Pasta: Fresh vs Dry
I'm taking a cooking class in Italy and just received a 28 page list of recipes to choose 3 from to learn. It is overwhelming.
I know I want to make at least one pasta dish. There are lists of different recipes for dry pasta and also fresh pasta.
My question....is there a "rule" about using certain types of sauces for dry vs. fresh pasta? Is the type of pasta a regional preference?
And finally, do you make fresh pasta? Is it something that is difficult to learn to do really well or should I be happy to nail a couple of great sauces for dry pasta?
Thanks for your pasta guidance.
I'll happily stand corrected if I'm off-base, but I believe that the only rules about sauces are to match particular shapes.
Fresh pasta is so amazingly good -- it's lighter, more tender (not squishy like it's overcooked, but has a better texture IMO) and marries with sauces in ways that dry pasta will never be able to do.
Fresh pasta is time-consuming (the rolling and drying parts, as it has to be dried to some degree, or you'd just have wet dumplings) -- but easy and so worth it.
My personal rule for fresh pasta sauces is to sauce it very minimally. Otherwise you overwhelmed the flavor/texture of the pasta you went to that trouble for. A bit of butter/salt/parmesan or some chopped fresh tomatos and basil or some pesto, etc. others may disagree.
In my experience, dried and fresh pasta are not interchangeable unless you have no other option. Most fresh is egg pasta, which has a different flavor and texture from commercial dried that is made from wheat (hopefully semolina is in there) and then extruded. It holds up heavier sauces and has a more rustic texture. Fresh pasta is not difficult to make, especially if you have a food processor and a hand-crank pasta roller. Otherwise, it can take some time to learn the techniques but certainly doable. If I was in Italy, I would want to learn how to make various filled pastas and some of the unusual pasta shapes.
This time of year, I make fresh pasta every weekend. I don't make pasta in the summer. Too hot and humid. I've been making fresh pasta regularly for the past 2 years. I think it's easy. I make the dough in the food processor, let it rest, than roll it with my kitchen aid electronic rollers. It doesn't take that much active time. It is so delicious too.
I agree w/ the above posters who say to go w/ fresh for simpler sauces, dried for hearty ones. Although, I have to say a thicker hand cut fresh pasta w/ a hearty ragu can't be beat. Mostly if you want the heavy sauce to adhere to the pasta, dried is the way to go. Fresh pasta as carbonara can't be beat.
As making pasta goes, I don't think it's that easy. It starts out like making bread (although I like doing the well w/ flour and eggs) but while bread is forgiving pasta can be too dry, too wet and hard to roll out and end up inedible. If you had someone over your shoulder as you did it, it would be great. It's taken me a lot of trial and error to get it right. And, there's nothing more discouraging than mixing it, kneading, rolling and then having it all clump together after cutting. And, that doesn't get into how to roll it through the machine with two hands--one feeds the pasta dough into the machine, one rolls the machine and you need a third to guide it out. It's definitely worth doing but it does take practice.
It's really fun and my kids love to help with it so I hope I wasn't discouraging. It just seemed so easy when they do it on TV and I wasn't expecting the noodles to clump together, or fall apart, or come out too thick (did it by hand that time) like spaetzle, or have so much trouble rolling out for ravioli, or break the handle on the Atlas, etc. I'm so glad I stuck with it but it just looks way too easy, people who've grown up doing it say it is, and I make bread all the time, so I wasn't expecting that much trial and error. Let us know how it goes and share tips you get in class! Thanks!
Dry pasta for the lighter sauces and fresh for the more hearty. Obviously there aren't any 'real' rules, but there is reasoning.
The reason fresh pasta should be used with heartier sauces is that fresh comes out 'la lingue di gatto' (like a cat's tongue). It's got a rougher texture to help hold the heavier sauces and make them stick.
Dried pastas can be quickly tossed and lightly coated in oil and it's ready to serve, not really needing a heavy condimento.
But then there's regionality.
In the south, most pastas are usually only made with semolina and hot water and then dried (sometimes used fresh), due to the scortching hot weather. Eggy pastas don't keep very well in the heat.
I always think of dried pasta as having more toothiness but I do buy bronze cut. The dried is a heartier noodle so I tend to pair it w/ hearty sauces. There is a nice lightness to fresh noodles. You have a point about semolina vs egg pasta--I only make egg pasta. And, I was thinking dried for also shaped pasta, rigatoni, penne, etc. I've never tried making those. Maybe the question better phrased for only semolina vs egg pasta? I have used semolina in my egg pasta but prefer it w/out.
Fresh and dry are different beasts, each with merits.
Seems like most posters here think fresh is superior. Not true isn all cases.
Try Martelli or Rustichella if you can get them. Both Italian, 100% semolina and bronze die extruded. Best on the planet, in all shapes they make. Martelli only makes 4, Rustichella makes many, all excellent and better than fresh ( a better taste and chew), except anything larger than linguini, then I think fresh is better.
If you can't find them, get a "bronzo" Italian dry pasta, there must be some available in your area.
Sounds like a wonderful place to take a class. I'm jealous. I love Italy.
There are definite "rules" in Italy as to what sauces go with which pastas. If you think I'm wrong try suggesting that in your cooking class and you'll probably get an ear full. Of course here in the "new world" we have "new rules" - so we do anything here.
There is no better place to learn about fresh pastas than in Italy, so I'm glad you decided to do 2 fresh and 1 dried pasta dish. If it were me . . . .I don't know if I could pick just 3 . . . . but I would hope to find a dried pasta dish that calls for a long slow cooked sauce. In Italy this will typically be made with some sort of meat which is then removed and served as a second course and the sauce served with a pasta. It is a very traditional way of doing it in Italy and not something we think of here in the States very often.
If they are really good - maybe you can get them to demonstrate this method for you!
So jealous right now . . . .
Is it really a distinction between dried and fresh or is it egg pasta and water based.?Pappardelle and tagliatelle would be two egg, and often fresh pastas, that are served with heavy ragus. Spaghetti and linguine are to water based pasta, most often dried, that are served with both heavy and light sauces such a pesto or a simple butter and fresh tomato for a misto di mare.
Most of my experience with making pasta at home is with egg based pasta, but I have also bought egg based pasta that have been completely dried. Hence my question.
1. SALTED ANCHOCIES SAUCE
2. LINGUINE WITH MONK FISH SAUCE
3. WITCH‟S HAIR VENETIAN STYLE
4. LINGUINE WITH MANIT SHRIMPS
5. PENNE IN THE “COCCIO” WITH SCORPION FISH
6. PACCHERI WITH SEA FOOD
7. PASTA WITH FRESH SARDINES
8. PASTA WITH SEA URCHINS
9. PENNE WITH BLACK INK AND PECORINO CHEESE
10. SAUCE WITH “PATELLE” ( SINGLE VALVE SHELLS)
11. SAUCE WITH “BOGHE” (SMALL WHITE FISH)
12. SEA URCHIN WITH RED SAUCE
13. SPAGHETTI WITH CLAMS AND PINE NUTS
14. SPAGHETTI ALLO SCOGLIO (MIXED SEA FOOD)
15. SPAGHETTI WITH FAVOLLO (LOCAL CRAB)
16. SPAGHETTI WITH MUSSELS AND WILD FENNEL
17. BLACK SPAGHETTI WITH GINGER
18. SPAGHETTI WITH CLAMS
19. SPAGHETTI WITH SEA URCHIN AND MUSSELS
20. TAGLIATELLE WITH DENTEX
21. PASTICCIO OF MACCHERONI (MEAT SAUCE)
22. BUCATINI WITH LAMB RAGU‟
23. BUCATINI AMATRICIANA
24. SHELL SHAPED PASTA WITH GORGONZOLA AND PISTACHIOS
25. BOW TIE PASTA WITH PINE NUTS SAUCE
26. SPAGHETTI AL RANCETTO (CURED BACON)
27. SPAGHETTI CARBONARA
28. SPAGHETTI WITH BREAD CRUMBS
29. BOW TIE PASTA WITH SPRING AROMAS
30. BOW TIE PASTA PIZZAIOLA
31. BOW TIE PASTA WITH YELLOW PUMPKIN
32. FUSILLI WITH SPINACH
33. FUSILLI VESUVIANA
34. FUSILLI WITH OLIVES
35. GARGANELLI WITH ZUCCHINI AND BRIE CHEESE
36. LINGUINE WITH LEMON SAUCE
37. LINGUINE PUTTANESCA
38. ORECHHIETTE PESTO AND CHERRY TOMATOES
39. ORECCHIETTE WITH TURNIP TOPS
40. ORECCHIETTE WITH EGGPLANT AND SMOKED SCAMORZA
41. PASTA ALLA NORMA
42. PASTA CAPRESE
43. PASTA WITH ARTICHOKES
44. PASTA ZUCCHINE AND MELANAZANE
45. PASTA IN A MOULD WITH VEGETABLES
46. PENNE GREVIGIANA
47. PENNE VESUVIANA WITH BELL PEPPERS
48. PENNE WITH ZUCCHINI
49. PENNE WITH BELL PEPPERS AND FLORENTINE PESTO
50. YELLOW PENNE
51. PENNE STRASCICATE
52. REGINETTE WITH PESTO
53. RIGATONI WITH EGGPLANT
54. RIGATONI WITH VEGETABLES
55. SPAGHETTI OLIVE OIL AND GARLIC – AGLIO OLIO
56. STRINGOZZI WITH OLIVE
57. FUSILLI WITH SPICY TOMATO SAUCE N
58. ORECCHIETTE WITH BROCCOLI AND CAULIFLOWER N
59. SPAGHETTI AGLIO OLIO N
60. CASARECCE ZUCCHINI E RICOTTA
61. TRABACCOLARA (ENGLISH)
62. RIGATONI ALLE MELANZANE (REVISITED)
63. SPAGHETTI CON LA BOTTARGA
64. CAVEI DE STREGA (in italiano)
65. SPAGHETTI ALL‟ASTICE ( in Inglese)
Home made pasta and gnocchi
1. BIGOLI IN CASSO PIPA ( THICK FRESH SPAGHETTI WITH SEA FOOD IN THE OVEN)
2. CAPPELLETTI OF THE FEAS
3. COLD BLACK LASAGNE WIT CAULIFLOWER AND CRAB
4. FISH RAVIOLI
5. RAVIOLI WITH PIKE AND ZUCCHINI
6. RAVIOLI WITH SCAMPIS AND ASPARAGUS
7. RAVIOLI SCAMPIS AND ZUCCHINI
8. OPEN RAVIOLO
9. SPAGHETTI WITH SEA BAS
10. TAGLIATELLE WITH DENTEX
11. TAGLIERINI WITH MUSSELS AND ZUCCHINI
12. TAGLIERINI WITH MUSSELS
13. TAGLIOLINI WITH RED MULLET CAGLIARITANA
14. BLACK TAGLIOLINI WITH WHITE CUTTLE FISH
15. AGNOLOTTI PIEDMONT STYLE
16. CAPPELLETTI ROMAGNOLI
17. CASIUMZEI AMPEZZANI
19. PANSOTTI DI RAPOLLI
20. RAVIOLI CHEESE AND PEARS
21. RAVIOLI FROM CASENTINO
22. RAVIOLI FILLED WITH RICOTTA, ARTICHOKES SAUCE
23. RAVIOLI OF SMOKED SCAMORZA WITH CHERRY TOMATOES
24. RAVIOLI STUFFED WITH ARTICHOK WITH PECORINO SAUCE
25. GREEN RAVIOLI WITH EGGPLANTS
27. TORTELLI OF POTATO FROM MUGELLO
28. COCOA RAVIOLO FILLED WITH OLIVE OIL, FONDUE OF PARMIGIANO AND STEWED RADICCHIO
29. PUMPKIN TORTELLI
30. TORTELLINI IN BRODO
31. COFFEE TAGLAITELLE WITH ARTICHOKES
32. FETTUCCINE WITH ARUGOLA AND GORGONZOLA
33. LASAGNE WITH MUSHROOMS
34. LASAGNE WITH MUSHROOMS AND CHESTNUTS
35. LASAGNE WITH EGGPLANT AND QUARTIROLO CHEESE
36. LASAGNETTA WITH EGGPLANT
37. LUNGHETTI OF KAMUT
38. MANICOTTI WITH EGGPLANT AND MOZZARELLA
39. FRESH PASTA WITH LEMON
40. TAGLIATELLE OF BORRAGO
41. TAGLIATELLE WITH ARTICHOKES AND WALNUTS
42. TAGLIOLINI WITH ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS
43. TAGLIOLINI WITH VEGETABLES
44. MACCHERONI WITH LAMB
46. MACCHERONI STRAPAZZATI WITH RAGU‟
47. PAGLIA E FIENO PROSCIUTTO E PISELLI (GREEN AND YELLOW PASTA WITH HAM AND PEAS)
48. PAPPARDELLE WITH WILD BOAR
49. PICI WIRH SAUSAGE
50. TAGLIATELLE WITH CHICKEN LIVER
51. ALMOND TAGLIATELLE WITH TURNIP TOPS AND FATTY LIVER
52. CANNELLONI STAUFFED WITH BROCCOLI AND CRAB
53. COCO ROLL WITH EGGPLANT MOUSSE AND PARMIGIANO FONDUE
54. HAZELNUT TAGLIATELLE IN MUSHROOMS SAUCE
56. PASSATELLI IN A SOUP
57. PASTA E FAGIOLI OF MARCELLA
58. SFOGLIA OF CHESTNUT PASTA
59. TAGLIATELLE WITH HAZELNUT BUTTER AND TRUFFLE
60. COCOA TAGLIOLINI WITH MUSHROOM SAUCE
61. TESTAROLI WITH PESTO
62. RAVIOLI FILLED WITH CONSOMME‟ N
63. RAVIOLI SPINACH AND RICOTTA N
64. BASIC PASTA WITH SOY LECITINE N
65. CHESTNUT GNOCCHI WITH MUSHROOM SAUCE
66. GNOCCHI OF CHICKPEAS
67. GNOCCHI OF RICOTTA WITH PEAS AND TRUFFLE
68. WHOLE WHEAT GNOCCHI WITH BROCCOLI AND MUSSELS
69. BLACK GNOCCHI WITH CUTTLE FISH RAGU‟ AND PECORINO
70. GNOCCHI WITH PESTO
71. GNOCCHI ALLA BAVA (MELTING CHEESE)
72. GNOCCHI PARISIEN
73. GNOCCHI ROMANA
74. POTATO GNOCCHI WITH SAUSAGE SAUCE
75. GNOCCHI OF POTATO AND NETTLES WITH MUSHROOM SAUCE
76. PUMPKING GNOCCHI
77. FUCSIA GNOCCHI WITH SAFFRON
79. PARISIEN WITH PISTACHIOS AND BLACK TRUFFLE
80. MALLOREDDUS WITH PORK SAUCE
81. POTATO GNOCCHI WITH BELL PEPPER SAUCE
82. STROZZAPRETI (STRUNGLE THE PRIEST) WITH RED RADICCHIO
83. CRESPELLE GRATINATE COL RADICCHIO N
84. CASUMZIEI AMPEZZANI N
85. FILEJA CON BROCCOLI E „NDUJA N
86. LASAGNE BASTARDE DELLA LUNIGIANA N
87. CRESPELLE AL FORMAGGIO DI FOSSA CON PURE‟ DI FAVE N
88. PIZZOCCHERI IN INGLESE N
89. TAGLIOLINI ROSSI (PEPERONI) CON ZUCCHINI E SCAMORZA N
90. VARIAZIONE SU: HAND MADE COCOA RAVIOLO FILLED WITH OLIVE OIL N
91. PICI CON ACCIUHE E BRICIOLE DI PANE ( ANNIE FEOLDE) N
92. PAPPARDELLE CON LA LEPRE N
93. GNOCHE DE CIADIN COI CRAUTI
94. GNOCCHI CON L‟ORTICA
95. GNOCCHI ALLA PIEMONTESE
96. PISAREI E FASO‟
97. CAVATELLI COI CECI
98. GNOCCHI DI PATATE E RICOTTA, CARCIOFI E PECORINO (italiano)
99. FAGOTTINI PERE E PROSCIUTTO
100. TORTELLETTI DI CRISTOFORO DA MESSISBUGO
101. TAGLIATELLE DI NOCCIOLE AL TARTUFO MARZUOLO ( in inglese)
102. TAGLIATELLE AI FUNGHI
Indeed I'll add a wow at that list. From googling I think I may have a major misconception about pasta. I have always thought that spaghetti and Lingunie were made without eggs, but now I think I'm wrong. Gotta love living and learning.
I think your bucatini pick is a good one because it's something you like. If you like gnocchi that is also a good choice as it's more difficult to make and would be great to get some personal, expert instruction. My gnocchi are leadedn, doughie balls.
Pick one that you either like or want to learn and you can't go wrong.
After doing a bit of research I am not wrong. Phew :o) , but many dried pasta are made with egg. I'm still unsure what the difference is between dried and fresh made pasta. Couldn't I make Linguine, which is just semolina (durum wheat), water, and optional olive oil and salt, and cook it fresh? Does it taste better or have a better texture if it's dried first?
Yes, if it's too hard to get right it's not worth it. It only makes sense when it taste sooooooo much better than what you can buy. There is only one store bought pasta that I think is as good as my home made tagliatelle and that's made by bionature. Funny thing is it's a dried, egg pasta. Nice flavor and great texture. It has me thinking about drying my home made egg pasta to see how it changes the taste and texture.
Junior, that's the only difference -- one is cooked before it dries completely, the other is dried completely. It's just that in the drying process, the texture changes, so that dried pasta has a different texture than fresh pasta after cooking.
I think you'll find that most pasta has egg in it -- try them side by side -- the egg has so much nicer texture and flavor.
When I was teaching in a cooking school (don't get excited, it was for kids, although real food like fresh pasta) -- we did this for lunch for the staff -- we made one batch of egg fettucine, and one batch of flour-oil-water fettucine. The egg batch disappeared, and the other batch went into the trash.
Those are great choices. Gnocchi in particular generally requires practice and would be great to try in a class. Tortelli or tortellini would also be good instead of ravioli, but they are labor-intensive.
I'm planning to take my first cooking class in Rome in April and can't wait. Enjoy your trip.
I only make egg pasta, so I very it depending on the pasta/sauce pairing. When I make a braised beef sauce with pappardelle, I roll the dough thicker and cut it wider so it has the right weight for the sauce. I also made chiatarra by keeping it thick enough that when put through the cutter it made square strands. For that I made a carbonara with a raw egg yolk on top....it was lovely.
Part of the choice has to do with how each one absorbs the sauce. Fresh pasta tends to be paired with something you sauce over it. Dried pasta will absorb the sauce...and is used in recipes that are enhanced by that. And the shape does make a difference as well. A ridged dry penne or rotini
will "hold onto" the sauce or pieces of ingredients. A sheet of fresh pasta in a lasagna or as part of a ravioli/raviolo is hard to beat!
I'm curious about this list. What kind of class is it? I've done a week long cooking school (ok...more like vacation/school) in Tuscany, and a one day cooking class in Rome. But I've never seen a list like this. If you don't mind my asking, what kind of class is this? How long is it? How did you find it?
In Cooking by Hand, by Paul Bertolli, he describes what pastas go with what foods. Even to the detail of what flours to use for certain pasta recipes. There are a lot of example recipes illustrating the pairings of pastas to meats/techniques.