HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
What are you cooking today?

Best Pasta Recipe

luxfarah Jun 22, 2008 04:37 PM

I found many slightly different pasta recipes, the major difference I found was to add or not olive oil, some one can tell me the difference, besides the taste, of the pasta with or without oil?

  1. mbfant Jun 22, 2008 10:55 PM

    If you mean add olive oil to the cooking water, that is a myth. The idea is the oil will keep the pasta from sticking, but what it actually does is give the pasta a slick surface, which is the opposite of what you want (the rougher the surface the better). To keep pasta from sticking, use a large pot and plenty of water. Stir with a wooden spoon almost constantly for the first minute, then occasionally.

    If you mean olive in the sauce, the difference is taste.

    6 Replies
    1. re: mbfant
      MagnumWino Jun 23, 2008 04:41 AM

      I think luxfarah may have meant olive oil being added to the pasta dough. I make fresh pasta quite often and I add about a tablespoon of very good quality extra-virgin olive oil into the well with the eggs. This is for a recipe that makes about 1 1/2 pounds of pasta. To me, it makes the pasta a bit more "silky". I'm not sure I notice a taste difference though. But yes there are recipes that do call for it and some that don't.

      1. re: MagnumWino
        luxfarah Jun 23, 2008 06:42 AM

        You are right it is oil added to the pasta. This weekend I tried both ways with and without oil, and I found that the pasta with no oil is a bit dryer and apparently absorbs better the sauce. So I will keep my extra virgin to the sauce.

        1. re: MagnumWino
          mbfant Jun 23, 2008 09:28 AM

          Where are these recipes from? I've just looked briefly at Oretta Zanini De Vita's La Pasta, which gives the whole dope on 300+ traditional pasta shapes, and indeed a smattering contain some oil or lard. They seem to be mostly from the far north but not all; they are very rare. Emilian pasta sfoglia uses ONLY eggs and flour.

          1. re: mbfant
            MagnumWino Jun 23, 2008 10:02 AM

            Well, as with everything else in "Italian cooking", I suppose things will vary by region, or micro-region, although I am by NO means any type of authority on the subject, obviously. I'm just a slave to recipes. A couple of recipes that I have that call for olive oil in the pasta dough are from:
            1) Giuliano Bugialli, author of cookbooks "Classic Techniques of Italian Cooking", "Giuliano Bugialli's Foods of Tuscany" and "Bugialli on Pasta". He also runs a cooking school that bears his name in Firenze. This particular recipe I found in Bon Appetit (May 2000).

            2) Lidia Bastianich, from her book "Lidia's Italian Table". Although she calls for less oil, 1/2 teaspoon vs 1 Tablespoon.

            I've made it both ways, with and without, but I think more often with, as I did last evening.

            1. re: MagnumWino
              luxfarah Jun 23, 2008 11:59 AM

              Studying the subject I found a pasta recipe by Laura Galli from the Modena´s Hosteria Giusti, a four- table dining room behind the four-hundred year-old Salumeria Giusti. She states "fresh pasta in Emilia- Romagna is rich in eggs. For each batch I use about five eggs per pound of flour. And I never use oil in the dough because it makes it too slipery to hold the sauce."

              1. re: luxfarah
                MagnumWino Jun 23, 2008 01:25 PM

                Next time, I will give it a go and omit the oil and see what the difference will be. Either way, I love the stuff!

      Show Hidden Posts