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Aug 26, 2010 12:28 PM

Your Favorite Pasta Dish?

Looking to try new & different pasta dishes...My favorites are decadent Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese, seafood lasagna and a simple carbonara. Would love something elevated to serve to guests. Can be something with seasonal ingredients or suitable for year round.

Oh, and I'd love to be able to make pasta without a pasta maker (at least to start) Anyone do it by hand? All recipes, ideas and tips welcomed. Thanks!

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  1. I have the kitchenaid pasta roller attachement and love it. So you ever make pasta bolognese? Guests always love that I think. I also love Marcella Hazan's pasta with eggplant, plum tomato and ricotta. I also often serve orcheitte with broccoli rabe and sausage.

    2 Replies
    1. re: cassoulady

      Yes, bolognese is on my list of regular sauces...the Orecchiette sounds interesting, though

      1. re: Cherylptw

        there are a lot of variations of that recipe out there. I like it a lot because it is fast, spicy and also tastes good at room temp.

    2. my guest loved my Shrimp Alfredo. Simple but elegant. Parmesan cheese sauce with shrimp and pasta. I added lots of garlic.

      1. I love carbonara too. Now that zucchini's in season I make carbonara using penne pasta and zucchini cut to look like penne. I'll also throw in some peppery arugula at the end.

        Try making your own linguni alla vongole. Amazing how much flavor comes out of littleneck clams, after they've been dumped in a pan with garlic sauteed in olive oil, and steamed with some white wine.

        9 Replies
        1. re: tamagoji

          I know that there are many "discussions" about what does and does not constitute carbonara but zucchini seems to be going TOO far IMO :) Penne doesn't work for me either. I was going to include arugula in that but I suppose it could take the place of the parsley. Are you really just making zucchini/arugula penne with eggs, cheese and bacon?!?

          1. re: c oliver

            Eep, dare I mention I sometimes make gnocchi carbonara? :o

            Seriously though I see your point but I think the heart of a carbonara is the eggs, cheese, bacon and bacon drippings, and the transformation of those ingredients into that silky sauce (with the cracked black pepper on top). Using another pasta shape or adding things like zucchini or peas just adds a new spin to the dish.

            1. re: c oliver

              I don't know about the zucchini, but penne is fair game; at a little family-run restaurant in Rome where I had an excellent carbonara, one of the regulars there asked for, and got, carbonara made with penne. They didn't bat an eye. That makes it authentic enough for me!

              And I know guanciale is hard to find in a lot of areas, but if you can get it, it really makes a big difference (instead of bacon, which is admittedly what I use most of the time). Oh, and no arugula OR parsley (yes, I use green stuff sometimes, but I'm playing carbonara nazi right now).

            2. re: tamagoji

              I sometimes add peas to my carbonara cause to me it goes well with the other ingredients and personally, I like pasta shapes rather than spaghetti/fettuccini better just because it's easier to eat so penne works for me. There are other variations of carbonara than what most people think of as traditional and carbonara is eggs, cheese, bacon & pasta

              1. re: tamagoji

                You should add your idea of using zucchini cut like penne in carbonara to this thread. People are desperate for ways to use up their zucchini!


                1. re: tamagoji

                  I also sometimes add mushrooms, yum!

                  1. re: tamagoji

                    How do you cut zucchini to look like penne pasta, considering penne is tubular?

                    1. re: al b. darned

                      Cut the zucchini in half and then quarters. Cut the white seed part out and then cut the zucchini at an angle, same size as the penne. It's not exactly the same shape as penne but it looks enough like it.

                      The idea's from Jaime Oliver (Jaime at Home). Here's his write-up, nice picture of the dish as well.


                  2. Not elevated but I love paglia e fieno and serve it to guests. It's simple but the presentation is pretty. You can't beat a good ragu in the winter. For the summer, oven roasted tomato sauce (and eggplant if I have some).

                    I've made pasta by hand but didn't have a good rolling pin at the time and it was difficult. But since you bake a lot and can probably roll dough out to uniformly thin sheets, it might be pretty easy for you. Hand crank pasta makers aren't that expensive and make it so much easier.

                    1. When you say "pasta" are you limiting it to Italian pasta dishes?

                      If so, my favorite would be a traditional carbonara.

                      If you'r willing to consider other types of pasta dishes, I like making a simple Chinese cold sesame noodle. Make a sauce with sesame paste (or peanut butter), minced garlic, rice wine vinegar and a touch of soy sauce, toss noodles with sauce, then garnish with julienned carrots and cucumbers, lightly blanched mung bean sprouts (ie. 豆芽), and some shredded boiled chicken thigh meat. Serve cold.

                      I make Chinese hand-pulled noodles all the time.

                      I don't have an Italian pasta maker at home, just buy from the store.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        I love cold noodles..a favorite in the summer especially. I'm not limited as to what cuisine the pasta is from, as long as it's tasty. I'm with Father Kitchen below; can you make a video and show us all how to make hand pulled noodles? I'm sure there are quite a few who would be interested if you would so consider...

                        1. re: Cherylptw

                          I'll try ... but I don't even own a video camera.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            If you could get acess to one, you could teach us how to do something new & I'd be excited...I'm just saying...:)

                            1. re: Cherylptw

                              I think I mentioned this previously on another thread, but making Chinese hand-pulled noodles really requires hands-on demonstration and alot of practice.

                              My mom, to this day, still chastises me for the awkward and ungraceful way I make hand-pulled noodles and (deep down) I know she's disappointed in herself because she's the one that taught me how to do it, or at least (in her mind) "tried" to teach me how to do it.

                              Anyhow, gotta run and try and find a video cam ...