for pasta to hold sauce is what you want, you should finish your pasta in a pan or skillet with your sauce and a little bit of your pasta water. Heat it up medium and stir well. The starch in the pasta water functions both as a binder and an emulsifier/thickener for the sauce.

That's actually not a bad idea.  There's a sauce I use that tends to be on the watery side and needs a lot of mixing in the bowl to incorporate properly if I don't want a puddle of reddish water at the bottom.  Mixing in some of the pasta water would help bind everything together -- and stop my wife complaining when I use flour in the sauce itself to accomplish the same thing.


It's what good cooks restaurants do to prevent watery puddles on the plate. For some reason this is barely ever used in American Italian home cooking nowadays.
 
2018-08-10 10:30:15 AM  

LordZorch: Taking shortcuts with food nearly always leads to a decreased quality of the end product. I make a lot of jam in the summer - it's amazing the number of people that don't make jam or understand the chemistry involved to make it set properly that have "suggestions" about the recipe that will totally ruin it.

No, I will not make a batch just for you using Splenda. I have standards and you're an idiot.


I once made peach jam.  When I opened that jar on a cold winter's day, it was like a glorious summer invasion.
 
2018-08-10 10:30:24 AM  
"Have you ever wondered why the cheapest box of spaghetti is around $1 and other brands sell for $5 or $8?"

While I don't usually buy the cheapest box on the shelf, I must shop at the wrong grocery stores because I've never seen an $8 box of spaghetti.
 
2018-08-10 10:37:51 AM  
I made the mistake of trying to make my own pasta and now I have a hard time using the stuff in a box.

Its unbelievably easy to make and the texture difference is immense.
 
2018-08-10 10:50:01 AM  

NewportBarGuy: No substitute for fresh pasta if you have it in your area. Totally worth it for special occasions.


I miss having a Wegmans near me.
 
2018-08-10 10:54:40 AM  

ReapTheChaos: I've never seen an $8 box of spaghetti.


I take it you've never been to Whole Foods.
 
2018-08-10 10:56:53 AM  
Good article. I learned something.
 
2018-08-10 11:59:28 AM  
Pick the medium zucchini for your zoodles. Also get a proper food processor that makes the long spiral zoodles. That short zoodle made by the as-seen-on-TV contraption and others are not worth it.
 
2018-08-10 12:27:26 PM  
Get the Garofalo pasta from Costco. That's a pasta extruded through proper dies and has that great texture in the article, and because it's Costco, you don't have to pay specialty food prices for one of the best damn pastas out there.
 
2018-08-10 12:28:35 PM  

Wizzbang: Get the Garofalo pasta from Costco. That's a pasta extruded through proper dies and has that great texture in the article, and because it's Costco, you don't have to pay specialty food prices for one of the best damn pastas out there.


And holy shiat, if your Costco sells the Rao's spaghetti sauce?  I'm telling you, read the numerous reviews online and get that.  Right now.
 
2018-08-10 02:17:05 PM  

LordZorch: No, I will not make a batch just for you using Splenda. I have standards and you're an idiot.


I made guava jam (using guava from my tree) and that was a big mistake.

(the jam came out great, but filtering out all of the little seeds was a giant pain in the ass so I'm sticking to fruit with negligible seeds from now on).

SoundOfOneHandWanking: I made the mistake of trying to make my own pasta and now I have a hard time using the stuff in a box.


Boxed stuff is fine, if I'm just making it for regular dinners/lunches, etc.

If I'm cooking for a special occasion, I drive about 20 miles to Little Italy to buy fresh pasta (they make it overnight and put it out on trays, have to get there early otherwise the choice varieties will be gone).

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-08-10 03:26:33 PM  

BizarreMan: LordZorch: Taking shortcuts with food nearly always leads to a decreased quality of the end product. I make a lot of jam in the summer - it's amazing the number of people that don't make jam or understand the chemistry involved to make it set properly that have "suggestions" about the recipe that will totally ruin it.

No, I will not make a batch just for you using Splenda. I have standards and you're an idiot.

My wife went on a jam making spree this summer.  Having never made it before there have been some missteps but hey, you get to eat the mistakes?  In my opinion, she doesn't have it where it sets up properly.  But I'm not going to argue with her, since she's the one who's doing it all for fun.


Tell her to add some extra lemon juice, if the jam doesn't set most times it's a lack of acidity.
 
2018-08-10 03:29:45 PM  

Ker_Thwap: LordZorch: Taking shortcuts with food nearly always leads to a decreased quality of the end product. I make a lot of jam in the summer - it's amazing the number of people that don't make jam or understand the chemistry involved to make it set properly that have "suggestions" about the recipe that will totally ruin it.

No, I will not make a batch just for you using Splenda. I have standards and you're an idiot.

I once made peach jam.  When I opened that jar on a cold winter's day, it was like a glorious summer invasion.


It actually gets better if you let it sit for a few months. For an extra kick make it with a cinnamon stick, about 3" of vanilla bean, and add a half cup of bourbon when you remove it from heat right before you start ladling it into the jars. I use Heritage Brown Sugar Bourbon.
 
2018-08-10 03:53:43 PM  

NewportBarGuy: I always get this stuff when it's on sale. I can definitely taste the difference.

[img.fark.net image 734x551]

No substitute for fresh pasta if you have it in your area. Totally worth it for special occasions.


Placebos are real.
As long as you enjoy it, enjoy it.
 
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