I’m going to let you into a little secret:
That’s a good thing because I live in the perfect place for a pasta lover! Yesterday I googled to find out how many different types of Italian pasta there are. Wait for it…according to one Italian site, there are one hundred and twenty-nine. That’s right! I could eat a different pasta every third day or so for an entire year!
What makes pasta so good to eat? Well, it’s so versatile. You can make a pasta sauce (“sugo” is the Italian name for it) out of almost anything, and using a different type of pasta makes for a different eating experience. And then there’s the freshly grated parmesan Italians sprinkle on top. Heavenly! If you make pasta at home, do yourself a favour and try to get fresh parmesan cheese. The sawdust they sell in little packets at the supermarket just doesn’t do it justice.
Some of my favourite sughi (pasta sauces) are made from leftovers. Got left over stew? Add a little butter or even some of the pasta cooking water and enjoy with a little parmesan on top. Crumble left over roast and gravy for a delicious alternative. Almost anything that can be blitzed into a creamy sauce will make a good sugo. One of my favourites is a traditional Italian yellow and red pepper stew. It’s full of onion, tomato and pepper flavour and we eat it as a vegetable served with roast or steak. The leftovers get blitzed with the addition of a few anchovies and that sauce makes a scrumptious sugo for pasta. The best thing is that you can freeze the sauce and you have instant pasta sauce for another day. I tried a similar treatment (minus the anchovies) for a green bean stew with a chilli pepper kick and it was amazing! Today’s lunch was “Burridda” a traditional Ligurian fish stew. It was delicious, and the leftovers made three tubs of sauce for the freezer. Yummy!
I may be wrong, but I think that the general Italian mamma’s pasta has far less sauce than an American or even British version. Italians adhere to the principle that “less is more” when it comes to pasta and pasta sauce. The sauce should coat the pasta and you shouldn’t be left with heaps of sauce in the bottom of the serving dish. The cheese should add to the flavour experience but not overpower it.
Do you enjoy pasta? What’s your favourite type? Would you like some pasta recipes on the blog in the future?