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Jun 22, 2008 04:37 PM

Best Pasta Recipe

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?

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  1. 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

      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

        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

          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

            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

              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

                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!