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The sauce for lasagna can vary from marinara (tomato) to Bolognese mushroom vegetarian or seafood. There will usually be a layer of pasta a layer of ricotta cheese a layer of sauce and a layer of mozzarella. Sometimes the pasta and cheese is layered without the sauce and the sauce is added at serving time. The narrowest of the flat pasta is linguini; linguini is long narrow pasta (about " wide) which can be served with any number of sauces. A favorite that is served with linguini are clams in either a white wine sauce or a spicy red sauce. The next size up is fettuccini which is usually served with an Alfredo sauce (cream or bchamel) made with butter heavy cream and parmesan. It is utterly delicious easy and simple to make and loaded with calories.
What to Look for When Purchasing Your First Pasta Machine The manual pasta machine is a pretty straight forward piece of kitchen equipment. However the differences between models is usually apparent in the construction material and adaptability to make different shapes and sizes of pasta. The very basic machines do not offer more than a couple of different ways to roll out your pasta. That may not seem important now but when the pasta making bug catches you you will want to be more adventurous and want more shapes available to you. First make sure that the pasta machine that you purchase can accommodate additional attachments for making several different kinds of pasta. The company you are purchasing from should have a wide variety of these attachments available for purchase. The pasta machine should be made heavy metal that will wear well over time.
In almost every case if it is written in English you will be told to cook the pasta way beyond its Al Dente phase. Why? Because most Americans are used to pre-cooked pasta at restaurants prepared hours in advance (gag!) and placed in a refrigerator to be reheated with your chosen sauce when you order. Or they are accustomed to (Oh my God no) canned pasta products. So while you can use the cooking time as a guide the key to perfect pasta is to drain it the minute it begins to fold easily and still has a bit of crunchiness to it. The only way you can achieve this is to keep an eye on it. Stir it regularly as it boils and test it with a fork or spoon. Remember once you drain it the pasta will keep cooking on its own. By the time you add it to your sauce or accompaniment over a moderate heat in a pan it continues to cook as well. This technique is called In Patella or In The Pan in Italian. Thick macaroni products (ziti farfalle rotini) will take slightly longer to cook than spaghetti varieties. The thinner the spaghetti variety the Less time it will take to cook al dente. Angel hair pasta can take less than two minutes to cook if your going to finish it properly In Patella where it will continue to cook or soften. And Never Ever Ever rinse pasta. You will destroy its flavor make it soft and destroy the ultimate pasta experience. So remember Never Ever Ever rinse pasta. Another excellent professional pasta cooking tip is to save a cup or so of the cooking water before draining in the event that your pasta needs more moisture when you add it to your sauce or accompaniment. Adding fresh water will destroy the pastas flavor as if you have rinsed it. So just in case keep a cup of the cooking water handy.