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Done with Pasta

j
jhopp217 Mar 16, 2010 04:25 PM

Has anyone else just given up eating something they've always eaten their entire life? In the past six months, I've basically given up pasta. I realized about a year ago that I was so sick of most tomato based sauces. Not that they are necesarily bad, but just all in all boring. Don't get me wrong a good ragu, bolognese, etc is amazing, but just the plain jane Sunday sauce (I refuse to call it gravy). It just seems to me that when eating any pasta dish, even my favorite penne vodke, the least delectable aspect of the dish is the actual pasta. Even fresh pasta doesn't do it for me anymore. Now I can sit and eat a delicious penne sauce, chock full of chopped up prosciutto and dunk bread, broccoli, even chicken into it and be happy, but the pasta craving is gone. Even when dining out, if I try someone else's that they are hemming and hawing about, I'll grin and say, yeah, good sauce. Is it just me or is pasta just well, pasta?

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  1. linguafood RE: jhopp217 Mar 16, 2010 04:44 PM

    Just you ;-)

    7 Replies
    1. re: linguafood
      ttoommyy RE: linguafood Mar 16, 2010 05:50 PM

      +1 with the above comment! lol
      I could live on pasta with just about any sauce...but I did make an amazing gravy just the other night. Yes, we call it gravy in my family!

      1. re: linguafood
        EWSflash RE: linguafood Mar 16, 2010 07:22 PM

        Yep. Just you.

        1. re: linguafood
          jfood RE: linguafood Mar 16, 2010 08:05 PM

          place jfood on the bandwagin...just you

          1. re: jfood
            jmckee RE: jfood Mar 19, 2010 09:43 AM

            can't argue with that. it's you.

          2. re: linguafood
            Davwud RE: linguafood Mar 23, 2010 08:39 AM

            Yep, it's just you.

            DT

            1. re: Davwud
              pikiliz RE: Davwud Jul 8, 2010 06:01 PM

              It is absolutely you, but their is nothing wrong with that if you don,t like it you don't like it
              I always say don't yuck someones yum that works both ways

              1. re: pikiliz
                o
                occula RE: pikiliz Aug 9, 2010 02:50 PM

                oh my gosh, what a great saying - either way. Love it.

          3. Karl S RE: jhopp217 Mar 16, 2010 05:14 PM

            Well, pasta is a dish normally best served at home than in a restaurant, except restaurants truly devoted to treating pasta with care (which is the exception rather than the norm - for most places, it's just a guaranteed mediocre money-maker).

            For me, the pasta is the center of the action - the sauce is the condiment.

            13 Replies
            1. re: Karl S
              c oliver RE: Karl S Mar 16, 2010 05:35 PM

              If there were such a thing, I'd agree with you 110%! I can only STRONGLY second that.

              1. re: Karl S
                j
                jhopp217 RE: Karl S Mar 17, 2010 06:30 AM

                Karl I will agree with you that it is much better served at home. Restaurants tend to go a little crazy with portions of pasta and have a sauce that's lacking or vice versa, but with all due respect. If you think the sauce is nothing more than a condiment, I have to question the sauces you're eating.

                1. re: jhopp217
                  Karl S RE: jhopp217 Mar 17, 2010 06:40 AM

                  What I mean by condiment is that I want to be able to taste the pasta through the sauce. I make beautiful sauces, I might add: carbonara (the egg yolk, no cream kind), cacio e pepe, amatriciana, Hazan's tomato-butter-onion, pesto (dressed the right way), and a ragu bolognese that has earned many plaudits as the go-to over the years on the Home Cooking Board and its predecessors.....

                  Now, I do find that people, in their zeal for sauce uber alles (Italians would appreciate the use of the Teutonic tongue for this barbarism), tend to mistreat pasta. First, they don't get decent pasta. Second, they don't match the pasta to the sauce. Third, they don't cook it correctly (in very well salted water - if you're cooking your pasta in unsalted water and wonder why it tastes bland, you have your answer right there; and al dente, finished in many (not all) cases in the sauce). Fourth, they don't serve it correctly: for many sauces, pasta needs to be served on warmed plates for best effect. Fifth, they often serve too much at once. Sixth and finally, they reheat pasta leftovers (see #5 preceding) in the microwave (ugh - a recipe for mushiness unless done with extreme care and restraint). Restaurants typically par cook their pasta for efficiency, which leads to mediocre pasta that most people tolerate if it's oversauced....

                  Pasta is easy to cook...and even easier to mistreat.

                  And now that I've ranted from my throne, I will add: So let it be written! So let it be done! (Anne Baxter swishes menacingly in the background)

                  1. re: Karl S
                    c oliver RE: Karl S Mar 17, 2010 08:03 AM

                    These are lessons I've learned from you and Chowhound, Batali, Hazan, etc. and it's made all the difference in the world in my pasta making.
                    PS: I use whole eggs (no cream) in carbonara; do you use only the yolks?
                    PPS: Could you give me a link to your bolognese ragu please and thank you.

                    1. re: c oliver
                      Karl S RE: c oliver Mar 17, 2010 10:10 AM

                      Per PS: You can use whole eggs - it's a little more difficult because of the egg whites to prevent scrambling - some use one egg white and multiple yolks (I've done that, too)

                      Per PPS: Eight years ago -

                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1424...

                      1. re: Karl S
                        c oliver RE: Karl S Mar 17, 2010 10:21 AM

                        Thanks for the recipe. My stash in the freezer is getting low so I'll make this next time.

                        I haven't had the scrambling problem although I can see it happen. I mix the eggs and cheese and parsley and pepper well together before adding the pasta. And the oil, bacon, wine goes in after that. (I do the exact Hazan recipe) I just made this a few nights ago for an 85 y.o. friend. She'd never had it before and was just bowled over by it. I'm going to send her instruction for a half recipe. She doesn't cook much that's complicated anymore but she's certainly up to this.
                        Thanks, Karl.

                        1. re: c oliver
                          m
                          MartinDC RE: c oliver Mar 23, 2010 12:00 PM

                          Does Marcella add wine? Interesting -- that's new to me. However, one does add some of the reserved pasta cooking water (well salted, by the way) to add moisture and creaminess.

                          1. re: MartinDC
                            c oliver RE: MartinDC Mar 23, 2010 12:18 PM

                            Yep, wine. Here's the recipe:

                            http://www.yum-recipes.com/Recipe/Unc...

                            No water. Has never been necessary.

                    2. re: Karl S
                      cosmogrrl RE: Karl S Aug 9, 2010 01:58 PM

                      The tip about VERY well salted water has made a significant improvement in my pasta dishes, so I just wanted to say thanks for the tip!

                      1. re: cosmogrrl
                        c oliver RE: cosmogrrl Aug 9, 2010 02:27 PM

                        Shh, don't tell him but he's one of my heroes :)

                    3. re: jhopp217
                      ttoommyy RE: jhopp217 Mar 17, 2010 09:19 AM

                      In Italy, the sauce is indeed a condiment! Pasta is not supposed to be swimming in sauce, it should just barely cover the strands (or whatever shape) of the pasta being served. There is a word in Italian "condire;" this means "to dress or flavor." It is used when speaking about pasta.

                      And if you have premium pasta, whether it is homemade or store bought, fresh or dried, then the pasta is no longer just a "vehicle" for the sauce, but an equal partner in the dish.

                      1. re: ttoommyy
                        Karl S RE: ttoommyy Mar 17, 2010 10:13 AM

                        I would say even merely "good" pasta (for dried, I mean DeCecco/Barilla/Ronzoni,e.g.) is a partner. Premium pasta can be a star it its own right.

                        1. re: ttoommyy
                          c
                          Cameraman RE: ttoommyy Mar 18, 2010 11:05 AM

                          I heard Mario Batali suggest that you dress pasta like you dress salad. That has become my guiding principle. To me loosing the taste for pasta would be like loosing the will to live too depressing to consider.

                    4. m
                      marys1000 RE: jhopp217 Mar 16, 2010 06:01 PM

                      I get you. Pasta is just a vehicle and a somewhat boring vehicle at that. Maybe its supposed to be boring so that it doesn't conflict with the sauce, dunno. But as far as I'm concerned bread dunk or anything else dunk away.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: marys1000
                        c oliver RE: marys1000 Mar 16, 2010 06:04 PM

                        No, no, no :) As Karl S said, the pasta is the point. Make it good or don't have it.

                        1. re: c oliver
                          b
                          Beckyleach RE: c oliver Mar 22, 2010 09:37 PM

                          Agreed. It's the SAUCE I can skip. My 18 year old daughter really knows her pasta dishes. She's always inventing a new "twist" and never, ever over-sauces. Recently, she whipped up--in a flash--the most delicious spaghetti with just romano cheese, oil-cured black olives, roasted red peppers and garlic. The spaghetti was the star; the other ingredients played supporting (clinging ;-) roles. That's the way is should be!

                      2. howlin RE: jhopp217 Mar 16, 2010 07:57 PM

                        i agree with you .latly pasta to me is boring ,dosint mater whats on it.maybe need a break from it eh

                        1. ipsedixit RE: jhopp217 Mar 16, 2010 09:26 PM

                          I enjoy pasta so much that sometimes I'll have it with just a dash of salt and some chopped garlic.

                          So, yeah, like the posters up thread ... it's just you.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: ipsedixit
                            Sooeygun RE: ipsedixit Mar 17, 2010 07:22 AM

                            When I cook pasta, I'm half full by the time I actually get to serving the dish, from sneaking tastes of the plain pasta. There's just something so basic and yummy about it, like good bread.

                            1. re: Sooeygun
                              chowser RE: Sooeygun Mar 18, 2010 12:13 PM

                              Glad I'm not the only one. When I cook, I have it plain, taste it as I sauce/flavor it, and am happy full by the time I serve it. I like it w/ salt, garlic but also need olive oil.

                              1. re: Sooeygun
                                beekeroc RE: Sooeygun Mar 18, 2010 08:40 PM

                                I agree Sooeygun! Like good bread... I usually have a small serving of pasta with sauce, followed up by a larger serving with just butter and salt n pepper. Yummy.!

                            2. v
                              vttp926 RE: jhopp217 Mar 17, 2010 06:52 AM

                              Definitely agree with you. Even when I order a fettuccine alfredo with chicken, I will be most likely to eat all the chicken and try to get some of the alfredo sauce with the bread rarely touching the pasta but save a couple bites. I just never been a fan of pasta.

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: vttp926
                                linguafood RE: vttp926 Mar 17, 2010 07:04 AM

                                Fettucine Alfredo with chicken is not an 'original' pasta dish. Not wanting to go into the whole authenticity debate, but that combo has nothing to do with what pasta is all about.

                                1. re: linguafood
                                  v
                                  vttp926 RE: linguafood Mar 17, 2010 08:16 PM

                                  Isn't fettucine still a noodle? Which to me would make it a pasta. Does it really matter that it isn't an "original" pasta dish?

                                  I rarely eat pasta be it macaroni, lasagna noodles, fettuccine, rigatoni, penne and the many more that are out there. But I will kill for the sauce of any of those pasta with some bread.

                                  1. re: linguafood
                                    EWSflash RE: linguafood Mar 22, 2010 09:19 PM

                                    There is entirely too much chicken going on in Italian food served in America anyway.
                                    Why you gotta have some kind of meat with every single meal? Afraid of malnutrition? Fooey.

                                    A good fettucine alfredo needs NO MEAT OF ANY KIND. Ever.

                                    Neither does a Caesar salad, dammit,except for some anchovy .

                                    1. re: EWSflash
                                      c oliver RE: EWSflash Mar 23, 2010 08:11 AM

                                      'Course the Caesar salad originated in Mexico. And, as I found out on CH, the original didn't have anchovy in it!

                                      1. re: c oliver
                                        EWSflash RE: c oliver Mar 24, 2010 01:38 PM

                                        Well, I knew that about the Caesar, but you have to agree that everybody wants to put chicken or shrimp in it, like they do in nearly all pasta sauces.

                                        Re- the anchovy- say it ain't so!
                                        Actually, i'd heard that, but had forgotten. Wow- talk about an improvement on a dish.

                                        1. re: EWSflash
                                          Caitlin McGrath RE: EWSflash Mar 25, 2010 09:38 AM

                                          Well, to be fair, it did have Worcestershire sauce, which is made from anchovies. The current method just amps them up.

                                2. mcf RE: jhopp217 Mar 17, 2010 07:12 AM

                                  I gave up pasta over a decade ago for health reasons, and it was a complete 180; I was the Pasta Prom Queen. Now I eat the stuff that has all the flavor that I used to eat atop pasta, often on a bed of sauteed spinach or just with a side of veggies. I don't miss it at all any more.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: mcf
                                    t
                                    tarteaucitron RE: mcf Mar 17, 2010 08:42 AM

                                    It's funny I have been in that stage too, shunning pasta completely for health reasons but living with eating the pasta fixings with vegetable sides. In fact I used to swap most of my carbohydrates with vegetable sides.

                                    Now I have reached a happy compromise. No more mediocre pasta and if I feel like it, ramp up on the sauces and fixings with the portion of pasta I am serving. What I learned is, there is no substitute for it.

                                    1. re: tarteaucitron
                                      mcf RE: tarteaucitron Mar 17, 2010 10:57 AM

                                      On the rare occasion that we want noodles (my husband isn't diabetic, but low carbs for prevention reasons), I have some Carb Nada noodles in the house. And we eat very low noodle to fixings ratio. I stopped trying to substitute stuff for starches, and have finally come to embrace not eating them. The only things I ever miss after over a decade are bagels and pizza. But not much.

                                      1. re: mcf
                                        t
                                        tarteaucitron RE: mcf Apr 11, 2010 08:22 PM

                                        That does sound like a huge change, and kudos to you for having put in so much effort in making dietary changes for the sake of health.

                                        I thought I would not have to go that route when I was writing the post above, but life is funny that way. Will try to locate and try the noodles you recommend when there is a chance, to see if it works for me!

                                  2. s
                                    Shann RE: jhopp217 Mar 17, 2010 07:26 AM

                                    I'm glad I'm not the only one. My wife thinks I'm crazy because I don't like pasta. First of all, the starch makes me blow up, but I mainly I eat it and it just is meh, who cares.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Shann
                                      h
                                      HungryinBmore RE: Shann Mar 17, 2010 08:14 AM

                                      Yea it is You.
                                      My ma makes the best HOMEMADE mac & cheese and Lasagna too. And I no longer live at home.
                                      But her dad is not a fan of pasta. Or Mac and Cheese for that matter. Like I think it is the saddest thing ever; he doesn't or wouldn't really care for or enjoy my Ma's famous and delicious HOMEMADE mac & cheese or her Lasagna.

                                      So whenever she invites us to dinner, I can never expect to see her Lasagna and hardly ever the Mac n Cheese (unless we have another guest who would eat it; she MIGHT make her Mac N Cheese) :( :(

                                    2. t
                                      tarteaucitron RE: jhopp217 Mar 17, 2010 08:24 AM

                                      Reading your original post, I am wondering if you have simply doctored up your pasta fixings so much that it overshadows the original star of the dish, i.e. the pasta itself? Then I can see possibly why by comparison it has become underwhelming for you.

                                      Even though I am not a big fan of pasta dishes, especially those that most restaurants have to offer, I do enjoy pasta for its different shapes and textures. My latest discovered favourite (although it has been running for several years) is "artisan" orecchiette, where the edges are finished rough for extra toothiness and cling to your sauces. I seldom do but can imagine eating it with even just some olive oil and salt.

                                      1. Vexorg RE: jhopp217 Mar 17, 2010 11:16 AM

                                        I couldn't give up pasta if I tried. I find it to be much more a matter of texture than of flavor, and even though I could see eating the sauce on its own in a pinch, I've been known to eat pasta on its own on more than one occasion as well.

                                        1. pdxgastro RE: jhopp217 Mar 17, 2010 11:29 AM

                                          OP wrote "Has anyone else just given up eating something they've always eaten their entire life?"

                                          Jhopp, there was a period when I stopped eating canned tuna because it didn't taste right to me. Pity, because tuna was my go-to lunch. Cans are easy to store in the cupboard, mayo in the fridge, I always have bread (check, check, and check). Fast forward 5-10 years and I'm eating tuna again. So maybe there will come a day when you will eat pasta again.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: pdxgastro
                                            m
                                            mymomisthebestcook RE: pdxgastro Mar 18, 2010 10:15 AM

                                            Im not a pasta person at all...but I LOVE rice!

                                            1. re: mymomisthebestcook
                                              r
                                              rds246 RE: mymomisthebestcook Mar 19, 2010 12:35 PM

                                              second that!

                                          2. l
                                            LauraGrace RE: jhopp217 Mar 18, 2010 08:27 PM

                                            I actually had a moment of sadness when I saw the title, assuming it must be someone who's recently discovered a gluten allergy or something... Eep! I don't know what I would EAT if I didn't eat pasta! And I think the simpler the sauce, the better, and mine beats the restaurants' every time... I never drown my pasta in gloppy, overly complicated sauce or try to pass off white gravy mix with garlic and bacon in it as *carbonara*!!

                                            So yeah, I guess with the exception of a few folks on this thread... just you! ;)

                                            1. woodleyparkhound RE: jhopp217 Mar 19, 2010 06:15 AM

                                              It's just you, jhopp217! I could easily eat pasta daily, but I don't allow myself to - I restrict myself to once or twice a week. It's so completely versatile in terms of shapes and sauces. I adore the mouth-feel and chewiness of al dente pasta; no single other food is as satisfying to me. I'm kind of jealous of you though, as my pasta/carb addiction isn't exactly something I'm proud of. I would induce pasta-aversion if I could, but that just won't be happening for me in this lifetime.

                                              1. c
                                                cstr RE: jhopp217 Mar 19, 2010 10:55 AM

                                                Recently made a nice organic whole wheat medium wide flat pasta (real nutty flavor) with cauliflower and butternut squash, san marzano tomatoes and imported parm. I think you may be in an old school 'sauce slump'. Go on-line and look for recipe ideas.

                                                1. NellyNel RE: jhopp217 Mar 19, 2010 11:35 AM

                                                  I have been avoiding this post because it actually pains me!

                                                  I really couldnt live without pasta..really...
                                                  And the thing is I could make some sort of pasta every day for a year and never have the same meal twice...there are so many variation of shapes alone - never mind the hundres of wonderful sauces or condiments...

                                                  This post hurts me because I am sure the OP has never experienced the real wonder...
                                                  Perhaps only bad Americanized versions...?? I don't know...or maybe jhopp - you just don't like pasta!?
                                                  Oy Vey

                                                  1. j
                                                    jhopp217 RE: jhopp217 Mar 22, 2010 07:38 PM

                                                    I'm replying to myself because I couldn't pick from the numerous posts that followed. I will start by saying I grew up on having some of the most wonderful homemade pasta dishes ever. My mother was not Italian, but (with all due respect to my friends) could cook Italian food better than any italian mother or grandmother I've ever met. We'd have fresh pasta on certain occasions, especially when I got older and my appreciation for food grew. We had fresh basil in our backyard and tomatoes and we'd have the best pesto sauce ever. She always would put the smallest dollop in the middle and it would flavor the pasta so well. Never did she over serve sauce. I just have found that pasta in itself isn't really all that great. Yes fresh is head and shoulders above dried, but it stil doesn't get me going anymore. I will put pesto on chicken or make grilled cheese sandwiches with fresh mozzarella and the sauce. I've not had Karl S's ragu, but I've had one in particular that was so good, I just heated it up and ate it with a baguette.

                                                    As for a few comments. I know how to season pasta. I don't ever heat up leftovers in the microwave. I don't over season my sauces. I have on occasion made the mistake of mismatching a sauce with a particular pasta. I don't overcomplicate the dish, but at times will add chicken or sausage to a dish that might not necessarily be a "classic" recipe. It's not that, it's the pasta. It's, for lack of a better word, boring.

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: jhopp217
                                                      c oliver RE: jhopp217 Mar 22, 2010 07:52 PM

                                                      As others have said - just don't eat it! Lordy, there are a gazillion other things to eat. Get over it :)

                                                      1. re: jhopp217
                                                        linguafood RE: jhopp217 Mar 22, 2010 08:11 PM

                                                        I guess for me the texture and mouthfeel of pasta is a singular experience that I don't get from just dipping bread into the sauce.

                                                        I like the al dente bite and the slippery, just ever so slightly doughiness of it. Ain't nothin' like it.

                                                        And thanks again for leaving more for the rest of us '-D

                                                        1. re: linguafood
                                                          j
                                                          jhopp217 RE: linguafood Mar 24, 2010 09:22 AM

                                                          Love the last comment. Now I might have to go out and have some, haha!

                                                          1. re: jhopp217
                                                            linguafood RE: jhopp217 Mar 24, 2010 09:52 AM

                                                            Noooooooooooooo!

                                                          2. re: linguafood
                                                            t
                                                            tarteaucitron RE: linguafood Mar 24, 2010 10:41 AM

                                                            And I like how you describe the ways that pasta appeals with its texture. I realise the same descriptions apply pretty much to explain the main draw to Asian-style noodles for a lot of people. I know a few words in Japanese and Chinese that would be hard to translate, that describes just this kind of appeal in textures!

                                                        2. a
                                                          Avalondaughter RE: jhopp217 Mar 24, 2010 10:13 AM

                                                          I've been trying to cut down on refined starches lately, and I hate wholewheat pasta (don't bother recommending your favorite ww pasta to me - I consider them all a travesty), so I've really cut my pasta consumption in the past few months.

                                                          I find that certain things just seem to go better with pasta. I consider myself to be a protein lover more than a starch lover, but sometimes I miss the way certain sauces go with the taste and texture of pasta. Bacon and eggs are fine, but they're not pasta carbonara. Homemade marinara is not the same on chicken as it is on pasta. Perhaps it's just tradition that keeps me liking the way starches taste with certain sauces, but it's still a hard habit to break for me.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Avalondaughter
                                                            mcf RE: Avalondaughter Mar 24, 2010 12:10 PM

                                                            If you really, REALLY miss it, while they're just like regular semolina pasta, they're not gritty and icky like very low carb or ww pasta. Carba Nada noodles can scratch the itch. I buy them online:

                                                            http://www.aldentepasta.com/carbanada...

                                                          2. shaogo RE: jhopp217 Mar 24, 2010 10:18 AM

                                                            Boy, I wish I were the OP.

                                                            When I started mindfully doing things to lose weight, last year, my doc and I made the following lifestyle plan:

                                                            - exercise more
                                                            - eat a big breakfast, moderate lunch and small dinner; and no snacking after dinner
                                                            - and give up one thing that I eat very often that's high-carb. That was pasta.

                                                            There are plenty of other things that I can eat that're carb-heavy. I just must stay away from my number one offender: pasta. I was eating it as often as every other day before I started dieting.

                                                            13 months later I've lost over a hundred pounds and am doing pretty well at keeping it off. Mind you, I don't recommend that everyone do this. But I had to. I have another 40 lbs. to go...

                                                            11 Replies
                                                            1. re: shaogo
                                                              mcf RE: shaogo Mar 24, 2010 12:08 PM

                                                              Congratulations on making such healthy changes and with such great success!

                                                              1. re: shaogo
                                                                EWSflash RE: shaogo Mar 24, 2010 01:41 PM

                                                                Wow- you the man! Anybody who deliberately loses that much is an inspiration to people everywhere that are looking for will power models. You're a great one.

                                                                1. re: shaogo
                                                                  j
                                                                  julesincoq RE: shaogo Mar 25, 2010 01:51 PM

                                                                  when you are going mad for pasta try shiritaki noodles (I think that is spelled right) it is made from tofu. When I really need som Pad Thai, I use the shiritaki a couple of the low carbers I work with love them as a pasta substitute too. I dont love pasta anyway so I dont bother to toss it with pasta sauces by me coworkers swear by it. You can find them in most asian markets.

                                                                  1. re: julesincoq
                                                                    mcf RE: julesincoq Mar 25, 2010 01:57 PM

                                                                    I think shiritaki are icky and like chewing rubber bands, but a lot of folks like them. I prefer the dry tofu noodles in the fridge at Asian groceries. They're a lot like the noodles used with sesame sauce in taste and texture. But mostly, I live a noodleless life, too. :-)

                                                                    1. re: mcf
                                                                      v
                                                                      Val RE: mcf Mar 25, 2010 07:09 PM

                                                                      and have you tried kelp noodles? Goodhealthgourmet pointed them out to me in another post...haven't tried them yet, though. I'm sort of with the OP on this subject...I can really do without pasta....baked potatoes, well, that's just a whole different matter. But when I'm jonesing for marinara sauce & cheese, I'm very happy to just have that with chicken parm or eggplant...the pasta--meh!--it's the bubbly sauce & cheese that I crave and the chicken or eggplant is a better vehicle for it than the pasta (for ME anyway!)

                                                                      1. re: Val
                                                                        mcf RE: Val Mar 26, 2010 10:32 AM

                                                                        I haven't because I really don't miss pasta. When I first bought Carba Nada, it took me two months to work up enough interest to try them. I bought them because my husband, who low carbs, too, misses noodles if he doesn't have them once in a while. I don't think there's anything I miss less than potatoes.

                                                                        I could eat eggplant, parm or otherwise, every day of the week.

                                                                    2. re: julesincoq
                                                                      Tripeler RE: julesincoq Mar 26, 2010 12:02 AM

                                                                      Shirataki are not made from tofu, they are made from "konyakku" (Devil's Tongue) which is a type of root vegetable. They have no calories.

                                                                      1. re: Tripeler
                                                                        mcf RE: Tripeler Mar 26, 2010 10:33 AM

                                                                        Yes, I know that they are all fiber, basically.

                                                                        1. re: Tripeler
                                                                          j
                                                                          julesincoq RE: Tripeler Mar 26, 2010 12:07 PM

                                                                          Huh. I had no idea. I always thought they were tofu noodles. I've only had them a couple of times in pad thai and I thought they worked well there. Our chef at work has put them in chicken noodle soup and they hold up very well and don't get smushy. Everyone seems to like them - I don't eat the soup though as I'm just not fond of noodle dishes. I skip past and go to the salad.

                                                                          1. re: julesincoq
                                                                            soypower RE: julesincoq Apr 5, 2010 03:31 PM

                                                                            There is a brand of shirataki noodles that adds tofu to improve the texture. Normally, they have a jelly like consistency, but the addition of the tofu seems to make it more pasta-like...

                                                                      2. re: shaogo
                                                                        j
                                                                        jhopp217 RE: shaogo Mar 31, 2010 09:34 AM

                                                                        Wow, congrats on the weight loss. I wish I could say I've lost weight since not eating pasta, but I seem to make up for the lost carbs with beer.

                                                                      3. BamiaWruz RE: jhopp217 Mar 25, 2010 09:06 AM

                                                                        Wish I could say the same, to keep the weight off but I Adore pasta, and it's on my desert island list.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: BamiaWruz
                                                                          EWSflash RE: BamiaWruz Mar 26, 2010 03:20 PM

                                                                          same here. I thnk it would be the hardest thing ot give up- even though i don't eat it nearly as much as I used to, the thought of life without it is a gloomy one to me.

                                                                        2. j
                                                                          julesincoq RE: jhopp217 Mar 25, 2010 01:48 PM

                                                                          I can't believe how many people think it's just you!!! It's not you!! Pasta is boring! I like the sauces and I love the cheese, I'd just rather have it over some veggies or a chicken breast. I love a stack of veggies (eggplant, pepper, onion, mushroom stacked up) with sauce poured over it and baked - a little melted cheese on top and i'm a happy camper. Pasta is just a delivery device for good sauce - I have no problem living without pasta.

                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                          1. re: julesincoq
                                                                            linguafood RE: julesincoq Mar 25, 2010 03:09 PM

                                                                            So you genuinely dislike pasta, or have you convinced yourself of that fact b/c of a low-carb lifestyle? Not being snarky, just genuinely curious.

                                                                            I did South Beach a few years ago, and apart from it having little to zero effect on me, I absolutely hated having to live without bread or pasta. I have pasta maybe once a week, which I don't think is outrageously often, but I eat bread every day.

                                                                            And frankly, I can't imagine a life without either. Thankfully, no medical condition has reared its ugly head for me to have to change that.

                                                                            1. re: linguafood
                                                                              j
                                                                              julesincoq RE: linguafood Mar 25, 2010 03:23 PM

                                                                              I have actually never really liked pasta. I just don't see the attraction to taking something that is completely bland and then dressing it up with sauce. If the best part of it is the sauce, then I'd rather just have the sauce.

                                                                              I LOVE fresh crusty white bread! I'd be happy to dip that into my sauce. I will splurge every now and then on a wedge of bread but I wouldn't bother with pasta at all. Maybe that is why it is so easy for me to go without it :-) . I didn't start this 'low carb' thing for weight loss (though I did lose a few) I did it for a healthier lifestyle. I read Dr Gundry's diet evolution and my boss met him several times and raved. Though I would give it a try for 90 days just to see if I liked it. I love it and wouldn't go back. Having said that, I do have little treats every now and then (I plan to have one piece of bbq pizza this weekend)

                                                                              1. re: linguafood
                                                                                mcf RE: linguafood Mar 26, 2010 10:57 AM

                                                                                I can answer for me; I don't dislike it, so much as I no longer miss it. I'm never tempted to eat it.

                                                                                1. re: mcf
                                                                                  linguafood RE: mcf Mar 26, 2010 01:05 PM

                                                                                  Well, humans are creatures of habit. I suppose one could get used to any kind of diet if it were necessary.

                                                                            2. m
                                                                              MNLisaB RE: jhopp217 Mar 25, 2010 06:59 PM

                                                                              Never had gluten free pasta, but do the low carb thing. Have a serious addiction to all things carby, there was a time we would eat pasta 3 times a week!!!

                                                                              Dreamfield's pasta is wondeful, great taste and texture- not gluten free, but it has a coating on it that prevents the body from getting a sudden blast of sugar spike.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: MNLisaB
                                                                                mcf RE: MNLisaB Mar 26, 2010 10:35 AM

                                                                                Actually, that glucose spike just comes hours late and lasts a very long time for many of us who test it with a glucose meter. And if you cook it as long as it says to on the package, it may not even be late. The claims on the package are false, and they know it, because so many diabetics and low carbers have corresponded with them about it.

                                                                              2. Boccone Dolce RE: jhopp217 Mar 25, 2010 09:05 PM

                                                                                You don't have to call it gravy, or eat it if I make it, but I'm with the LOVE pasta crowd. I just can't eat it like I used to (limited stomach space) - but I do crave it. If I give in and make it, I will have something else be the star of the meal- less emphasis on the actual macaroni. After 2-3 bites, I am done but it scratches the itch. It's a comfort food, I grew up eating it often and it was rarely what I would consider 'fancy' -
                                                                                I've done the shredded spaghetti squash route, and the zucchini 'noodles' (tasty, but not the real thing) - and since it's the taste, texture and flavor of the real thing that I want, nothing else will really do.
                                                                                You've done it for 6 months, are you ready to revisit or is it over?

                                                                                1. j
                                                                                  jhopp217 RE: jhopp217 Mar 31, 2010 09:39 AM

                                                                                  Actually had rigatoni bolognese last night at a friend's house and had to mention it, since I made a joke about having to have it after someone's post. I will say this right now and yes it might offend some people, but here it goes. If you think the sauce is merely a condiment and the pasta is the star (insert apology in advance), your sauce sucks!

                                                                                  11 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: jhopp217
                                                                                    Karl S RE: jhopp217 Mar 31, 2010 10:14 AM

                                                                                    Tell that to Marcella Hazan to her face and dare to live....she will tell you your tastebuds are at fault, not her sauce or pasta. Because she does not believe uncritically that de gustibus non est disputandum.

                                                                                    1. re: Karl S
                                                                                      c oliver RE: Karl S Mar 31, 2010 10:52 AM

                                                                                      What he said :)

                                                                                      I'd not thought about this until Batali started drumming it into my head. And then when I started cooking from Hazan's Essentials... it got reinforced. The last thing I would ever do now is "over dress" pasta. I think doing that in the past and eating at some restaurants that haven't found the "true religion" had often left me dissatisfied with pasta dishes.

                                                                                      1. re: Karl S
                                                                                        j
                                                                                        jhopp217 RE: Karl S Mar 31, 2010 05:30 PM

                                                                                        If the best part of a pasta dish is the pasta (with possible exceptions being a stuffed pasta), I'd be more than happy to tell anyone, famous or not, that their sauce was not up to snuff. While I respect the greats, I've tasted quite a few "classic" recipes followed to a tee that weren't all that good. I don't deny there are people who can sit with a bowl of pasta and some butter or olive oil and be in heaven, I personally just don't get it.

                                                                                        1. re: jhopp217
                                                                                          c oliver RE: jhopp217 Mar 31, 2010 06:08 PM

                                                                                          Would you be willing to say that it's YOUR opinion that's clearly not held by some? If you woudn't appreciate a perfect bowl of pasta with just butter or olive oil, then you truly aren't "into" pasta. There's no problem with that. I'm not in your group and that's fine too :)

                                                                                          1. re: c oliver
                                                                                            j
                                                                                            jhopp217 RE: c oliver Mar 31, 2010 07:05 PM

                                                                                            No, I used to like that, but as my tastes have become more refined (or should I say, I've tasted many more things), I have grown bored with pasta. Listen, I don't bite down on pasta and then run into the bathroom. I can eat it, will eat it when served it, but I will not go out of my way to eat it and I won't make it. I used to get fresh butternut squash ravioli and make it with a sage brown butter sauce and what I liked about it was the creamy filling added to the simple sauce to create a complex one. But if it had been just plain cheese ravioli or if it was some plain pasta, I don't think I'd be so enamored. Don't get me wrong, I used to eat pasta two three times a week. At least. I'm just bored with the actual pasta.

                                                                                            1. re: jhopp217
                                                                                              c oliver RE: jhopp217 Mar 31, 2010 07:23 PM

                                                                                              Golly, gee. Guess my tastes just aren't refined enough. And if being bored with pasta is a prerequisite, then, lord, please keep that gift from me. Please.

                                                                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                chowser RE: c oliver Apr 4, 2010 01:54 PM

                                                                                                I've made this comparison before but some people prefer Pamela Anderson and all the fluff and others prefer the all natural beauty of Elle McPherson. I personally wouldn't consider Pamela Anderson more refined by any means but others might. You can cover up a whole host of sins with a lot of sauce or make up.:-) But, I think good pasta can stand by itself.

                                                                                                1. re: chowser
                                                                                                  c oliver RE: chowser Apr 4, 2010 02:36 PM

                                                                                                  chowser, I've probably never read a better reply on CH!!! Spot on. BTW, a colleague of mine many years ago sat next to Elle on an airplane. I'm not sure he's gotten over it yet :)

                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                    chowser RE: c oliver Apr 5, 2010 04:53 AM

                                                                                                    LOL, I'm a happily married woman but I'd be thrilled to sit next to her, too. She just seems so down to earth on top of it all.

                                                                                                  2. re: chowser
                                                                                                    j
                                                                                                    jhopp217 RE: chowser Apr 7, 2010 10:36 AM

                                                                                                    But c'mon, Elle with a nice pesto sauce is better than just Elle, haha! Pam might need the vodka sauce!

                                                                                                    1. re: jhopp217
                                                                                                      chowser RE: jhopp217 Apr 7, 2010 12:10 PM

                                                                                                      LOL, we all look better with vodka sauce! Don't get me wrong, I love a great sauce on a great pasta. I just think a great pasta doesn't NEED a sauce to cover anything.

                                                                                      2. w
                                                                                        Wa2yne RE: jhopp217 Mar 31, 2010 08:57 PM

                                                                                        Hmm, I like all kinds of pasta, at least when cooked right and the sauce is good.
                                                                                        I like trying all kinds of pasta, comes in many shapes and sizes, from Capellini D Angelo to Rotini to egg noodles.
                                                                                        And yes, Linguine is pasta.
                                                                                        How it is cooked makes some difference. Cooked in unsalted water makes it taste flat.
                                                                                        And the sauce makes a vast differece as well.
                                                                                        I used to make sauce from basic ingredients, to my taste. And added anthing from fried ground beef to real good Italian hot sausage, and sometimes a good pepperoni.
                                                                                        I used various herbs and seasonings, but Oregano is virtually a must.
                                                                                        Other kinds of sauce are okay, but I am a fan of sauce made with tomatoes, whether tomato paste or diced or crushed tomatoes. Used to get crushed concentrated tomatoes, but those seem to have vanished from store `shelves.
                                                                                        As odd as it may seem, the same basic sauce seems to taste a bit different with various kinds of pasta.

                                                                                        Oh yes, I like a "good" Pizza as well, not always as easy to find now.

                                                                                        1. RealMenJulienne RE: jhopp217 Apr 1, 2010 12:06 AM

                                                                                          It's not just you. I have nothing against pasta - I'll eat it if it's there - but the obsessive discussions people have about it seem redundant to me. It's like spending hours discussing white rice... what's to discuss? You boil it, and then top it with something that actually tastes good. I've not a drop of Italian blood in me so I see pasta as nothing more than a convenient, easy student food.

                                                                                          I guess my own example would be milk. I drank it for the first 18 years of my life living in my parent's house but when I moved out and had to buy it for myself, I discovered I didn't like it enough to pay even cheap generic prices for it. As a side bonus, I had WAY less stomach trouble after I quit drinking it.

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: RealMenJulienne
                                                                                            j
                                                                                            jhopp217 RE: RealMenJulienne Apr 1, 2010 08:15 AM

                                                                                            Such a funny analogy. I drank Milk, Grapefruit & OJ like it was going out style when I lived at home, which was sadly, much longer than 18 years, but nowadays I buy milk for coffee and juice when I'm sick or when I'm out for breakfast. Otherwise it's water at home and nothing else.

                                                                                            1. re: jhopp217
                                                                                              RealMenJulienne RE: jhopp217 Apr 1, 2010 09:39 PM

                                                                                              Yeah mostly just water for me too. My whole body feels better after quitting sweet drinks and milk. One of the rare cases when the cheapskate in me produces a positive outcome.

                                                                                            2. re: RealMenJulienne
                                                                                              t
                                                                                              tarteaucitron RE: RealMenJulienne Apr 1, 2010 01:28 PM

                                                                                              The part about thinking there is nothing much to discuss about white rice. Try bringing this up with Asian hounds :) I am not in the know but I know there are many who care about what variety, quality and brand of white rice they bring to the dinner table. There are different textures and flavours, levels of sweetness and stickiness, in the world of white rice, each for a different occasion or preference. Heck, the Japanese even care about what *breed* of white rice to use for their rice crackers and mochi.

                                                                                              Just sayin'.

                                                                                              1. re: tarteaucitron
                                                                                                RealMenJulienne RE: tarteaucitron Apr 1, 2010 09:33 PM

                                                                                                Tarte, that's funny because I am actually Chinese-American! I can get really annoying about Chinese cooked vegetable dishes, dumplings, steamed buns, meatballs and other things but to me rice is just rice.

                                                                                            3. jAmbre RE: jhopp217 Apr 1, 2010 05:47 AM

                                                                                              I wish you strength. I could easily live on a diet of pasta dishes...

                                                                                              1. free sample addict aka Tracy L RE: jhopp217 Apr 4, 2010 04:58 PM

                                                                                                I can see it. My ex and friends go gaga over a big bowl of pasta and I was always luke warm on the idea. I eat it so infrequently that I usually forget if I have some on hand or not. I like ravioli but again it is something I eat infrequently. I have given up on rice since going low carb and have not missed it at all. One day I splurged and made rice to go with my stir fry and ended up eating the leftovers without rice. It made the stir fry bland. IMHO, it is a real triumph when I eliminate something from my diet. It shows me that over time I can learn to live without other foods that may not be good for me. (though pasta and rice are not bad)

                                                                                                1. alliedawn_98 RE: jhopp217 Apr 5, 2010 05:32 AM

                                                                                                  I have never been a pasta fan either. I don't like the texture, no matter how it is cooked. I do cook and eat it because my family enjoys it. I like potatoes but do not get excited about most breads either. Now a homemade biscuit sliced in half and topped with homemade stewed tomatoes will about make me swoon as will a good yeast roll with honey butter. Otherwise, I'm just not a huge fan of most carbs but I do eat them because I feel it is unhealthy to do away with them all.

                                                                                                  1. boyzoma RE: jhopp217 Apr 5, 2010 12:52 PM

                                                                                                    A really good pasta can stand alone with maybe some browned butter. I also like Mizithra cheese on mine (yes, I know spaghetti factory does it, but I've been doing it long before I even heard of them!). But don't get me wrong. I also love some various sauces. My DH does a fantastic blackened chicken sauce (basically like a tomato meat sauce - no hamburger/sausage).

                                                                                                    1. l
                                                                                                      laliz RE: jhopp217 Apr 5, 2010 03:12 PM

                                                                                                      I love pasta. I love the texture of spaghetti most of all. Not angel hair, real spaghetti.

                                                                                                      I'm diabetic and I have given up pasta, pizza crust, rice, mashed potatoes (sob!) Italian bread, etc.

                                                                                                      It can be done and after a while it is fine. I completely understand OP. Just dip some veggies or chicken in the sauce, pull the toppings off the slice of pizza, it's ok.

                                                                                                      Mashed cauliflower really does work, really.

                                                                                                      I love nothing more in life than a dish of garlic mashed potatoes dripping with butter

                                                                                                      Or a bowl of spaghetti dressed w/oilve oil, minced garlic, pecorino romano, and fresh tiny peas. Love it.

                                                                                                      Just don't eat it any more.

                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: laliz
                                                                                                        linguafood RE: laliz Apr 5, 2010 04:02 PM

                                                                                                        Sad.

                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                          mcf RE: linguafood Apr 5, 2010 04:34 PM

                                                                                                          It's so not sad when you realize it prevents blindness, amputations and kidney failure. Eating starches and taking meds doesn't improve mortality outcomes at all for diabetics. That's how high the quality of life stakes are as compared to eating pasta.

                                                                                                          And pasta is, after all, just paste with an 'a' on the end. :-)

                                                                                                          1. re: mcf
                                                                                                            linguafood RE: mcf Apr 5, 2010 04:54 PM

                                                                                                            I know, I know. I find it sad that one has to restrict their diet for medical reasons. I, for one, would be pretty damn sad if I were told I could never eat pasta again. Or bread. Or potatoes, or rice, or whatever starch.

                                                                                                            My genes aren't great, but I am thankful my family didn't pass diabetes on to me. Whew.

                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                              mcf RE: linguafood Apr 5, 2010 05:08 PM

                                                                                                              I was sad, years ago, but have made a complete adjustment, and now just think "why eat paste?"

                                                                                                              It's better that way at this point. :-)

                                                                                                              1. re: mcf
                                                                                                                linguafood RE: mcf Apr 5, 2010 07:46 PM

                                                                                                                You're right, of course. And there are so many other delicious things out there to eat! We live with what we're dealt, and we better enjoy while it lasts

                                                                                                                :-D

                                                                                                        2. re: laliz
                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                          mrsjoujou RE: laliz Apr 5, 2010 05:02 PM

                                                                                                          Well, I am GI and eat whole wheat pasta and steam potatoes and make a pizza crust myself with a combo of wheat,whole wheat and oat and always walk after eating. I love pasta, it is just I eat it in smaller portions.

                                                                                                        3. chef chicklet RE: jhopp217 Apr 7, 2010 12:18 PM

                                                                                                          I just never did like pasta all that much. There is one I do love and its Pappardelle, Trader Joe's has a nice one. That and the very thinnest pastas I do love, the rest I can live without no problem. Wait, excluding Mac and Cheese. I do love great mac anc cheese.

                                                                                                          1. a
                                                                                                            anonymouse1935 RE: jhopp217 Apr 12, 2010 03:34 AM

                                                                                                            I wish. My sauce is delicious, and I can't say my marinara is boring. Since I am relegated to just trying the pasta to test for doneness, I wish my craving for pasta were gone.

                                                                                                            I gave it up when I gave up most carbs, so I miss it. Especially linguini with carbonara sauce, oh my.

                                                                                                            1. huiray RE: jhopp217 Jul 8, 2010 05:37 PM

                                                                                                              Much Sturm und Drang about the subject. I'm not sure which post to reply to, also, so let's reply to your original one...

                                                                                                              Good pasta (both fresh and dry) does have its own texture and taste, IMO. One dry pasta (amongst others) that I like very much, even just by itself, is Cipriani tagliarelle. Make sure you salt the water. Try it. Toss it with a dollop of truffle paste + a little extra olive oil; or fresh golden chanterelles sauteed in sweet butter with a little fresh parsley - YUM! Tomatoes and meat not required.

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